Monthly Archives: March 2010
Glaucoma is the second main cause of global blindness, after cataract. It is a condition that slowly affects the optic nerve at the back of the eye, and is often associated with high pressure in the eye. Untreated, the high pressure destroys vision causing tunnel vision, and perhaps eventual blindness. People here in Africa tend to be affected by a more aggressive form of the potentially blinding condition than say for example in USA or Europe. Sadly though, because it is so slow to progress, people often become blind before they seek help here. At Nkhoma last year I looked at all the glaucoma operations we did, and two-thirds of patients who we operated on were already blind in the other eye. We are trying to start a screening program to detect glaucoma in the early stages, when we can treat it and stop the loss of vision.