Patients not aware of disease in early stages
By Sandun A Jayasekera
Glaucoma is a disease that can make one blind. The danger of Glaucoma is that patients will not be aware of this disease in the early stage as there are no symptoms. Therefore all persons above 40 years should get their eyes examined by an Ophthalmic doctor once in every 2-3 years, a seminar was told.
Today is ‘World Glaucoma Day’. A seminar was held for media personnel on Glaucoma at the Health Education Bureau recently.
Dr. Muditha Kulatunga, Consultant Eye Surgeon, Glaucoma Control Programme delivering a lecture entitled ‘The Silent Killer of Sight’ said diabetic patients, highly short sighted people, those above 60 years of age and those who have blood relatives with Glaucoma are at risk of contracting the disease.
“If you fall into any of these categories get you eyes checked at the eye clinic at a government hospital. Besides, it is important that all above 60 years of age get an eye check done once in every two to three years to detect any sign of Glaucoma,” she advised.
Eye pressure is checked at the screening and the nerve of the eye is examined to ascertain whether he or she is at risk. Those who are detected having Glaucoma need regular medication, she said.
In Sri Lanka 150,000 are blind due to Glaucoma and another 450,000 are getting regular treatment for the disease. Globally, 4.5 million are blind and 20 million are Glaucoma patients.
The National Eye Hospital in Colombo has organized a special programme to screen 1000 people for Glaucoma to mark the ‘World Glaucoma Day’ today.