OPHTHALMOLOGISTS are urging the public to seek early detection and treatment of a rear-yet considered devastating glaucoma that has no symptoms, but results in loss of vision to a person.
Regardless of ages, glaucoma or commonly known as eye pressure is painless and not felt until the end stage, when optic nerves are damaged and hence, become irreparable.
Dr Abdulkadir Koleleni, an osteopathic doctor at the Benjamin Mkapa Hospital told the reporter during the ongoing Nanenane exhibitions at the Nzuguni grounds in Dodoma that awareness of glaucoma can help save sight among hundreds.
He said the eye condition can be inherited or occur to people with critical health illness. “This is increasingly being detected among groups of patients seeking medical help… we can only increase the prevention of this condition with early detection,” he noted.
He further said that while the number of older people and those with myopia are increasingly being at greater risk, youth and children are also not exempted.
Studies have also detailed that if a parent has glaucoma, the risk of his/her offspring developing the disease is five times and if a sibling has the risk, it increases nine-fold. “Treatment of glaucoma is a bit challenging, however even corrected, it cannot fully restore vision,” he added.
Glaucoma is reported to be severe among people aged over 65 years and above, where experts further suggest that if detected early before the optic nerves are damaged, it can be cured.
The optic nerve, described as the cable connecting the eye to the brain becomes damaged by the high pressure gradually over time, and peripheral vision is typically impacted first.
The Benjamin Mkapa Hospital announced that it was conducting a free screening at the famous Farmers Day in Dodoma, where people, who would be detected to have the disease, would obtain a subsidized price of 10,000/- for treatment.
In another development, the eye doctor said aged people and those with trauma or diabetes are increasingly becoming at risk of contracting cataracts-cloudiness of sight.
Dr Koleleni said the eye condition, similar to glaucoma can develop so slowly in some people and they would never realise they have the problem.
A cataract starts as a small portion of the eye’s lens by becoming cloudy and over the time it gradually affects the vision.