The Nigerian Optometrist Association (NOA) Anambra Chapter has cautioned Nigerians against indulging in self-medication for eye disorders.
NOA state Chairman, Dr Chigozie Umeh made the call at the inauguration of free eye screening against glaucoma at J. Ropheka Eye Clinic, Nkpor near Onitsha on Thursday.
According to him, some of the steroids people take for self-medication could induce eye ocular pressure.
“You do not continue using a particular drug for every eye problem because a doctor once prescribed it for you; after each use, consult your doctor to ascertain whether to continue or discontinue usage.
“Even when glaucoma is diagnosed early enough, the patient needs to religiously take his prescription or risk going blind from glaucoma,” Umeh stressed.
The chairman said checking the eyes at least once a year could help reduce the danger of developing glaucoma.
Umeh however, urged residents of the state to visit eye clinics nearer to them for free glaucoma screening before March 14.
He said the free glaucoma screening which would last till March 14, was part of activities to commemorate the 2020 World Glaucoma Week (WGW).
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for this year’s celebration was “Beat Invisible Glaucoma, B.I.G”.
“The goal is to alert everyone to have regular eye and optic nerve checks in order to detect glaucoma early enough, so as to start treatment to eliminate blindness as a result of glaucoma.
“Through engaging worldwide activities, patient’s eye care providers, health officials and the general public are invited to contribute to sight preservation.
“Glaucoma gives no warning until advanced stage, thereby causing irreversible damage,” Umeh said.
The chairman described glaucoma as a “silent thief of the eye with painless symptoms only detectable when one visits a qualified eye doctor.”
Umeh noted that the disease was predominant among the black race as from age 40.
The World Glaucoma Week, which started on March 8, is a global joint initiative between the World Glaucoma Association (WGA) and the World Glaucoma Patients Committee (WGPC) to raise awareness on glaucoma.