- World Glaucoma Awareness Week is observed from 11th - 17th March, with an aim to eliminate glaucoma blindness
- Globally, 66 million have glaucoma, which is the leading cause of blindness
- Regular eye check-ups help to prevent progression of glaucoma and thus protect the vision
World Glaucoma Awareness Week is observed every year in the month of March to create awareness about glaucoma and to eliminate glaucoma blindness by getting people to have regular eye check-up, including the optic nerve checks. World Glaucoma Awareness Week is a collaboration between the World Glaucoma Association (WGA) and the World Glaucoma Patient Association (WGPA). The Theme for World Glaucoma Awareness Week 2018 is "B-I-G Beat Invisible Glaucoma."
What is Glaucoma?Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. It is also known as the 'silent thief of sight,' as the symptoms are not noticeable. Most of the patients progress to the advanced stage of glaucoma before they can notice a problem in vision. Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve (transmits information from the eye to the brain) is damaged. If left untreated, it causes progressive optic nerve damage and irreversible vision loss. Glaucoma is classified into two types - open angle glaucoma and closed angle glaucoma, depending on the drainage channels of the eye.
The first symptom of glaucoma is the shrinkage of the field of vision. Glaucoma can lead to partial loss of vision or even blindness if not treated appropriately. The exact cause of glaucoma is unknown. However, it can occur due to a variety of reasons such as the use of steroids medication or complications after eye surgery. The most important risk factor for glaucoma is the increased pressure inside the eyeball, which is called "intraocular pressure (IOP)."
‘Early detection and timely treatment play a major role in reducing the progression of glaucoma. Regular eye tests are the only way to detect the ‘silent thief of sight,’ as the symptoms are not noticeable.’
Facts about Glaucoma
- First Degree Relatives (FDRs) have a ten-fold increase in life-long glaucoma risk
- Glaucoma can affect any age group. The risk increases at the age of 40
- It is not curable and the lost vision cannot be restored
- Glaucoma is hereditary and it can be passed on from parents to children
- The most common form of glaucoma is the open-angle glaucoma
- Globally, 66 million people have glaucoma
- About 76 million people will have glaucoma by 2020
- About 50 to 90 percent of the people with glaucoma remain undetected
- One in 4 people over the age of 40 years has glaucoma
- In India, 12 million people have glaucoma. About 1.1 million people are blind due to glaucoma
- Over 3 million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of those are aware of the condition
- In the US, More than 120,000 are blind due to glaucoma
- Blindness from glaucoma is eight times more for African Americans than Caucasians
- Glaucoma Facts and Stats - (https://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/glaucoma-facts-and-stats.php)
- Facts About Glaucoma - (https://nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts)
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