02 July 2012

World Glaucoma Week

World Glaucoma Week

A global initiative to raise awareness of Glaucoma comes up during the week of 11-17 March 2012. The South African Glaucoma society joins in the efforts of the World Glaucoma Society and World Glaucoma Patient Association to alert the public to the dangers of a disease referred to as the “Thief of Sight”.

Glaucoma is the most common disease of the optic nerve. Similar in many ways to Alzheimer’s disease of the brain, glaucoma causes rapid degeneration and death of the nerve cells that make up the optic nerve. Damage is irreversible and, left unchecked, it is one of few diseases resulting in complete blindness with the loss of all light perception.

What makes glaucoma even more dangerous is the fact that it usually gives no warning and literally steals away vision unannounced. This insidious characteristic is reflected in the alarming statistic that 50% of sufferers in developed nations and 90% of those in developing nations are unaware that they have glaucoma.

Glaucoma is thus most often identified by eye care professionals who deliberately screen for the condition during routine patient encounters of during concerted initiatives such as the World Glaucoma Week. These efforts are aimed at early diagnosis of glaucoma. Provided an early diagnosis is made, various effective forms of treatment are readily available and will prevent inevitable blindness in most cases.

This year, many Optometric practices in Port Elizabeth and surrounds have responded to a call for free glaucoma screening services during World Glaucoma Week. Participating Optometrists are listed below and will offer their services during normal business hours from Monday 12 March to Saturday 17 March and can be contacted to make appointments accordingly. Cases of suspected glaucoma will subsequently be referred to Eye Specialists who have volunteered their services for free assessment, following the Glaucoma Week.

Candidates for free screening by participating Optometrists should be at least 40 years of age and have one or more of the following risk factors: A family history of glaucoma, short sightedness (myopia) or people of African descent.

  • Arnold van der Wat & Associates Linton Grange 041 360 7336
  • Arnold van der Wat & Associates Kabega Park 041 360 1141
  • Torga Optical Cleary Park 041 481 5339
  • Dave Skinner Optometrist Central 041 585 1918
  • Torga Optical Greenacres 041 363 9801
  • Paruk Optometrist Korsten 041 453 8098
  • Janine Freeman Optometrist Korsten 041 451 4233
  • Mammy Muthray Optometrist Korsten 041 451 0272
  • Raga Optometrist Korsten 041 453 2870
  • Pierre Le Roux Newton Park 041 363 7744
  • Rob Hulbert Optometrist Mount Croix 041 373 5554
  • Specsavers The Bridge 041 363 1357
  • Specsavers Govan Mbeki Ave 041 585 4733
  • The Vision Centre Newton Park 041 373 2908
  • Abdol Abdurazaak Optometrist Govan Mbeki Ave 041 585 3856
  • C-View Optometrist Jeffreys Bay 042 293 3303
  • Grant Carelse Optometrist Jeffreys Bay 042 293 2473
  • Leané Cilliers Optometrist Jeffreys Bay 042 296 0717
  • Sandra Coetzer Optometrist Jeffreys Bay 042 293 1590
  • Grant Carelse Optometrist Humansdorp 042 295 2515
  • Bergman & Son Cradock 048 881 3245
  • Specsavers Cradock 048 881 1413
  • Bergman & Son Somerset-East 042 243 1687