The wake-up call of ophthalmologists about ‘silent thief of vision’

Glaucoma is the third leading cause of blindness in the world.

“Glaucoma can develop in one or both eyes. Initially, glaucoma has no symptoms, causes no pain, and vision does not change. But as glaucoma progresses without treatment, patients gradually lose visual fields are irreversible”, warns specialist Pedro Faria, coordinator of the Portuguese Glaucoma Group of the Portuguese Society of Ophthalmology (SPO) and an ophthalmologist at the Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra.

Peripheral vision is lost and patients feel that they are beginning to see through a ‘tunnel’. “Over time, this central vision can also decrease, until total blindness in reached”, he warns.

The treatment will “delay or ideallyy prevent the progression of this disease”, he adds, stressinh that “timely dignosis is essencial. but also regular monitoring, measuring intraocular pressure and carrying out tests (OTC and visual fields) to confirm that it remains stable”.

Ophthalmologists call this pathology ‘the silent thief of vision’, due to its asymptomatic chracteristics during most of its course. It is estimated that more than 50% of people who suffer from glaucoma do not know they have this disease, points out the SPO in a statement, regarding the World Glaucoma Week, promoted by the World Glaucoma Association between the 6th and 12th of March.

According to the World Health Organization, glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in developed countries. Anyone, specially oer 40 or with a family history, can develop glaucoma.

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