Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause progressive and irreversible damage to the optic nerve and is characterized by loss of peripheral vision, causing the person to see as if inside a tunnel. It is at that very moment when people decide to go to the doctor and receive a diagnosis of some type of glaucoma sufferer. For the Glaucoma Association for Affected Members and Families (AGAF), in this stage of the disease it is already late and therefore they consider it to be “very troublesome” 76% of patients with this ophthalmological pathology claim to have lost a lot. vision from glaucoma.
On the occasion of Glaucoma Week, which is celebrated from March 12 to 19, GAF wants to highlight the importance of early diagnosis, which will happen if people undergo regular eye examinations, especially after the age of 45, which is when this “silent”. blindness is of “significantly high incidence.”
The information that is discussed in this eye does not encourage the disease and it is estimated that it affects around 188,000 Andalusians. On the other hand, as it is initially asymptomatic, more than half of the patients – some 93,900 – do not know it, but their optic nerve is gradually degenerating, stealing their vision. Cordoba has 17,085 cases and about 8,542 of these people have not been diagnosed, 50%.
“The sooner glaucoma begins to be treated, the better, because with treatments the vision already lost is not recovered, but its progress will be slowed down and in most cases total blindness is avoided”, notes Joaquín. Carratalá, president. of AGAF.
For this reason, the Glaucoma Association has carried out a national extension for patients and families among patients suffering from this disease in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company AbbVie. He reports the impact of this pathology of the eyes not only in the nature of the body but also in the psychological sphere of people: disability in daily life and in the daily life of 97% of patients who participated in this initiative. “Early detection in glaucoma is very important to stop the irreversible progression of the disease”, emphasizes professor and doctor Miguel Angel Teus.
Glaucoma has no cure today, but there are eye drops and medications that stop this tendency to total blindness. However, adherence to treatment is generally very poor and therefore continues to be one of the main causes of preventable blindness in the world today.
The patient does not decide to follow the doctor’s instructions because, as illustrated in this study, 38% say that they have problems administering the treatment, or because they are elderly who need help to remove the eye drops, or because of the training and testing that they require. both in schedules and in dosage. From AGAF they argue that it is necessary to follow the prescriptions of health professionals correctly and accurately at all times to stop the progression of the disease.
Ophthalmologists take care of the diagnosis and also determine the ways and treatments that each patient requires in a personalized way. As it is a chronic pathology, doctor-patient communication is necessary to improve the quality of life of the affected and, of course, this must be bidirectional in order to obtain the best results.
However, for approximately 47% of those surveyed, communication with a health professional is not always desired, either because of lack of time or because the patient does not know very well what to ask for, perhaps due to a lack of knowledge in general. diseases Glaucoma is still a disease unknown to society, and it is estimated that in Spain alone more than a million people suffer, especially open-angle glaucoma, but half of them are undiagnosed.
From the Glaucoma Association for Affected Members and Families (AGAF) they want to emphasize the work that still remains to understand both the importance of early detection of the disease and adherence to treatment once the diagnosis has been made.