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World Glaucoma week 8 to 14 March

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Hyderabad: Glaucoma is an eye disease characterized by progressive optic neuropathy leading to irreversible loss of vision. In India, around 12 million population are affected. Among them already 1.2 million people are blind.

High myopia, hypermetropia, high intraocular pressure, age above 60 years, family history of glaucoma are the non-modifiable risk factors of glaucoma. High blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, injuries to the eye, inappropriate usage of steroids in the form of inhalers, tablets, use of steroid drops, creams for prolonged time are the modifiable risk factors of glaucoma.

So to avoid developing this blinding disease, an appropriate diet, exercises are required to control the risk factors like diabetes and hypertension. Also, avoid purchasing steroid tablets and any drops from the pharmacies without proper prescription by an eye specialist as this has been a major risk factor for glaucoma in rural areas.

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Even most of the educated people in India just buy spectacles from opticals without proper eye examination by an eye specialist. So in most of the cases, by the time the patient reaches the eye hospital, the disease has progressed to the point that irreversible vision loss has already occurred.

So annual comprehensive eye check-up which includes intraocular pressure measurement and fundoscopy is mandatory to diagnose this blinding disease at the early stages and prevent irreversible blindness. Once diagnosed, the patient should be compliant with the treatment and regular follow up to prevent progression.

Dr. B. Pranathi, Senior ConsultantCataract, Glaucoma & Refractive Surgeon, KIMS Hospitals, Secunderabad

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