Tuesday, March 9, 2010

farmdoc's blog post number 688

I value my vision. So every couple of years I have a complete eye and vision checkup. The part of the checkup I like least is when the ophthalmologist anaesthetises my corneas with drops, and then places a tonometer on each anaesthetised cornea – to measure eyeball pressure. Though eye tonometry’s a screening test for glaucoma, glaucoma can be present when eyeball pressure’s normal. Glaucoma’s two main types are primary open-angle glaucoma [POAG] and acute angle-closure glaucoma [ACG]. POAG presents gradually with loss of peripheral vision in both eyes, and can go on to tunnel vision. ACG presents with severe eye pain and redness, blurred or halo vision, and nausea and vomiting. ACG’s an emergency condition because permanent visual loss may occur in hours if it’s not treated. An estimated 4% of the world’s population has glaucoma. And about 50% of them don’t know they have it. So it’s no surprise glaucoma’s the second commonest cause of blindness globally. Eye damage from glaucoma’s irreversible. There’s no cure for glaucoma. But medication, and laser and surgical procedures can prevent or slow further damage and vision loss. So early detection’s essential. This is the message of World Glaucoma Week 2010. Running from 7-13 March, it’s an initiative of the World Glaucoma Association and the World Glaucoma Patient Association. So if you’re over 40 years old you should say hello to an eye tonometer – soon. If you’re curious, here’s some more info: [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

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