SOUTH East Ophathmologists Forum, SEOF, a body of eye specialists has intimated that the people from the South East geo-political zone are prone to a form of eye defect known as glaucoma. Chairman of the Forum, Prof. Rich Umeh who briefed the press after their one day Glaucoma Symposia in Enugu, yesterday, said that according to a survey done ten years ago and subsequent surveys, it was discovered that most people in South East are going blind as a result of glaucoma. Umeh expressed the fear that glaucoma, unlike other eye diseases like cataract, attacks patients unaware and leaves no known symptom until blindness occurs. She explained that they were forced to organise the Forum where they would brainstorm to proffer solution to the menace, pointing out that if they did not do anything to check the disease, they would have failed as medical experts. Coordinator of the Forum, Dr. Sebastine Nwosu explained that glaucoma attacks the nerves that do not regenerate, thereby causing blindness as it does not itch or cause redness of the eye but erodes the eye gradually until total blindness occurs. Nwosu lamented that glaucoma was a deadly disease because it has no cure but could only be managed to stem its spread. He disclosed that the only known remedy is surgery and medication to bring down the malady. One of the doctors, Dr. Nkeiru Akariwe, said that glaucoma could only be checked if patients visit experts in time before their condition deteriorates. “If the people have their eyes checked in time, it could be managed,” Akariwe said, pointing out that as a disease with cure, the treatment is for life. Participants at the symposium were drawn from specialist hospitals, especially those owned by government.

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