Ten Important Facts About Glaucoma

As part of World Glaucoma Week, the IMO promoted the "GANA TIEMPO, NO PIERDAS VISIÓN" campaign (get a head start, don’t lose your sight) with the aim of raising awareness about the importance of preventing and detecting the disease in time.

And the reason why is that glaucoma is the second leading cause of preventable vision loss in the world. IMO’s Glaucoma Early Diagnosis Department launched a prevention initiative, which included three basic screening tests for patients: visual acuity, ocular pressure and examination of the optic nerve. We encourage you to join this initiative and have regular check-ups to prevent this disease.

Remember the following important facts:

  • Glaucoma is an eye disease that slowly damages the optic nerve (which is responsible for transmitting images to the brain).
  • It is the second leading cause of preventable blindness in the world.
  • Half of patients do not know they have glaucoma, because, in most cases, there are no symptoms. The patient is unaware of the disease until most of the visual field has been lost.
  • High ocular pressure is the only known risk factor that can be treated. There are treatments to reduce ocular pressure and stop the progression of the disease, but not to recover lost vision.
  • Many cases of advanced glaucoma can be prevented through early detection by means of a basic ophthalmic examination.
  • The over 40s should visit the ophthalmologist every 2 years. For those with ocular hypertension or in high-risk groups (family history, the over 60s, high myopia, trauma and black or Asian ancestry) should undergo annual check-ups.
  • Sufferers of the disease are four times more likely to have falls, and it poses a serious danger for driving.
  • Glaucoma affects one million Spaniards and 60 million people around the world. More than half are blind due to the disease.
  • There is no cure, but treatments do exist (surgery, laser and eye drops) to reduce ocular pressure and prevent the disease from progressing.
  • Genetic research will improve its prevention. In the medium-term future, it will help detect previously unknown at-risk patients.