News

Volume 2 Issue 11 - June 01, 2004

Advances in prevention of blindness for glaucoma

DNIS News Network -- About 50 leading ophthalmologists from India and abroad took part in a symposium on the latest development in detection and treatment of glaucoma in Chandigarh.

About 50 leading ophthalmologists from India and abroad took part in a symposium on the latest development in detection and treatment of glaucoma (Kala Motia) organised by Grewal Eye Institute (GEI) in Chandigarh on May 16.

Dr Neil T Choplin, Clinical Professor, University of Health Sciences, San Diego, USA, shared his views and experiences on glaucoma detection.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the world. Approximately 67 million people worldwide suffer from the disease. Common public perception about glaucoma is that it is heralded by severe pain in the eye but glaucoma is usually painless and symptomless, thus it may be detected late. In late stages the blindness is permanent and the vision, once lost, cannot be regained. However, when glaucoma is treated in its early stages, blindness can be preventable.

In India the physicians are dependent on the age-old methods of detection of glaucoma, which are time-consuming and less accurate. The common tests used to detect glaucoma are intraocular pressure (IOP), disc appearance and standard automated visual field. An eye with IOP greater than 21mm Hg would be identified as glaucomatous. However many patients might have a normal IOP. The standard automated visual field test remains the most widely used functional test for glaucoma but the results are subjective and therefore less accurate.

"Visual field tests detect glaucoma when 30% of the nerve fibres have already been irreversibly damaged. Thus by the time it is diagnosed, there is already permanent loss of vision. The GEI has added GDx-VCC (retinal nerve fibre layer analyser) to the equipment available in the institute," says Dr S.P.S. Grewal, CEO, Grewal Eye Institute.

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