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Dr. Ukandu Rightway: Early Detection of Glaucoma Can Help You Avoid Blindness

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In recent months, I have seen a lot of glaucoma cases very early on, thanks to great techniques used by eye specialists to find these conditions. The number of people with disability from avoidable blindness is staggering. Apart from glaucoma, there are so many other eye conditions that lead to blindness that can be treated and managed well with good prognosis, if detected on time. Trachoma, cataract, glaucoma and refractive error are just a few causes of avoidable blindness.

Glaucoma has no cure but it can be managed and any damage can be halted completely if diagnosed early and management initiated immediately. There are many effective types of nonsurgical and noninvasive management plans for glaucoma but if ever needed, conventional surgery is the last option where other plans have failed.

Good news is that glaucoma can be stopped – it can be managed and blindness avoidable.If you have a positive family history of glaucoma or in some cases a history of blindness in the family (extended family inclusive) that is from an unknown cause, then it is very essential you and your family members screen for glaucoma. 

Also as important, make sure you screen for glaucoma when there is history of trauma to the eye(s), that is, in the event of an accident or incident where there is a blunt trauma to an eye or both eyes.

Long term use of corticosteroids also puts one at risk of having glaucoma. Persons that have either hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and High Myopia (Shortsightedness)  are equally at risk of getting glaucoma.  

Finally, I must tell you that eye health should be of utmost importance. Visual impairment is costing the world economically over 400,000,000,000 dollars annually. And this is no joke  because at the moment approximately 2.2 billion people have visual impairment all over the world and that number is on the increase annually. We must be aware and not lose sight.

Sadly, over a billion people with visual impairments have either no access to eye care or their cases have simply not been addressed. What makes it worse is also the increase in mobile device use – which, in turn, creates digital eye strain and myopia.  

A lot of Glaucoma cases are found at almost the end stage when a lot of the vision is gone, but you can avert that by:

  • Going for annual eye checks
  • Good balanced diets
  • Drinking enough water  
  • Exercising are great ways 

These will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and good eye health.

Glaucoma management can be cost effective especially when diagnosed early. Adherence to medical advice and judicious use of medication when required is very essential when seeking to achieve good prognosis. See your optometrist, don’t let glaucoma win.




Dr. Ukandu Rightway is an Optometrist, Public health enthusiast and Clinic Manager of Visionplus Specialist Eye Clinic Ikeja. He obtained his first degree, Doctor of Optometry, from Imo State University, Nigeria and currently running a Masters Degree in public health at the College of Medicine, Department of Community health, University of Lagos. He is passionate about community based interventions in Public health, healthcare in Nigeria and Africa. He is committed to improving community health and development outcomes in Nigeria. He publishes eye health and disease treatment/prevention/management content on a clinic blog.