A patient of age 48 from Bihar, India visited Sagarmatha Chaudhary Eye Hospital (also known as Lahan Eye Hospital), Siraha District, Nepal in 2010. The patient was diagnosed with Glaucoma. The eye doctors of Lahan Eye Hospital initiated treatment eye drops for the patient named Suman Devi Thakur. Suman was asked to visit for follow up after 3 months.
This is a Glaucoma story of a patient from India. Suman did not visit the eye hospital as called for a check-up. Due to the negligence, Suman lost sight of her left eye. Suman regrets not going for a regular check-up at the hospital. The 7 years of gap in check-up led to the visual dimension. Suman went for a check as the sight began to decrease day by day and found the optic nerve was damaged. The Optic nerve was dead or Glaucomatous optic atrophy took the vision away.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve most often caused by pressure rise inside the eyeball leading to irreversible blindness. “Glaucoma is a silent thief,” said Dr Lila Raj Puri. He also added that other members of the family too could get glaucoma as it is a hereditary eye disease. The other causes of glaucoma are trauma/Injury to the eyeball and other systemic diseases that leads to glaucoma. The primary treatment of glaucoma is using medication that helps to reduce eye pressure that needs to be between (10-21) mm of Hg. Other remedies include a laser that makes a false passage for the eye fluid to drain while surgery is the last remedy that also does the same thing i.e makes a passage for Aqueous Humour fluid to easily pass out of the eye. The vision loss in glaucoma is irreversible, unlike cataract which is cured after the surgical method. The vision loss in glaucoma happens from the periphery thus a person has a tubular vision.
WHO reports on blindness 2010 says, Glaucoma counts for 8% being the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Blindness prevalence in Nepal was 0.84% in 1981 which dropped to 0.35%, showed the RAAB reports of 2010. Of the total blindness, 5.9% is caused by glaucoma in Nepal which is also a second leading cause of blindness after cataract i.e 62.2%.
Like Suman, there are plenty of patients in Nepal as well as other remote parts of the world, where patients do not have access to an eye care facility. Women are highly affected by diseases like Glaucoma. Awareness needs to be made to remotes and villages in terai so people would consider having their eyes checked once a year. Doctors also say, till the awareness is made, there would be widely spread of glaucoma that it would be very difficult to eradicate blindness from the world. This Glaucoma story of a patient is one of the representative stories many of patients facing the same situation in countries like Nepal, India, Pakistan, Srilanka, Bangladesh and African countries.