Lifestyle

Glaucoma is leading cause of blindness for Pinoys

World Glaucoma Week Philippines

Did you know that you can actually go blind without knowing? First, your field of vision shrinks and you may feel some pain in your eye or slight blurring of vision. This goes unnoticed until its late stages, where the damage is irreparable — eventually you go blind. For many Filipinos, glaucoma is a silent killer – and, like cancer, it has no cure.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in Filipinos so if you haven’t heard of it, now is the time to educate yourself.

The Philippine Glaucoma Society and Allergan celebrate World Glaucoma Week

The Philippine Glaucoma Society has partnered with Allergan to celebrate World Glaucoma Week, happening this year from March 12 to 16. Along with an awareness campaign, free glaucoma screening activities will be provided in selected hospitals and eye centers in the country.

“No Filipino shall ever go blind from glaucoma” – this is the battlecry of the Philippine Glaucoma Society. Internationally recognized as a leader in providing quality glaucoma care in he Philippines, the group is spearheaded by Dr. Mario V. Aquino, its founding president. Well respected in this field, Dr. Aquino is the head of the Glaucoma Section at St. Luke’s International Eye Institute.

Because glaucoma is irreversible, the best cure is prevention and early detection. The only way to do this is by having your eyes checked regularly.

What if you wear glasses?

There is no single test to diagnose glaucoma. A trained eye specialist will have to consolidate various tests and exams in order to come up with an assessment. So, although a visit to the optical shops in malls may provide you with the necessary tests, without proper interpretation it can still go undetected.

So on your next visit, specifically request to have your eyes checked for glaucoma.

Once diagnosed with glaucoma, regular and life-long follow-up is required. Since the damage is irrepairable, the best that one can hope to accomplish would be to preserve whatever vision is left.

Risk factors

Glaucoma can afflict a person regardless of age, health, or race. However, certain qualities may pose an individual at a higher risk or developing this disease:

  • Having high eye pressure (as measured in a routine eye exam)
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Age over 45
  • Previous eye injury
  • Chronic steroid use
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Asian ancestry (probably most alarming to Filipinos)

Glaucoma is a lifelong and irreversible disease, but it can be prevented through early diagnosis and treatment. Have your eyes checked for glaucoma today!

World Glaucoma Week – Philippines photos

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