Over 700,000 Ghanaians Have Glaucoma―OSG
Out of the 28.83 million people living in Ghana, over 700,000 of them are said to be affected with the Glaucoma―a leading eye defect.
According to the Ophthalmological Society of Ghana (OSG) eight out of 100 Ghanaians between the age of 30 years and above have the diseases and, “almost nine of every 100 Ghanaians aged 40 years and above, have been affected by Glaucoma.”
Speaking at the a Glaucoma screening exercise held at the LEKMA Hospital in Accra, to mark the World Glauoma week, President of the OSG, Dr. Michael Gyasi, said, Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness and more common in older adults.
He indicated that, “Glaucoma accounts for over 19 per cent of all cases of blindness in the country. One in every five blind people in Ghana was as a result of Glaucoma.”
According to the doctor, many forms of glaucoma have no warning signs. The effect he said is so gradual that one may not notice a change in vision until the condition is at an advanced stage.
Because vision loss due to glaucoma cannot be recovered, Dr. Gyasi advised that regular eye exams are conducted for early detection and treatment.
He further called on the media to initiate a national campaign to create awareness of the disease as the world celebrates Glaucoma week.
The World Glaucoma Week runs from March 11 through to March 16, 2019. To commemorate the day, the OMG has organized free Glaucoma screening exercise where over 300 hundred patients have already benefitted.
Causes and symptoms
According to Dr. Gyasi, the risk factors of Glaucoma are elevated intraocular pressure, black race, family history, increasing age, indiscriminate use of steroids, short sightedness and long sightedness.
Just as the risk factors vary so do the signs and symptoms vary depending on the stage and type of the condition.
Some underlying signs of Glaucoma include; Patchy blind spots in your side (peripheral) or central vision, frequently in both eyes, tunnel vision in the advanced stages, severe headache, eye pain, blurred vision, halos around lights and eye redness.
Doctors advise that individuals promptly visit an eye doctor if they experience some of the symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma, such as severe headache, eye pain and blurred vision.
By Grace Ablewor Sogbey