Hyderabad: With the focus this year on early detection of glaucoma and prevention, city-based L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) has decided to organise series of activities during the Glaucoma Awareness Week beginning from March 10.
"To bring public focus on the eye disease that affects both adults and children, we would like to stress the importance of screening the family members of patients with glaucoma, as this disease can affect siblings and children of patients with glaucoma in upto 10-20 per cent," LVPEI (Glaucoma Care) Head Dr Sirisha Senthil said today.
Glaucoma is seen as the leading cause of irreversible blindness in India. It is a disorder associated with pressure in the eye, and is characterised by damage to the optic nerve leading to irreversible blindness.
Currently, 1.12 crore Indians suffer from glaucoma, with 11 lakh people bilaterally blind.
Though the exact cause of glaucoma in the majority of cases is not precisely known, it can occur in a minority due to a variety of causes ranging from the use of steroid eye drops, secondary to eye injury, or even complications after an eye surgery.
Glaucoma more commonly affects people beyond the age of 40 years.
High myopes, diabetics and those with a positive family history have higher risk of developing glaucoma, a release from LVPEI said.
What is worrying is that 90 per cent of Glaucoma in the community is undetected, mostly because of lack of awareness.
Most patients are unaware that, early diagnosis can reduce progression of the disease and prevent blindness and all it takes to prevent such a situation is regular eye check-up or screening.