Glaucoma main issue detected during free eye tests at GPHC

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Dr Jenell Sarju Kanhai (right) examining a patient.

Hundreds of persons showed up at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) on Thursday to benefit from free eye tests, an annual activity undertaken by the public health institution in observance of World Sight Day.

World Sight Day, observed annually on the second Thursday of October, is a global event that brings emphasis on vision impairment.

Ophthalmologist, Dr Jenell Sarju Kanhai said the most common issue detected during the activity was glaucoma, a condition that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve and gets worse over time.

Other persons were found to have refractive errors which can be fixed with prescription glasses.

“There’s some diabetic patients so we have the diabetics screening programme here as well. We refer them there,” she informed.

Dr Sarju-Kanhai also pleaded with persons to get their eyes examined every year, noting that some problems can only be detected with a checkup.

“I’ve seen over 40 patients for the past hour and a half. There are other doctors that are seeing almost the same amount as well. There’s a lot of diseases that you only detect on a general screening. You may not present any symptoms whatsoever so it is important to do a regular checkup of the eye every year, mainly patients above 40. From 40, your age alone is a risk factor.”

Two days ago, the World Health Organisation launched its first report on vision. The report stated more than 1 billion people worldwide are living with vision impairment because they do not get the care they need for conditions like short and farsightedness, glaucoma and cataract.