Dominica joins the rest of the world in observing World Glaucoma Week from Sunday 6th March to Saturday 12th March 2022, under the theme ‘The World Is Bright, Save Your Sight’. World Glaucoma Week (WGW) is a global initiative of the World Glaucoma Association (WGA) that puts a spotlight on glaucoma as the leading cause of preventable irreversible blindness worldwide.
The sight threatening eye disease, Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease which develops due to loss of the optic nerve fibers because of blockage to the drainage canal in the eyes. This results in progressive visual field loss when left untreated.
According to a release from Optipharm Inc., Dr. Benet Henry, Ophthalmologist at the Optipharm Eye Clinic, applauds persons who took steps to manage the disease and says, anyone can be affected by this condition. He encourages individuals to know their status and explains, early treatment often allows patients to maintain visual field throughout their lifetime.
Dr. Henry made emphasis on the impact the COVID–19 pandemic had on the development of irreversible vision loss due to Glaucoma, and revealed he was aware of the difficulties faced by many patients.
While there is no cure for glaucoma and optic nerve damage cannot be reversed, the disease can be treated successfully and vision loss prevented by early detection. Treatment involves controlling the pressure in the eye as it is pressure which damages the optic nerve causing loss of sight. Acute glaucoma is treated by drugs to relieve pressure and may be followed by laser treatment or surgery to allow the fluid to drain. Occasionally, the blockage in the eye becomes permanent and needs the same treatment as chronic glaucoma. Chronic glaucoma is controlled by eye drops, or occasionally by tablets. Where vision continues to deteriorate, laser treatment or surgery to provide a drainage valve will be required.