Early detection of Glaucoma can prevent future damage to the eye

Department of Health 16/03/2020 - 07:53

​Mampe Marapyane

In a quest to prevent blindness, more than 600 glaucoma surgeries were performed in Gauteng in this financial year.


A total of 688 glaucoma surgeries, 601 on adults and 87 on children were done.

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that result in damage to the eye’s optic nerve. It is generally related to a high eye pressure. Damage to the optic nerve initially results in a decreased vision and may eventually lead to blindness.


In commemoration of World Glaucoma Week which runs from 8-14 March annually, health promoters from different health districts in the province have embarked on educational campaigns and screening of Glaucoma to encourage the community to get regular eye tests and eye care which helps with early detection before it damages the optic nerve beyond repair.

According to the Manager responsible for Eye Health in the Department, Virginia Mawela, Glaucoma is caused by Intraocular pressure (IOP) which is essentially pressure on the eyes which damages the optic nerve. Within just a few years this disease can cause blindness.


“The best way to prevent Glaucoma is to get your eyes tested regularly. You can prevent vision loss if your Glaucoma is detected early enough. As soon as you see a change in your vision, book yourself an eye test. Your optician will be able to detect any early issues and help you treat them before they get worse”, Mawela emphasised.

Glaucoma occurs in people of all ages, from children to older adults. It is more likely to develop in people who are over 35 years, very near-sighted, diabetic, an enlarged cataract and or eye disease. It may be inherited, as relatives of glaucoma patients are more likely to develop glaucoma themselves.


“Vision lost as a result of glaucoma cannot be recovered, Early diagnosis and careful, lifelong treatment can help prevent further visual damage.A lot of people don’t experience any symptoms early on, which is why having your eyes checked regularly at least every two years is so vital. Signs of developing Glaucoma include: Blurred vision, Painful eyes, Headaches, Pain in your abdomen, Vomiting and/or nausea, Halos around lights”, concluded Mawela.


Tags: Healthcare Gauteng Department of Health


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