World Glaucoma Week: Escaping the Darkness of Glaucoma

"Is it a bird? Is it a plane?!"
"No, it's glaucoma".

A bright future is meaningless to a country that is slowly being swallowed by a silent darkness. This irreversible darkness is plaguing many Filipinos today as glaucoma becomes more and more prevalent in the country.

Glaucoma is a silent thief. It is an eye disease that damages the eye's optic nerve, slowly resulting in loss of vision. People say you’ll know when you have it, but that’s not true. Sometimes there are no symptoms. For every person diagnosed with Glaucoma, there is another person having Glaucoma unknowingly!

Glaucoma, a blindness that is a permanent paralysis, is taken much too lightly. It is the country’s leading cause of bilateral irreversible blindness, according to the Philippine National Survey of blindness.According to the World Health Organization, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Glaucoma is not curable considering the damage to the optic nerve caused by glaucoma is already permanent.

Oh and did you know that next week is World Glaucoma Week? And they're giving free Glaucoma screening this March 12-16, 2012 for those are needed to be screened?

Well, I wouldn't know that either if I were not invited to attend the World Glaucoma Week Press Conference last Wednesday at Makati Shangrila Hotel.

The event was hosted by Christine Jacobs-Sandejas.

Next Monday kicks off World Glaucoma Week that will start from March 11-17, 2012. This year the theme is "Don't let glaucoma darken your life."

Presentors and panelists: Dr. Rainier Covar, Dr. Jose Ma. Martinez, Dr. Ma. Imelda Yap-Veloso, Dr. Mario V. Aquino, Dr. Norman Aquino, Dr. Hannah Pia De Guzman, Dr. Ma. Zita Meriales, and Dr. Manolito Reyes

Having an eye examination is not just about reading the letter chart, it is about also checking the health of your eyes and knowing your eye or intraocular pressure. Another concern is the fact that older Filipinos do not consider glaucoma as a personal health issue, even though their age alone puts them at higher risk.

Moreover, many Filipinos do not visit their eye doctors often enough, and may not always get their eye pressure measured. This test employs a tonometer, which either rests against your eye’s (numbed) surface or sends a puff of air onto the cornea.I strongly believe that prevention is much better than a cure. Early detection prevents blindness. In the case of glaucoma, contracting the hereditary form of the disease may not be preventable but early diagnosis and treatment can certainly help prevent blindness.

The Philippine Glaucoma Society believes that Filipinos must be educated about the potential outcomes of poor adherence and motivated to proactively address their individual challenges.The public should remember that glaucoma rarely has warning signs, up to 40 percent of one’s vision can disappear without realizing it. This vision loss, while avoidable through early diagnosis, is irreversible once it presents itself.At the moment there is no cure for glaucoma. However, blindness caused by glaucoma can also be prevented, provided it is detected at an early stage as there are treatments such as medicine or surgery that can slow the progression of vision loss.T

The only way glaucoma can be detected is by regular comprehensive eye exams, which should begin after reaching the age of 40.To help address this critical situation, the Philippine Glaucoma Society in partnership with multi-specialty health care company, Allergan, has organized glaucoma awareness activities during World Glaucoma Week Glaucoma to be held on March 12 to 16, 2012. Numerous glaucoma forums for lay people as well as glaucoma screening activities will be held in selected hospitals and eye centers countrywide to examine the misperceptions and behaviors that often stand in the way of optimal diagnosis and care.

Glaucoma awareness is imperative.

Despite the increasing worldwide prevalence of glaucoma, both the Philippine Glaucoma Society and Allergan believe that increasing glaucoma awareness will lead to early diagnosis and treatment and eventually a better chance of preventing blindness from the disease. All these to achieve the Philippine Glaucoma Society’s vision: That no Filipino shall ever go blind from glaucoma.

Glaucoma can be prevented by having regular eye check-ups. Immediately consult your eye doctor/ophthalmologist if you have blurry vision or if you have eye pain. Please share this post to create more AWARENESS about Glaucoma.

So if you haven't had your eyes checked or if you have not been in for a while, or know someone that hasn't either, please consult an eye doctor or get the free screening. What's half an hour of your time worth to make sure your vision is safe?

And how will you ever see the beauty of all things if in the next few years, you're already blind?

If I put off the simple act of having my eyes checked, will I be able to see and take a picture of this mouth watering dessert ever again? I don't think so.
This dessert at the event is just too lovely to look at.  I'm so glad I have the gift of sight. Best gift ever.
Don't lose it.
So let's get our eyes checked, shall we? Help to promote WGW 2012! Be part of it.

There is hope. There can be a bright future. If we do it right, we can escape the darkness. Don't let Glaucoma darken your life.

Want to find out more about World Glaucoma Week? Visit Philippine Glaucoma Society.


Any comments, my dear?