Against glaucoma, early detection
World Glaucoma Week is held on 6-12 March to make people aware of how important it is to detect the disease early. The second cause of the blindness throughout the world, glaucoma is estimated to produce visual impairment in some four million people and this number is expected to 11,200,000 by 2020. Glaucoma progressively damages the optic nerve and is caused mainly by an increase in intraocular pressure. This translates into a loss of peripheral vision, although the patient is unaware of this in the disease’s initial stages. This is why since 2004 World Glaucoma Week has promoted the slogan Beat the Invisible Glaucoma, which has become a recurrent argument around the world.
Information campaigns have been conducted across the globe to mark World Glaucoma Week. They include this one by the association Thai Glaucoma, which advocates the accompanying of the elderly, the need for periodic check-ups and the right treatment to minimise the damage this condition causes:
World Glaucoma Week is a joint initiative of the World Glaucoma Association (WGA) and the World Glaucoma Patients’ Association (WGPA). It aims to eliminate glaucoma blindness through regular check-ups, including those of the optic nerve. Recommended frequency varies with age:
- Under 40 years old, every 2, 3 or 4 years.
- From 40-54, every 1, 2 or 3 years.
- From 55-64, every year.
- Over 65, once or twice a year.
These frequencies vary according to the patient’s characteristics. The specialised glaucoma unit at the Institut de la Màcula gives advice on the tests needed at any time and the possible treatments that should be applied.