Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 6, 2008

Glaucoma – the sneak thief of your sight

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:39 am

Star: PETALING JAYA: It is called the “sneak thief of sight.”
A person could go irreparably blind if glaucoma, which has no symptoms and is painless, is not detected in time.
It accounts for 60% of adult blindness in South-East Asia, said Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital consultant ophthalmologist Dr Linda Teoh.
“Early detection is crucial,” Dr Teoh said yesterday when the hospital offered free public screening for 100 people.
However, the screening was postponed to Saturday due to a power blackout.
Dr Teoh said that regular screening was especially essential for diabetics and those above 40 years of age.
“Glaucoma gives no early warning signs. By the time you realise you are losing your eyesight, the vision you have already lost is gone forever.”
A dilated eye exam, she said was the best way to test for glaucoma. During such an examination, drops are put in each eye to dilate the pupil so that a doctor has a better view of the optic nerve.
“If the doctor detects early signs of glaucoma, the disease can be controlled, and the remaining vision protected,” said Dr Teoh.
Another consultant at the hospital, Dr George Thomas said glaucoma usually occurred when normal fluid pressure inside the eye steadily increased.
“This can lead to optic nerve damage and reduced peripheral (side) vision. As the disease worsens, the field of vision gradually narrows, and will eventually cause blindness.”

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