Glaucoma Awareness Walk was held in the city of Hyderabad, and nearly 100 volunteers and patients took part to create awareness on the fatal eye disease.
The walk was organized by L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) to mark World Glaucoma Week (March 11 to 18).
Tollywood actor Sumanth flagged off the rally, and the participants carried some posters and banners.
"This is a wonderful initiative for a great cause. My late grandfather Akkineni Nageshwar Rao had suffered from Glaucoma, and even my father was diagnosed with the disease in the early stages", said actor Sumanth.
The key to preventing blindness is to diagnose glaucoma early, stated the Hyderabad Ophthalmologists Association (HOA).
Glaucoma is increased in the fluid pressure in the eyeball and when left untreated can lead to vision loss.
Screening and awareness programs must be carried out more aggressively about glaucoma, state Ophthalmologists.
Worldwide, one out of every five victims of glaucoma is from India and is due to lack of detection of the disease.
Dr. Vanita Pathak-Ray, the consultant glaucoma specialist, explained, "The reason for high prevalence of glaucoma is there are no specific symptoms. The vision begins to decrease from the sides. A random survey has shown that 80,000 people in Hyderabad are afflicted with glaucoma. There are no specific tests to detect glaucoma. A battery of tests has to be done. Those who have a family history of eye diseases must get their eyes checked regularly."
About 68 million people were found to suffer from glaucoma, globally. Those who are 65 years and above have a prevalence rate of 7.5 percent, and this number is expected to go up to 10 percent by 2020.
There is a strong need for better screening and awareness programs to prevent blindness due to glaucoma, stated the HOA.