Mr Desmond Yaani, an Ophthalmic Nurse at the Fumbisi Health Centre in the Builsa South District of the Upper East Region, has urged the public to go for regular eye check-up to ensure early detection of infections.
He said most people paid less attention to their eyes until they had problems with them.
â€śIt is recommended that at least for every six months, even if you donâ€™t have any problem with your eyes, just go for a routine check-up,â€ť he said.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Yaani said glaucoma was one of the conditions most eye care professionals encounter daily.
â€śThe sad thing about glaucoma is that it has no signs and symptoms, so we call it the slight blinder. Before you realise it, you are going blind, that is the unfortunate part of glaucoma, it is asymptomatic until you go for check-up,â€ť he said.
He said just like hypertension or high blood pressure, with associated headaches, dizziness among others, â€śthe eye also has its pressure, which can also go high.â€ť
â€śWhen the pressure goes high which is the advanced stage, you may get headaches, pain and blur vision in the early stage.â€ť
When the pressure in the eye is high, the first and most important structure to be affected is the optic nerve where it enters the eye and that would affect your vision, he said.
â€śUnfortunately damage to the optic nerve is irreversible because the cable of nerve fibres canâ€™t regenerate, or heal itself when damage occurs, so that is why it is a worry to eye care professionals.â€ť
Mr Yaani, who is also the District Chairman of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), said in the early stage of glaucoma, one loses part of oneâ€™s vision that cannot be restored, â€śIt is only the vision you have left that you will manage with, that is why it is so worrying to us.â€ť
He said even though the cause of the condition was unknown, studies showed that peopleâ€™s race put them at risk, â€śFor instance black Africans are more prone to glaucoma than other races.â€ť
He said research also showed that the condition could be hereditary, â€śIf a father or mother has it, there is a likelihood that it will be passed onto their children.
So when we detect that you have glaucoma, we advise the whole family to go for screening. Age is also a likely cause of glaucoma.â€ť he said.
â€śGlaucoma is one of the screenings that those who intend to get married should undergo, as it is hereditary,â€ť he advised and noted that some children were also born with the condition, referred to as congenital glaucoma.
Mr Yaani said some medications were known as steroids also affected the eyes, insisting that medicines should not be taken without prescription from certified prescribers.