With this aim to raise public awareness, RML Hospital in association with Glaucoma Society of India (GSI), All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS) and Delhi Ophthalmological Society (DOS) organized a mass interactive session under the banner name of ‘World Glaucoma Week 2020’ at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Medical sciences auditorium today.
Present on the occasion were Ms. Preeti Sudan, Secretary, Dept of Health and Family Welfare as Chief Guest along with Dr Rajeev Garg, Director General Health Services as Guest of Honor. The AIOS utilized this mega platform to launch their ‘patient portal’ services along with QR code on their website.
Pertaining to the fact that Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, and India stands second only after China in terms of its prevalence, awareness among the masses is the only way to prevent the major cause of visual impairment.
“My target would be to cause zero blindness from glaucoma and that can only happen, with increased awareness, increased screening and risk factor education and increased accessibility to correct treatment at the right time. As glaucoma is silent and chronic in nature, finding our glaucoma patients is not easy. Herein lies the effort and commitment that we all need to make and programs like today encourage us to focus in this direction: screening all patients for glaucoma, identifying risk factors and first degree relatives who have a 10 times greater chance of developing glaucoma, investigating them accurately and conclusively, instituting the correct treatment and following them to not only to monitor progress and side effects but also to ensure compliance.” Said Dr Mahipal Singh Sachdev, President AIOS.
While blindness is the third most feared ailments after heart diseases and cancer, it is sad to know that glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness.
“While glaucoma remains asymptomatic until 70-80% of vision is lost, people need to be made aware about early diagnostics in prevention of permanent blindness caused by Glaucoma. It should be noted that everybody should undergo annual eye examination after the age of 40 years.” Said Dr Namrata Sharma, Secretary, AIOS
In India alone, over 1.2 crore people are affected by glaucoma with over 12 lakh of them losing their vision while 90% of them still remain undiagnosed.
The irreversible nature and the very real possibility of blindness needs to be emphasized to every patient to understand the seriousness of the disease. Developing a glaucoma registry data will also be highly beneficial in forming better healthcare policies” added Dr Manavdeep Singh, Organizing Secretary, GSI