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Glaucoma: Expert advocates for regular eye screening


Abuja – Dr Uche Opara, an Abuja-based Consultant Optician, has advised Nigerians to go for regular eye screening to prevent glaucoma.

Opara gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to him, “Eye screening is very important for early detection of glaucoma.

“This is important because there is no treatment for the disease, but if detected early, it can be managed.”

He defined glaucoma as an eye condition that develops when too much fluid pressure builds up inside the eye.

According to him, the increased pressure, which is also called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve which transmits images to the brain, thereby affecting the pictures we see.

He added that if the eye pressure continued due to the damage to the optic nerve overtime, glaucoma could cause loss of vision

“Vision lost due to glaucoma cannot be reversed.”

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Opara said study had shown that over 16 per cent of people above the age of 39 had developed glaucoma.

According to him, glaucoma usually occurs in both eyes but may affect each eye to a different extent.

He explained that glaucoma had no early symptoms or pain from the increased pressure, adding that it could be diagnosed and managed before long-term vision loss.

He said that while symptoms such as redness, itching and pain were common in other eye diseases, in the case of glaucoma, “you wake up one morning and can’t see any more.”

On the risk factors associated with glaucoma, he said that the condition could be inherited in the family and that old age was also a risk factor.

He further said that it could also be a birth defect in children.

He advocated for annual vision screening for children and teenagers in elementary schools, while older people from the age of 39 years should go for screening three to four times annually.

He underscored the importance of adopting preventive measures by engaging in regular eye screening, stressing that early diagnosis of glaucoma could help in managing the condition. (NAN)

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