Many Nigerians who are above 40 years have been advised to always go for a regular eye screening test as they are at a higher risk of contracting glaucoma.
This advice was given by the Chairman of Nigeria Optometric Association, Cross River chapter, Dr Onyebuchi Ndukwe while speaking to journalists in Calabar, the state capital, to mark World Glaucoma Week .
According to Dr. Ndukwe, “If you are below 40 years, you must check your eyes, at least, once in two years. Those above 40, the eyes should be checked at least once a year.
“Meanwhile, those above 50 years should check their eyes twice in a year, this is the only way you can be sure that you have contracted glaucoma or not.”
He also disclosed that over two million Nigerians are suffering from eye diseases.
He said out of that number, 1.8 million do not know that they have glaucoma, an eye disorder that causes impairment.
“It is estimated that two million Nigerians have glaucoma but the funny thing is that out of this number, about 1.8 million don’t even know that they have glaucoma.
“Globally, it is estimated that about 78 million people have glaucoma and this number is expected to rise to 101 million by 2030,” he said.
He disclosed that many Nigerians were losing their sight to glaucoma irreversibly due to ignorance, advising that whenever one notices any changes in his vision like blurriness or begins to bump into objects while trying to move around, there is a need for a check-up.
The expert said glaucoma is otherwise called the silent thief of sight because it basically has no symptoms for people to see.
He lamented that there has not been good enlightenment about glaucoma and the importance of regular eye checkups.
“We have not done well in awareness creation and that is one of the essences of the WGW.
“We have talked a lot about the Human Immune Virus (HIV), COVID-19 and malaria, we need to start letting people know about glaucoma,” he said.