LVPEI's Awareness Week to Beat Invisible Glaucoma

Top Quote LVPEI urges women to take lead in screening themselves and their family. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) March 08, 2014 - L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) plans a series of activities to commemorate Glaucoma Awareness Week, March 9th - 16th, 2014, to bring public focus on the eye disease that affects both adults and children. The focus is on early detection and prevention of glaucoma through family screening and prevention of steroid abuse. The theme this year is 'BIG: BEAT INVISIBLE GLAUCOMA'. "As we celebrate women and with these two momentous events, World Glaucoma Week and International Women's Day coming together, we urge all women to seek regular comprehensive eye examinations. In their capacities as caregivers, women must take the lead to ensure that all those who they care for get tested for glaucoma. We urge women to influence all those who need it, to be compliant with lifelong treatment for glaucoma to prevent blindness," said Dr Sirisha Senthil, Head - VST Centre for Glaucoma Care, LVPEI.

    Screening family members of patients with glaucoma is mandatory, as this disease can affect siblings and children of patients with glaucoma in up to 10-20% of cases. Also, educating the general public on the harmful effects of prolonged steroid use can prevent serious and blinding steroid induced glaucoma that mostly affects children. Glaucoma is seen as the leading cause of irreversible blindness in India. It is a disorder associated with pressure in the eye, and is characterized by damage to the optic nerve leading to irreversible blindness. The disorder is not a single disease, but has multiple causes, with a final common insult, which is injury to the optic nerve.

    Currently, 1.12 crore Indians suffer from glaucoma, with 11 lakh people blind. Though the exact cause of glaucoma in the majority of cases is not precisely known, it can occur in a minority due to a variety of causes ranging from the use of steroid eye drops, secondary to eye injury, or even complications after an eye surgery. Glaucoma more commonly affects people beyond the age of 40 years. High myopes, diabetics and those with a positive family history have higher risk of developing glaucoma.

    What is worrying is that 90 percent of Glaucoma in the community is undetected, mostly because of lack of awareness. Most patients are unaware that:
    a) They could be suffering from glaucoma, because the disease causes very late onset of symptoms, which could be as late as when they begin experiencing loss of vision;
    b) Presenting themselves to eye care providers at a very late stage makes restoration of visual function quite impossible;
    c) Early diagnosis can reduce progression of the disease and prevent blindness; and
    d) All it takes to prevent such a situation is regular eye check-up or screening.
    Staying informed is the first step to tackle glaucoma, hence the need for public awareness campaigns.

    The following are the key events chalked out for the Glaucoma Awareness Week:
    1. March 9: Glaucoma Awareness Walk
    ( @ ) Hyderabad, 7am - 8am: From Prasad Labs to Jubilee Hills Check Post and back
    - To participate, contact Arun - 040 30612632 (glaucoma ( @ ) lvpei dot org)
    2. March 14: Patient Education Forum
    ( @ ) Hyderabad, 4pm - 6pm: Kallam Anji Reddy Campus, Banjara Hills, Road No. 2,
    - To participate contact Arun - 040 30612632 / 09700778199 (glaucoma ( @ ) lvpei dot org)
    ( @ ) Visakhapatnam, 3pm - 5pm: GMR Varalakshmi Campus, Hanumanthawaka Junction
    - To participate, contact K Gopal - 0891 3984555 / 09396712020 (kgopal ( @ ) lvpei dot org)
    @Bhubaneswar, 3.30pm - 5.30pm: Patia, Bhubaneswar, Odisha (on March 13)
    - To participate, contact Ms Sudipta Parida - 09338695059 (aparna ( @ ) lvpei dot org)
    @Vijayawada, 4pm - 6pm: Kode Venkatadri Chowdary Campus, Tadigadapa
    - To participate, contact PV Kiran - 08099552020 / 08099552020 (pvkiran ( @ ) lvpei dot org)
    3. March 16: "Glaucoma: Basic & Master's Course" CME
    @ LVPEI's GMR Varalakshmi Campus, Hanumanthawaka Junction, Visakhapatnam 530040
    The CME will be networked on live video-link with all other centres: Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam
    - contact K Gopal - 0891 3984555 / 09396712020 (kgopal ( @ ) lvpei dot org)
    - Program Coordinator: Dr JJ Praveen (jjpraveen ( @ ) lvpei dot org)

    About L V Prasad Eye Institute
    The L V Prasad Eye Institute provides high quality comprehensive eye care to all people; provides sight enhancement and rehabilitation services at the Institute and through its rural eye health network; offers professional ophthalmic training at all levels; and conducts cutting-edge eye care research. The Institute is a World Health Organization (WHO) Center for the Prevention of Blindness and a Global Resource Center for VISION 2020, a worldwide initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness led by WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. For further information, visit the Institute's website,

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