· Approximately 11.2 million Indians aged 40 years and older suffer from the disease, with 1.1 million people (including children) turning blind
· In Asia, Glaucoma is projected to affect an additional 27.8 million individuals by 2040, with India and China bearing the brunt of the burden
Noida, 15th March 2023- The optic nerve plays a critical role in transmitting visual information from the eye to the brain, and Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that can damage this nerve. According to experts at ICARE Eye Hospital, Sector-26, Noida, Glaucoma is a significant cause of irreversible blindness in India, and everyone is susceptible to the disease. While Glaucoma can develop even with normal eye pressure, high eye pressure is often associated with optic nerve damage.
Dr Reena Choudhry, COO and Medical Director, HoD, Glaucoma Department, ICARE Eye Hospital, “Glaucoma usually causes silent vision loss, with some types being linked to mild eye pain, headaches, and rainbow-colored circles around lights. Recent statistics by National Health Portal reveal that nearly 40 million individuals, or every 8th person, in India have Glaucoma or are at risk of developing it. Among individuals aged 40 and above, approximately 11.2 million suffer from Glaucoma, with 1.1 million being visually impaired, including children. In Asia, Glaucoma is projected to affect an additional 27.8 million individuals by 2040, with India and China bearing the brunt of the burden.”
She further added, “Early diagnosis of Glaucoma can prevent its progression, and routine eye check-ups and mass screenings can facilitate its early detection and prevention. Late-stage diagnosis of the disease is treated with medication and surgery aimed at preventing further damage to vision and the visual field. Increasing awareness of Glaucoma through various media platforms can aid in overall prevention efforts.”
While Glaucoma can occur at any age, it mainly affects people beyond the age of 40 years. People who are high myopes, diabetics, have a history of eye trauma, a family history of Glaucoma, or have been taking corticosteroid medicines for a long time are at a higher risk of developing the condition. However, this disease is not directly associated with socio-economic status, although its advanced form may be prevalent in people with lesser access to healthcare facilities.
Dr. Reena, further concluded that as a rule, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a comprehensive eye exam every 5 to 10 years if you are under 40 years old, every 2 to 4 years if you are 40 to 54 years old, every 1 to 3 years if you are 55 to 64 years old, and every 1 to 2 years if you are older than 65 years. By following this guideline, one can increase the chances of early diagnosis and prevention of Glaucoma. Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that can cause irreversible vision loss. It can affect anyone; by being aware of the disease, undergoing regular eye check-ups, and following the recommended guidelines, we can prevent and treat Glaucoma effectively.