World Glaucoma Week is a joint initiative between the World Glaucoma Association (WGA) and the World Glaucoma Patient Association (WGPA) to increase public awareness of glaucoma and how it affects sight.
Glaucoma is usually associated with an increase in intraocular pressure, causing progressive damage to the optic nerve, which can lead to progressive irreversible vision loss and potential blindness if not detected and treated early.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
There are many forms of glaucoma but open-angle glaucoma is the most common form with virtually no symptoms. Vision loss begins with peripheral or side vision and most individuals tend not to be proactive at this stage till irreparable damage is done.
Some symptoms of glaucoma include: eye pain, nausea, blurred vision, halos around lights, reddening of the eye, gradual loss of peripheral vision, usually in both eyes and tunnel vision (in the advanced stages of open angle glaucoma).
You may be at risk of having glaucoma if you are (either) older than 60 years, on long-term corticosteroid use, of African or Asian descent, have a family history of glaucoma, had previous eye injury or have a medical condition like diabetes, hypertension and hypothyroidism.
The best way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to get tested. If you have glaucoma, treatment can begin immediately to save your sight.