2.2pc Bangladeshis suffering from glaucomaStaff Correspondent
Between 1.8 to 2.2 per cent Bangladeshis is suffering from glaucoma, the silent killer of sight, ophthalmologists said on Saturday.
They described glaucoma as the second major cause of blindness in the country as well as of the world.
Glaucoma is considered to be the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness, they said speaking at the 3rd Annual National Conference of Bangladesh Glaucoma Society at a city hotel.
Ophthalmologists said only awareness and regular check up could prevent glaucoma.
Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve, said the experts.
Mustafizur Rahman, founder president of the society said over 95 per cent of glaucoma patients is unaware that they were suffering from the disease.
‘It is a great challenge for us to screen out those patients,’ he said.
The president of the society Syed Maruf Ali said though the statistics shows that 2.2 per cent of people were suffering form the disease in the country, the number of glaucoma suspect people and those at risk of it is several times higher.
Experts said physician alone could identify at the early stage that an individual is at risk of glaucoma, when treatment can minimise the damage.
Glaucoma has no treatment, they said.
According to the World Health Organisation about 4 crore people in the world were blind while 24 crore people were suffering from low sight.
Experts said proper treatment at the early stage could minimise the damage of 80 per cent of the patients.
WHO said about 70 lakh people in the world is blind due to glaucoma.
The National Institute of Ophthalmology has all the modern equipment necessary to provide eye care to the people, said its director Deen Mohammad Noorul Huq.
He also said the institute would conduct a national survey with WHO this year to find out the real picture of eye patients in the country.
Eye specialists advised people over 35 to go for regular check up of their eyes for detection of glaucoma at the early stage.
Individuals coming from families with history of glaucoma or those suffering diabetes should go for regular check up of their eyes, they said.
Syed Modasser Ali, health adviser to the prime minister unveiled the website and the journal of the society.
Among others Khandoker Ziaul Islam Mohammad Ali, secretary general of Ophthalmological Society of Bangladesh was present.
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