The Institut identifies 20% of patients with glaucoma risk
The Institut de la Màcula conducted an awareness Campaign to draw attention to glaucoma during World Glaucoma Week, which was held on 9-13 March. The main aim of the campaign was to alert the population to the importance of early detection in the fight against the disease.
The Institut opened its doors on 10, 12 and 17 March to perform free early detection tests. In addition, a medical team from the Institut travelled to a number of Ecoceutics Pharmacies to conduct examinations in the Catalan region. Twenty per cent of those who underwent free testing were told they have an increased risk of suffering glaucoma and should make an appointment to see their ophthalmologist. This demonstrates how many people can suffer from the disease without realising because they have not undergone an eye examination.
Dr. Marta Pazos, the ophthalmologist specialising in glaucoma at the Institut de la Màcula, said “conducting awareness campaigns like this one is almost essential”. Moreover, she expressed her satisfaction and felt “very positive about the campaign which has served to alert the population to the importance of early testing”. Dr Pazos also stressed the vital nature of not losing sight of glaucoma “not just on red-letter occasions such as World Glaucoma Week”.
Francesc Vilà, the President of Ecocuetics Pharmacies, agreed with Dr. Pazos’s assessment. He said that the campaign had been warmly received by pharmacy customers, who were able to undergo a free examination at their local establishment.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, the one that carries information to the brain. If left untreated, it causes irreversible deterioration in eyesight and can lead to blindness. Those most likely to suffer glaucoma have high eye pressure i.e. above 21 mmHg, are over 60 years old or have a family history of the disease.
From the age of 40, it is almost essential to undergo complete periodic eye check-ups that include the measurement of eye pressure and assessment of the optic nerve. In the initial stages, glaucoma does not present symptoms and therefore the best method for combating the disease is prevention. If untreated, it causes vision loss that cannot be restored. The forecast for the next 10 years is a 30% increase in the numbers affected.