Disturbed by the increasing rate at which many people present with blindness at the hospital as a result of late knowledge about Glaucoma, the management of the Guiness Eye Centre, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, (LUTH) Idiaraba is organizing a two-day free Glaucoma screening for Nigerians resident in Lagos State.
Between Tuesday, March 14 and Thursday March 16, the Guinness Eye Centre, commemorating the World Glaucoma Week will screen members of the public who walk into the faciity free of charge between 9am and 3pm daily.
In a statement by the Hospital’s Head Corporate Services Division, Kelechi Otuneme, “This programme is part of the Hospital’s Corporate Social Responsibility and is geared towards helping to raise awareness for Glaucoma which is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide”.
Members of the public are therefore urged to take advantage of the free gesture by the hospital to check their eye sight since earl detection of glaucoma is regarded as one of the preventive measures to prevent blindness from the disease.
A public lecture on the disease is also scheduled to hold on Thursday, March 16 by 9am at the Sickle Cell Centre, Opposite LUTH.
Glaucoma is described as a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness.
Glaucoma usually happens when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye. That extra fluid increases the pressure in the eye, damaging the optic nerve in the process.
Types of glaucoma:
There are two major types: Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG)– the most common type of glaucoma. It happens gradually, where the eye does not drain fluid as well as it should (like a clogged drain). As a result, eye pressure builds and starts to damage the optic nerve. This type of glaucoma is known to be painless and causes no vision changes at first. Regular eye exams are important to find early signs of damage to their optic nerve.
A 2009 study carried out by Olusola Olawoye and Sarimiye Tarella at the University College Hospital, Ibadan and reported in the Nigerian Journal of Ophthalmology, showed that “POAG is the commonest type of glaucoma presented in Tertiary Hospitals and a large proportion of the patients had advanced disease at presentation”, the researchers concluded.
Angle-closure glaucoma: (also called “closed-angle glaucoma” or “narrow-angle glaucoma”)
This type happens when someone’s iris is very close to the drainage angle in their eye. The iris can end up blocking the drainage angle. You can think of it like a piece of paper sliding over a sink drain. When the drainage angle gets completely blocked, eye pressure rises very quickly. This is called an acute attack. It is a true eye emergency, and one is expected to see an Ophthalmologist right away for one might go blind suddenly.
Some signs of an acute angle-closure glaucoma attack:
- Sudden blurring of vision
- Severe eye pain
- Feeling of sickness to your stomach (nausea)
- Seeing rainbow-colored rings or halos around lights.
Many people with angle-closure glaucoma are said to develop this slowly because there would be no symptoms at first so they wont know. until the damage becomes severe and an attack sets in.
Angle-closure glaucoma can cause blindness if not treated right away.