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Times of India
03 March 2011
Hyderabad, India

On this 'Glaucoma Awareness Week' beginning March 6, eye specialists say that glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness, continues to go undiagnosed because of lack of awareness.

Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, which carries visual information from the eye to the brain. In many cases, damage to the optic nerve is due to increased eye pressure.

"Low vision and blindness can have devastating consequences for individuals as it leads to loss of independence and reduces quality of life," said Dr G Chandra Sekhar, director, L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) here on Wednesday.

Speaking to mediapersons, he said that most patients are unaware that they could be suffering from glaucoma, because of the late onset of symptoms.

Currently, 11.2 million Indians suffer from this eye condition and among them 1.1 million have lost their vision. Experts say that childhood glaucoma is a serious paediatric condition that many parents are not familiar with.

According to the World Health Organisation, 3 lakh children are afflicted with developmental glaucoma worldwide and two-third are already blind.

Doctors say that early diagnosis can reduce progression of the disease and all it takes to prevent such a condition is regular eye check up.

LVPEI has two events lined up as part of the observation of the week which includes an awareness run on March 6 starting from KBR Park. The second event is a `Glaucoma Public Education Forum: Come and learn more about glaucoma' on March 12, at its premises.

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