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Experts want regular eye checks for early detection of glaucoma

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As Nigerians joined the rest of the world in celebrating the 2018 World Glaucoma Week (WGW), ophthalmologists have advised Nigerians to undertake regular eye examination for early detection of the eye disease, especially those with family history of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.

They said early detection through regular and complete eye examination, is the key to protecting vision from damage caused by glaucoma.

Glaucoma, according to experts, is an eye disease that affects the optic nerve, gradually damaging the fibres of the nerves in an irreversible manner till blindness occur if no intervention is undertaken, it is said to be the leading cause of irreversible but preventable blindness in the world affecting more than 67 million people.

As part of efforts to reducing cases of blindness caused by glaucoma in Nigeria, Me Cure Eye Centre in commemoration of the WGW, is offering a two-day free glaucoma screening to over 500 Nigerians, which holds on Wednesday, 14th, March and Thursday, 15th at its Eye Centre in Lagos.

World Glaucoma Week is an annual weeklong event marked across the globe by the World Glaucoma Association and the World Glaucoma Patient Association, with the 2018 theme of the weeklong event is “Green = Get Your Eyes tested for Glaucoma: Save Your Sight.”

Speaking on the aim of the free glaucoma screening, a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Chief Operating Officer, Me Cure Eye Centre, Dr. Adegboyega Alabi, said the free screening was part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of centre, with the over all objective of reducing the rate of blindness caused by glaucoma in the country.

According to Alabi, glaucoma has no cure and many people have no idea that they have it.

“It is only when they undergo free eye screening exercises like this that they often discover they have glaucoma. That is why the message now is get your eyes tested for glaucoma-save your sight”, he said.

Identifying early detection of as key in preventing glaucoma, the ophthalmologist stressed that glaucoma was the cause of avoidable blindness.

“Glaucoma is referred to as “the silent thief of sight”. This is because it slowly damages the eye and causes irreversible loss of vision to the sufferer, he added.

The eye specialist, said to beat invisible Glaucoma in the country, Nigerians should walk into any eye care standard facility and have their eyes evaluated or checked for glaucoma.

Lamenting the socio-economic impact of glaucoma, the ophthalmologist revealed that over 45 million people are suffering from glaucoma all over the world, stressing that the eye disease is on the increase in Nigeria, despite the lack of number of Nigerians suffering from it.

He described glaucoma as a burden to the family and community of those suffering from it, as they now depend on others for survival, besides the huge cost of managing the disease for life, which has no cure.


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