See the ben­e­fits of reg­u­lar eye tests

Vuk'uzenzele - - Health -

prEVEn­tA­tiVE EyE CArE

Glau­coma is a group of dis­eases that re­sult in dam­age to the eye’s op­tic nerve. Glau­coma is gen­er­ally re­lated to a high eye pres­sure. Dam­age to the op­tic nerve ini­tially re­sults a de­creased vi­sion and may even­tu­ally lead to blind­ness.

“Vi­sion lost as a re­sult of glau­coma usu­ally can­not be re­cov­ered. Early di­ag­no­sis and care­ful life­long treat­ment can help pre­vent fur­ther vis­ual dam­age. If you have been di­ag­nosed with glau­coma, en­sure you use your med­i­ca­tions cor­rectly. See your eye sur­geon in or­der to mon­i­tor the dis­ease,“said MEC Ramok­gopa.

The de­part­ment ob­serves

“In its early stages, glau­coma usu­ally has no symp­toms, which is what makes it so dan­ger­ous. By the time you no­tice prob­lems with your sight, the dis­ease has pro­gressed to the point that ir­re­versible vi­sion loss has al­ready oc­curred and ad­di­tional loss may be dif­fi­cult to stop,” said MEC Ramok­gopa.

Glau­coma facts

Glau­coma oc­curs in peo­ple of all ages, from chil­dren to older adults. It is more likely to de­velop in peo­ple who are over 35 years old, very near-sighted, di­a­betic, with en­larged cataracts and or eye dis­ease.

It may also be in­her­ited, as rel­a­tives of glau­coma pa­tients are more likely to de­velop glau­coma them­selves.

Ac­cord­ing to the Health De­part­ment, el­e­vated in­traoc­u­lar pres­sure is con­sid­ered the most im­por­tant risk fac­tor. How­ever, glau­coma may oc­cur even with nor­mal read­ings.

A dis­turbed vas­cu­lar reg­u­la­tion of the ves­sels sup­ply­ing blood to the op­tic nerve head in the eye can re­sult in glau­coma.

Peo­ple with low blood pres­sure or gen­eral cir­cu­la­tory dis­tur­bances are par­tic­u­larly at risk. A his­tory of glau­coma in the fam­ily re­quires reg­u­lar ex­am­i­na­tions at all ages, not just from the age of 40 on­wards.

The Gaut­eng Health De­part­ment said in the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year it per­formed 678 glau­coma surg­eries. “Have your eyes tested every se­cond year. Early de­tec­tion, cor­rect med­i­ca­tion and proper man­age­ment will pre­vent blind­ness due to glau­coma,” ad­vised MEC Ramok­gopa.

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