. . . Me Cure offers free screening
Worried about the increasing cases of glaucoma in the country, Nigerians have been advised to undergo regular eye screening for early detection of the eye disease, especially those with family history of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.
Experts say early detection through regular and complete eye examination was key to protecting vision from damage caused by glaucoma.
Glaucoma, according to experts, is an eye disease that affects the optic nerve, gradually damaging the fibres of the nerves in an irreversible manner till blindness occur if no intervention is undertaken.
Glaucoma is said to be the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world; affecting over 45 million people.
As part of efforts to reducing cases of blindness caused by glaucoma in Nigeria, Me Cure Eye Centre, in commemoration of the 2018 World Glaucoma Week, is offering free glaucoma screening to over 200 Nigerians.
The 2018 theme of the weeklong event is “Green = Get Your Eyes tested for Glaucoma: Save Your Sight”, aimed at beating invisible glaucoma.
World Glaucoma Week is an annual weeklong event marked between March 11 to 18. It is marked across the globe by the World Glaucoma Association and the World Glaucoma Patient Association.
Speaking on the aim of the free glaucoma sreening exercise in Lagos on Tuesday, a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Chief Operating Officer, Me Cure Eye Centre, Lagos, Dr. Adegboyega Alabi, said the free screening was part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of his organisation, with the over all objective of reducing the rate of blindness caused by glaucoma in the country.
According to Adegboyega, glaucoma has no cure and many people have no idea they had it.
“It is only when they undergo free eye screening exercises like this that they often discover they have glaucoma. That is why the message now is get your eyes tested for glaucoma: save your sight”, he said.
Identifying early detection as key in preventing glaucoma, the ophthalmologist, stressed that glaucoma was the cause of avoidable blindness.
“Glaucoma is referred to as “the silent thief of sight”. This is because it slowly damages the eye and causes irreversible loss of vision to the sufferer.So, glaucoma can be avoided if the disease is picked up early”, he added.
The eye specialist, said to beat invisible glaucoma in the country, Nigerians should walk into any eye care standard facility and have their eyes evaluated or checked for glaucoma.
Lamenting the socio-economic impact of glaucoma,the ophthalmologist, revealed that over 45 million people are suffering from glaucoma all over the world,stressing that the eye disease was on the increase in Nigeria despite the lack of available data on the number of Nigerians affected.
He described glaucoma as a burden on the immediate family and community of those suffering from the eye condition, as they now depend on others for survival,besides the huge cost of managing the disease for life.
Adegboyega identified advancing age, family history of glaucoma, being black, high pressure in the eye, migraine, high blood pressure as risk factors for developing glaucoma.
Listing various ways individuals, communities and governmnent could beat invisible glaucoma, Adegboyega said: “For individuals, they should present themselves for screening and check if they have it or not. Know your glaucoma status as we have in HIV, that is the message.”
While calling for community participation and enlightenment in the fight against glaucoma, Adegboyega, urged the government to increase funding for the health sector and also subsidise cost of treatment for glaucoma patients.
Also speaking, an Optometrist and Outreach Coordinator of Me Cure Diagnostics, Dr. Martin Nwabuzor, enjoined Nigerians to embrace the free glaucoma sreening excercise to prevent irreversible blindness from glaucoma.
He noted that the free glaucoma screening exercise would run for three days to enable more people have their eyes screened.