Glaucoma: what is the “silent thief of sight”, symptoms, treatments. Free visits until March 16th

Glaucoma: what is the “silent thief of sight”, symptoms, treatments.  Free visits until March 16th


OfMaria Giovanna Faiella

One million sufferers in Italy, but one in two compatriots does not know they are suffering from it. Because early diagnosis is essential. The prevention campaign promoted by Iapb Italia

It is defined as «silent thief of sight“: The glaucomaIndeed, it gives no symptomsas the disease progresses, irreparably damaging the optic nerve and the visual field, leading to blindness.
According to data from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness – IAPB Italia onlus, around the world there are around people affected by glaucoma 76 millionin Italy approximately a millionbut one in two doesn’t know it. Find out in timehowever, it means in many cases treat it and save your sight. Hence the awareness and information campaign promoted from IAPB Italia onlus on the occasion of world glaucoma week: thanks to the collaboration of the ophthalmologists and the territorial structures of theItalian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired, until Saturday 16 March it is possible to do free checks or in-depth visits and receive information brochures in the squares of the provincial capitals.

What is glaucoma and how is it recognised

Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease and, if not discovered and treated, causes permanent damage to vision; it is the second leading cause of irreversible blindness. It is often associated with a increased eye pressure.
It gives no symptoms, unless in an advanced stage, when the damage is no longer recoverable. The progression of the disease is so slow that the patient does not notice anything, until the harm it’s already underway advanced; in these cases, the vision is blurred and shadows can be seen on the sidesas if he were wearing blinders.
If glaucoma comes discovery when symptoms have not yet manifested themselves and is treated,vision loss can be avoided.

Eye examination, tests, therapies

Hence the importance of carrying out periodic eye examinations even if you seem to see well, anticipating it in case of specific disorders.
The ophthalmologist carries out the examination of the ocular fundus and the measurement of the eye pressure; in suspected cases, she performs a visual field examination and other useful tests, such as corneal pachymetry, gonioscopy, optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Glaucoma It can be cured if diagnosed earlybefore symptoms appear. The ophthalmologist can use laser therapy or drops that must be applied every day. The therapies, however, are only useful for slow the progression of the disease; at the moment there are no remedies to recover what has been lost.

Long waiting lists, what to do

The problem is that often we wait too long pto carry out the eye examination in a public facility or one affiliated with the National Health Service. «The public offer uses old models of ocular health, incapable of ensuring access to an eye examination for those who risk losing all or part of their sight – underlines the president of IAPB Italia, Mario Barbuto -. There is not yet a selection at territorial level to act as filter to ensure those who need have priority access to treatment, quickly reach specialized centres, that is, hospitals. In this way, hospital facilities could be freed from the pressure of deferrable visits and the sight of those most at risk of low vision and blindness could be protected. This is why it is important that the National Health Service reorganizes itself to guarantee effective access to public ophthalmic services in the area.”

Free checks until March 16th

During World Glaucoma Week, until March 16, it is possible to have free eye exams and receive information. «As Iapb Italia, together with the Blind and Visually Impaired Union – Barbuto reports – we organize conferences, talks with specialists, distribution of information brochures, but above all many check-ups and assessments thanks to the invaluable collaboration of ophthalmologists, our partners in this war on blindness.” On the Iapb Italia website it is available, Region by Region, the list by clicking on see initiatives.

March 13, 2024 (changed March 13, 2024 | 1:00 pm)

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