Hyderabad: At least 40 lakh people in Telangana are estimated to be suffering from glaucoma, with only 20 per cent of them taking medication, according to G Chandra Sekhar, Vice Chairman, LV Prasad Eye Institute.
Dr Chandra Sekhar told the press persons on Wednesday that even from that 20 per cent, many gave up medication after some time. Of 15 patients diagnosed with eye disorders every day, at least two had glaucoma, he said, and added that the situation across the country was such that 98 per cent of glaucoma patients were not aware of the disease, which had no immediate recognisable symptoms.
Long-term use of steroids could create pressure on eyes and lead to glaucoma. It is a disorder associated with increase in eye pressure and damages the optic nerve carrying visual information from the eye to the brain and in turn, leading to irreversible blindness. The progress of the disease during young age was very high, he said.
Currently, 11.2 million Indians suffer from the disease. To create awareness, LV Prasad Eye Institute is organising a series of activities as part of Glaucoma Awareness Week -2017 from March 12 to 18.
“A awareness walk will be organised on March 12 to spread knowledge on the disease, which is seen as the leading cause of irreversible blindness in India,” said Sirisha Senthil, Head of Glaucoma Service, LVPEI.
“Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but if it is diagnosed and treated early, the disease can be controlled. Loss of vision caused by glaucoma is irreversible and cannot be restored,” she said, and added that however, successfully lowering eye pressure could prevent further visual loss from glaucoma.