Ghana is observing World Glaucoma Week from March 10-16 to make people aware about the disease.
This Year’s World Glaucoma week is on the theme; “Beat Invisible Glaucoma (B-I-G)”. It also has a sub theme “Screen First Degree Relatives (F.D. Rs)”World Glaucoma Week is a joint initiative between the World Glaucoma Association and the World Glaucoma Patient Association and has had a highly successful run for the past 10 years.
Ghana in recent times has been ranked second in worldwide statistics for the prevalence of Glaucoma with over thousands of people suffering from the condition. Known to be the third leading cause of blindness, creation of Glaucoma awareness is the main objective in observing the World Glaucoma week.
Speaking on Uniiq FM Breakfast Drive, an Optometrist of Permeff Eye Care, DR. Emefa Titiati, explained that Glaucoma is a group of diseases that leads to increase in eye pressure which tend to destroy the nerves inside the eye, leading to blindness.
She hinted that another name coined for Glaucoma is, “Thief of Sight”, because Glaucoma has no symptoms. One can only know whether or not they have Glaucoma by going for an eye Test.
“By the time you know as an individual that you have Glaucoma, that is blindness we are taking about. It is irreversible. That’s why we are making all the noise about this week. It is a plague that is catching up on the world and Ghana has been rated second in its prevalence. That is why we are educating everybody to get their eye check early and often,” she said.
She added that, 80% causes of Glaucoma is by hereditary and 20% is caused by injury in the eye. Also, Blacks (Africans), people above 40 years and people with high blood pressure are at higher risk of getting Glaucoma.
According to her, there is the Primary and Secondary type of Glaucoma which comes in two forms. The open angle where the patient does not have any symptoms but there is damage in the eye, however the Primary close angle cokes with redness in the eye, pains in the eye and severe headaches.
Dr. Emefa urged everyone to avoid rubbing of the eye, eat foods rich in vitamin A and get their eye check annually.
Story by: Mavis Arthur.