Canadian Ophthalmological Society highlights World Glaucoma Week and encourages Canadians to make eye health a priority
Thursday March 3, 2022
Known as the “silent thief of sight”, help spread awareness on the global issue of eye health this #glaucomaweek
TORONTO, March 3, 2022 /CNW/ – World Glaucoma Week, which this year runs March 6-12, is an annual, globally-celebrated event that helps spread awareness on this serious eye disease and the importance of monitoring your eye health. With 111.8 million people predicted to have glaucoma by 2040, this year’s theme “The world is bright, save your sight” encourages Canadians to make eye health a priority. As an advocate for optimal eye care, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society is helping to spread awareness with an “Ask the Expert” series where a glaucoma expert will educate Canadians and answer some of the burning questions they have surrounding glaucoma.
“There aren’t any noticeable symptoms during the early stages of glaucoma, so it’s crucial to have regular eye exams as it’s the most effective way to prevent vision loss,” says Dr. Colin Mann, President of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society. “While there is currently no cure, the medical and surgical treatment of glaucoma is continuing to evolve with new procedures expected to become available to patients that will improve surgical outcomes and safety.”
Ahead of World Glaucoma Week, the “Ask the Expert” series by the Canadian Ophthalmological Society features Dr. Hady Saheb, a glaucoma surgeon whose ophthalmology practice is focused on medical and surgical glaucoma care. After receiving many questions from Canadians about this eye disease, Dr. Saheb will provide his expertise to help bring awareness to this leading cause of blindness, provide tips to those living with glaucoma and educate Canadians about ways we can all lower our risk of vision loss. The series is available online at seethepossibilities.ca.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which transmits the images you see from the eye to the brain and is made up of many nerve fibres. These nerve fibres become damaged which can cause blind spots and vision loss. Since glaucoma has no noticeable symptoms, ongoing monitoring is needed to detect any changes. The Canadian Ophthalmological Society has outlined the different types of glaucoma:
- Open-angle glaucoma: This is the most common form of glaucoma where the aqueous fluid (thin, watery liquid in your eye) is blocked from flowing out of the eye at a normal rate through the tiny drainage system. Most people who develop primary open-angle glaucoma don’t notice any symptoms until they experience changes to their vision.
- Angle-closure glaucoma: This is when the iris (the coloured part of the eye) may completely close off the drainage pathway, abruptly blocking the flow of aqueous fluid and leading to a sudden increase in intraocular pressure (IOP). This condition is considered an emergency because optic nerve damage and vision loss can occur within hours of the problem developing.
- Normal-tension glaucoma: This type happens when the optic nerve is damaged even though the IOP is considered normal. Although there’s not enough understanding of normal-tension glaucoma, lowering IOP has been shown to slow progression of this form of glaucoma.
- Childhood glaucoma: Childhood glaucoma, which starts in infancy, childhood or adolescence, is rare. Like primary open-angle glaucoma, there are few, if any, symptoms in the early stage. Blindness can result if it is left untreated. Like most types of glaucoma, childhood glaucoma may run in families.
To learn more about the risk factors, diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, check out the Ask the Expert series on seethepossibilities.ca.
About Canadian Ophthalmological Society
The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) is the national, recognized authority on eye and vision care in Canada. As eye physicians and surgeons, we are committed to assuring the provision of optimal medical and surgical eye care for all Canadians by promoting excellence in ophthalmology and by providing services to support our members in practice. Our membership includes over 900 ophthalmologists and 200 ophthalmology residents. We work collaboratively with government, other national and international specialty societies, our academic communities (ACUPO), our provincial partners and affiliates and other eye care professionals and patient groups to advocate for health policy in Canada in the area of eye and vision health. The COS is an accredited, award-winning provider of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and is an affiliate of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). For more information, visit cos-sco.ca.
SOURCE Canadian Ophthalmological Society
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