The Institut highlights the importance of eye examinations in the early detection of glaucoma
For another year, the Institut de la Màcula has added its support to World Glaucoma Day. The aim is to raise awareness among the population of the importance of eye examinations to prevent this neurodegenerative disease that, if not treated in time, causes an irreversible deterioration in vision. In fact, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world.
Around one million people in Spain are currently affected by the condition and this number is expected to rise in the coming years. Glaucoma is a chronic disease of the optic nerve that in 70% of cases is due to high intraocular pressure. The remaining 30% is the result of normal pressures in sensitive eyes.
In most cases, glaucoma symptoms are not evident in the initial phases. Lateral vision loss occurs in a slow and progressive manner, which often goes unnoticed by those affected. So much so that half of sufferers are unaware that they have the disease.
It is vital to make progress on the disease. There are certain risk factors that decisively influence its development. The most notable are high eye pressure, a family history of the disease and being older than 60. Therefore, it is recommended that people undergo periodic examinations every two years from the age of 40 as action can begin if any of these signs are identified.
Dr. Marta Pazos, MD, PhD, the Institut’s ophthalmologist and glaucoma specialist, says that "medical supervision and following the appropriate guidelines can keep glaucoma inactive and minimise its effects on the optic nerve". It should be remembered that at present damaged nerve tissue cannot be recovered, but that future deterioration of the nerve can be avoided.