ISLAMABAD-Health expert Thursday stressed public awareness for timely medication and surgical treatment to control ‘increasing cases of Glaucoma’ (a silent thief of sight) among children which issue has become a growing cause of concern worldwide including in Pakistan where millions are suffering from it.
A senior Ophthalmologist Dr Shahzad Saeed talking to the PTV news channel shed light on the need to raise awareness about eye care in various age groups and said ‘Prevention is better than cure’.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects a person’s visual field because it damages the eye’s optic nerve. This condition occurs when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye, which increases eye pressure, he mentioned.
There are two types of glaucoma open-angle and close-angle (or narrow-angle) glaucoma, he said, adding, that the first one is more common and it happens gradually.
The second type is more dangerous because it’s sudden and more painful, he added.
Glaucoma can affect a patient’s reading ability in different ways, depending on its severity, he said, adding, the best way to read with glaucoma is with text to speech technology. Eye specialist further advised the parents to ensure timely eye checkups of their kids, adding, if a child complains of headaches and watery eyes, there is a high likelihood that he suffers from poor eyesight.
He said treatment of glaucoma in children needs specialized medical and surgical care, adding, parents of children suffering from childhood Glaucoma have to face psychological and financial stress.
Replying a question, he said that “Glaucoma” is usually symptom-free, until it causes irreparable damage to a person’s vision or even blindness.
“The risk becomes higher with age. If cases have been ignored for 10 to 15 years,” he added.
To another question, he explained that Glaucoma is an increase in pressure inside the eye and is a potentially blinding condition in childhood. Glaucoma has many potential causes.
In children, the most common cause of Glaucoma is congenital malformation of these passages during the formation of the eye in the mother’s womb, he added. He advised that parents should not delay consultations with a pediatric eye specialist, adding, the effects of diabetes on the eyes and advised patients to have their eye checkups by vitreo-retina specialists.
People with glaucoma should not be concerned about the vast majority of activities, and should generally continue to do the things they love. They should make habit to eat vegetables and fruits in their diet plans, he added.