Experts Decry Surge In Sight Loss From Glaucoma


Worried by the sudden rise in the proportion of Glaucoma patients coming down with blindness, a group of experts called: The Vision Loss Expert Group,  a global collaboration of 79 ophthalmologists and optometrists, has lamented the prevalence of visual impairment putting at 62 percent in the last two decades.

According to the article reported by Medical News Today, as published on journal PLOS ONE, the researchers noted that the proportion of those who are blind due to glaucoma rose from 4.4% to 6.6% globally. Around 6.3 million people suffer sight loss from the condition worldwide.

The Lead Author, Professor Rupert Bourne, of Anglia Ruskin University said the rise in proportion of people with blindness or visual impairment was more pronounced in high-income regions. In Western Europe, glaucoma caused 9% of all blindness in 1990 and 10.6% in 2010, while 2.3% of the vision impaired population in 1990 had glaucoma when compared to 3.4% in 2010.

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Findings from the studies carried out in countries all over the world between 1980 and 2012, revealed that the statistics given above are considerably higher than some lower-income regions such as South Asia, where only 4.7% of the blind population suffered from glaucoma in 2010. However, this number has still increased since 1990, when the figure was 2.4%.

Glaucoma is a condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. It is most common in adults in their 70s or 80s. The likelihood of developing glaucoma depends on a variety of factors, including age, family history and ethnicity.

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Professor Bourne said: “Glaucoma is a growing problem in areas with an older population, such as the UK. Our study shows that western nations are seeing a higher percentage of sight loss cases that can be attributed to the condition, and shows the need for more research to be carried out to help prevent it.

“Currently, any sight loss due to glaucoma cannot be reversed but treatment is available to stop the condition getting worse if it is discovered early enough.”

The implication of this finding is for all to take issues of their sight urgently, to prevent further deterioration, which could mean perpetual blindness.


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