The Ministry of Public Health revealed the implementation of a comprehensive national survey currently being prepared for and aims to know the causes of blindness and its prevalence among people aged 50 years or more in the State of Qatar.
Head of the Non-Communicable Diseases Department at the Ministry of Public Health Dr. Khuloud Al-Mutawa said that the survey also helps in collecting and providing data for health services in ophthalmology, noting that Glaucoma is one of the most important eye diseases that cause vision loss in the State of Qatar, and it ranks first as a cause of blindness for those who are over fifty years old.
The Ministry of Public Health, in cooperation with Hamad Medical Corporation and Primary Health Care, is celebrating the World Glaucoma Week from 6 to 12 March. The Ministry, in cooperation with its partners, implements a number of awareness activities about glaucoma and warning of its risks.
For her part, Dr. Badria Al-Malki, Assistant Executive Director of Continuing Care and Integrated Services at the Primary Health Care Corporation, the National Coordinator for Combating Blindness, said that routine examinations of elderly and diabetic patients in primary health care centers led to the discovery of new cases in people who did not have a previous history of glaucoma.
She added that the dissemination of awareness messages and educational advice related to this disease and how to prevent various diseases that may affect the eye has begun, stressing the need to consult ophthalmologists for early examinations and measuring eye pressure.
In turn, Dr. Zakia Al-Ansari, a consultant ophthalmologist at Hamad Medical Corporation, explained that glaucoma leads to advanced damage to the optic nerve, which transmits visual information from the cornea to the brain and is one of the most important diseases that cause permanent vision loss in the world, so it is necessary for patients to undergo periodic and regular examination for the eyes to avoid blindness.
She pointed out that glaucoma does not show any symptoms in most cases, and therefore the patient does not realize that he is infected until it causes him damage to the optic nerve, but the disease can be controlled and blindness can be avoided through early diagnosis and the start of appropriate treatment, explaining that Hamad Medical Corporation provides tools for early detection and treatment through advanced technologies.
She said that the ophthalmology clinic receives approximately 500 patients per month who suffer from multiple forms of glaucoma, and the patient undergoes treatment immediately after being diagnosed by the ophthalmologist.
She stressed that the glaucoma patient must commit to providing the treatment plan determined by the specialist doctor, which varies according to the type of glaucoma and the stage the patient has reached.
Glaucoma is called the silent disease or the thief of sight because there is no pain or symptom associated with it, and therefore the patient does not realize that he has the disease until it causes permanent damage to the optic nerve responsible for transmitting the image to the brain, and here the eye loses the ability to see completely. (QNA)
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