Glaucoma, A Threat to our Youth?

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Ben-Nathaniel Fosu
@nattybongo2 months ago
3 min read

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Greetings to all and Sundry,

It is a blessed day today and i deem it a privilege and a pleasure to have these opportunities i get to share more about the eye with you time and again. For those who may be new to my blog, I am Ben-Nathaniel Fosu, a resident Optometrist with Westphalian Medical Center in Oyoko-Effiduase, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

For the past few years i have been about the eye mostly and for this week in celebration of the World Optometry Day my facility alongside support from some Ghanaian Hivers @mcsamm, @collinz, @awuahbenjamin and myself decide to provide free screening for the youth development center here in Apaah in the Ashanti Region.

And so leading the team of healthworkers we were able to render optometric service to these kids and their teachers. Examinations done included intraocular pressure check, funduscopy, visual acuity and refraction as well as the dispensing of eye drops. The findings from today's program was however a little bit worrying and so i decided to share with you so we may all be in the know and also take steps towards the protection of our wards, family and friends.

  • The Findings

A total of about 150 school children were screen and provided with medication and the most common diagnosis as expected based on the geographical location and the age of the kids was allergic conjunctivitis and refractive errors, which basically means that most of them ain't seeing well as they ought to which is affecting their studies and their academic performance.

However, the number of glaucoma cases that came up was something to be worried about, out of the 150 about 50 all had disturbing optic disc appearances which warranted further investigation, 50% of these had their IOPs above the range however not so disturbing, about 30% have their IOPs within range which meant that the next would be to perform either the visual field test, the ocular coherence tomography test or both.

The other 20% had IOPs in the 30s and 40s which was quite bad, a few of them had their vision around 6/36 which meant that for an object that ought to be visualized easily at 36 meters they ought to be at a distance of 6 meters to be able to see that object clearly. There was one sad situation though, a young man of 14 year old whose vision was almost completely gone, he can only see something when is so close to the face and the optic nerve showed severe damage with pressures of 43mmhg and 45mmhg.

A good number of them had to be referred back to the hospital for further investigation and management however, it dawned on me that, had this screening exercise not been done, what would have happened to the sight of these kids in the next decade? If this is happening somewhere else and they may not even have had an eye examination throughout their entire life, what can be done about? Is the sight of the next generation at risk due to glaucoma? What can you and I do to help?

I have spoken extensively about glaucoma in a lot of my articles and so if you are new to this condition kindly check my blog, and please if you are yet to have an eye examination do well to get your eyes checked, you may also reach out to me on discord if you have any concerns about your eye.

I do wish us all a blissful weekend, stay safe, avoid over the counter medication and do well to have regular eye examinations. it was a pleasure today. Ciao

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