By Ikenna Asomba
Bothered by the wave of irreversible blindness caused by late detection of glaucoma which usually don’t come with symptoms, Nigerians have been urged to always go for eye screening at least once in six months at accredited Ophthalmology clinics.
An optometrist of the Ophthalmology unit of Me-Cure Healthcare Limited, Dr. Ogwuo Eme-Comfort; the President, Abia State Towns Union Association, ASTUA, Mr. Emmanuel-Anthony Ekwuribe; Secretary of ASTUA, Mr. Kenrry Henry and facilitator, Dr. Olayinka Ogar, gave this advice during a free eye-clinic for Abia indigenes in Lagos.
The free eye-screening was organised by ASTUA in collaboration with the Ophthalmology unit of Me-Cure Healthcare Limited for no fewer than 500 Abians in Lagos and the South-West region.
Eme-Comfort said: “Glaucoma is rampant today in Nigeria. We observed that some of the people screened are glaucoma suspects, while others already have glaucoma. Even some of them have lost one of their eyes to glaucoma. So, we can save the other eye by managing the glaucoma. If you are not seen well, you may be sober all the days of your life. Therefore, I advise Nigerians to go for eye tests at least once a year, because there are eye defects that don’t come with symptoms. Glaucoma most of the times don’t come with symptoms. You can’t say your eyes are itching or you have redness of the eyes, because you have glaucoma. You can only detect the glaucoma disease when you go for a eye test and it can be managed.
‘’Primarily, glaucoma don’t have a cause, but secondarily trauma or the use of certain drugs like steroids for a long time leads to glaucoma. It is also hereditary. If I detect a patient with glaucoma, it means one or two persons in the family can also have it. So, early test for early detection is paramount to avoid irreversible blindness that glaucoma causes.’’
On his part, Ekwuribe said: ‘’Last year, in collaboration with the Ophthalmology unit of Me-Cure Healthcare Limited, we brought reprieve to about 20 indigent indigenes of Abia State, who have been battling with eye-defects such as cataract and glaucoma. They got the opportunity for a free eye surgery. So, this free- eye-clinic is a continuation of our welfare packages for Abians living in Lagos, and within the South-West. This is also our own little way of complementing the efforts of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state, in his delivery of healthcare services to Abians back home and those in diaspora.’’
Adding, he said: ‘’The eye is a very important organ of the human body. So, it’s important Nigerians go for eye test at least once every six months, in order to early detect and arrest any eye defect that may affect them. It’s inevitable for Nigerians to always visit eye-clinics to take care of their eyes.’’