By Rabi Abdallah
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve is damaged. This can cause permanent vision damage in the affected eye and leads to blindness if left untreated.
Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness Worldwide. It is estimated that 4.5 Million people globally are blind due to Glaucoma and that this number will rise to 11.2 million by the year 2020. The National prevention of blindness survey in Nigeria shows that 16.7% of the country’s population are living with glaucoma.
If left untreated most types of Glaucoma progress, worsening visual damage and may lead to blindness. It is to create awareness on the eye disease that the Abuja Eye Care Professionals organized a walk as part of activities to mark 2013 Glaucoma Week. They are using the week to draw attention to the disease in different ways. They see it as an opportunity to inform the public of options available to them such as medication or surgery which can halt or slow down any further vision loss if detected early.
There is no cure yet for glaucoma, a group of eye diseases that cause progressive damage of the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye to carry visual information to the brain, while vision loss is irreversible.
Awareness creation on the devastating eye disease takes centre stage in the face of about two hundred thousand new cases of glaucoma occurring each year in the country as Nigeria marks the 2013 glaucoma week.