Understanding Glaucoma: Causes, Symptoms, and Risk Factors

Compliance with medication and regular follow-ups with specialists is essential to ensure treatment success and preserve vision.

In the world of eye health, there exists a silent threat that can stealthily rob individuals of their sight: Glaucoma. Characterised by a gradual loss of peripheral vision, glaucoma poses a significant risk to millions worldwide, yet awareness of this condition remains alarmingly low.

As we strive to shed light on this often-overlooked disease, Sightsavers India and AbbVie Therapeutics India Pvt Limited have joined forces to launch a campaign to raise awareness and promote the early detection of glaucoma.

The Stealthy Progression of Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a slowly progressing eye disease that can irreversibly compromise one’s ability to perceive their surroundings. Unlike other eye conditions that may affect central vision, glaucoma primarily targets peripheral vision, making it particularly insidious.

The Challenge of Early Detection: One of the most significant challenges in combating glaucoma is its asymptomatic nature in the early stages. Conventional vision tests may yield expected results, leading individuals to believe they are unaffected. However, between 50-90% of glaucoma cases remain undiagnosed until significant vision loss has already occurred.

Risk Factors and Familial Predisposition: While age is a significant risk factor for glaucoma, anyone, regardless of age, can develop this condition. Family history also plays a crucial role, with individuals having a familial predisposition being at significantly higher risk. In fact, more than 50% of newly diagnosed cases have a family history of glaucoma.

The Importance of Regular Screening: Early diagnosis is paramount in preventing vision loss from glaucoma. Screening tests, which involve measuring intraocular pressure and assessing the optic nerve, are non-invasive and safe for all individuals. Regular screening ensures timely intervention and optimal management of the condition.

Treatment and Management: While there is no cure for glaucoma, treatments such as eye drops or surgery can effectively manage the condition and prevent further progression. Compliance with medication and regular follow-ups with specialists is essential to ensure treatment success and preserve vision.

Empowering Individuals Through Knowledge: By educating individuals about the signs, symptoms, and risk factors associated with glaucoma, we empower them to take proactive steps towards protecting their eye health. Awareness campaigns, such as the one spearheaded by Sightsavers India and AbbVie Therapeutics India Pvt Limited, play a pivotal role in this endeavour.

As we embark on this journey to create a world where preventable blindness is a thing of the past, let us unite to raise awareness, promote early detection, and ensure access to quality eye care for all. Together, we can turn the tide against glaucoma and safeguard the precious gift of sight for future generations.


Author: Dr Sandeep Buttan, Consultant and Medical Advisor, Eye Health, Sightsavers India