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The Institute of Ophthalmology of the University of the Philippines claims that glaucoma is the second highest cause of blindness in the Philippines (100,000 people). It is advisable that people over 40 who are at risk of glaucoma should have their eyes checked at least once each year. Glaucoma occurs when channels that drain eye fluid becomes blocked, pressure in the eye builds up resulting in glaucoma. Risk factors for glaucoma include family history, diabetes, nearsightedness, previous eye injury, asthma steroid use, lupus, allergy and skin problems. Smoking, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and even heavy computer use by shortsighted people may also increase the risk. Chronic glaucoma is slow developing with symptoms such as teariness, aching eyes, blurred vision, occasional headaches and gradual loss of sight. Peripheral vision goes first and then central vision. Acute glaucoma is rarer and causes total and permanent blindness. It occurs suddenly (2-5 days) and causes extreme eye pain, blurred vision, a red eye, headache, nausea and vomiting. The condition needs to be treated immediately to avoid total permanent loss of vision.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Sun Star
About: Glaucoma awareness needs to be heightened in the Philippines
Date: 6 December 2004
Source: Sun Star
Author: Henrylito D. Tacio
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