A Benin-based Optometrist, Dr Felix Adeyemi, has urged adults to embrace regular eye screening to prevent glaucoma.
Adeyemi gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin on Monday.
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision. This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in your eye.
As this nerve gradually deteriorates, blind spots develop in one’s visual field.
According to Adeyemi, glaucoma can occur at any age, but is more common in older adult (60), adding that many forms of glaucoma have no warning signs.
He said, “Elevated eye pressure is due to a build-up of a fluid (aqueous humor) that flows throughout the inside of your eye.
“This internal fluid normally drains out through a tissue called the trabecular meshwork at the angle where the iris and cornea meet.
“When fluid is overproduced or the drainage system does not work properly, the fluid cannot flow out at its normal rate, and eye pressure increases.
“Glaucoma tends to run in families. In some people, scientists have identified genes related to high eye pressure and optic nerve damage.
“The effect is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the condition is at an advanced stage.
“Because vision loss due to glaucoma cannot be recovered. It is important to have regular eye examination that includes measurements of your eye pressure.
“So, a diagnosis can be made in its early stages and treated appropriately. If glaucoma is recognised early, vision loss can be slowed or prevented.
“If you have the condition, you would need treatment for the rest of your life.”
The optometrist further said that the signs and symptoms of glaucoma vary depending on the type and stage of your condition.
However, Adeyemi said that glaucoma could result in blindness eventually if left untreated.
He stated that about 15 per cent of people with glaucoma could become blind in at least one eye within 20 years.