Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Glaucoma is curable if you adhere to prescribed drugs




A Consultant Ophthalmologist, Prof Afekaide Omoti, on  Monday in Benin advised patients suffering from glaucoma to adhere to drugs prescribed for them to prevent total blindness.
Omoti, who is the Head, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, gave the advice while speaking with newsmen.
He said that it had been observed that most patients who suffer from glaucoma usually abandoned their drug prescriptions and opt for self-medication.
Omoti said the only treatment that was available was to modify the most important risk factor of the disease which ``is an Elevated Intraocular Pressure, to a lower pressure so that further damage will not occur to the eyes.
``When patients on drug prescription seem not to observe any improvement, they get frustrated and abandon the drugs and resort to self-medication.
``But by the time they realise it, further damaged may have occurred and they become totally blind.
``Patients must realise that when they have glaucoma, no matter the treatment they receive, whether surgery, laser or medical therapy, they won’t see well.
``What these treatments do is to prevent further damage to the eyes as the treatment is a control and not a cure. There is no cure for the disease for now.
Omoti added that ``unfortunately, preventive and curative drugs have yet to be discovered for the disease''.
The ophthalmologist said that glaucoma ``is a condition wherein the optic nerves in the eyes are damaged by various factors’’.
According to him the disease is most commonly caused by an elevated intraocular pressure, but frequently combines with other factors which have yet to be known.
``Glaucoma is a sniff theft of sight and a sufferer does not know he is going blind because his vision is destroyed from the periphery.
``And by the time he observes for the first time that his vision has gone down, he is almost gone blind.
``Glaucoma can be detected early through routine eye check,'' Omoti said.
He, however, said that a lot of research was ongoing to determine the cause and possible cure for glaucoma.

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