‘Need to spread awareness about glaucoma in India,’ says Dr Dhamankar

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in worldwide. It belongs to a group of diseases of the eye characterised by progressive and irreversible damage to the optic nerve. In this session, glaucoma experts discussed about newer modalities of treatment in medical management of glaucoma

Management of young adult glaucoma patients remained a highlight of the glaucoma session on day three of the on-going Bombay Ophthalmologists’ Association (BOA) FOCUS 2017 conference held at Hyatt Regency, Mumbai.

Glaucoma, which is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, is belongs to a group of diseases of the eye characterised by progressive and irreversible damage to the optic nerve (nerve of the eye responsible for vision). If left untreated, it can lead to blindness.

“There is poor awareness regarding glaucoma in India. Around 80 to 90 per cent of glaucoma patients in India are not aware that they have this disease. An early diagnosis can stop progression of this disease,” said Dr Rita Dhamankar, the moderator of the session and glaucoma consultant at Laxmi Eye Institute, Panvel.

"Need to spread awareness about glaucoma in India," says Dr Dhamankar
Rita Dhamankar, Consultant at Laxmi Eye Institute, Penvel

In the session, the glaucoma experts discussed about newer modalities of treatment in medical management of glaucoma. “New drugs are in the pipeline which will be introduced in the market by the next year. It includes rings with slow released drugs impregnated on it,” said Dr Dhamankar.

She added that compliance to treatment in glaucoma patients is a huge concern and new drugs will help in improving the same. “Adherence to treatment has been an issue.  The new drugs focus on giving most effective way and least application,” said Dr Dhamankar.

The experts also spoke about management of coexisting cataract and glaucoma. “We discussed on how to treat patients who are having coexisting cataract and glaucoma. Experts gave their opinions on how to pick out what is more visually disabling and how can we help in giving maximum satisfaction to a patient,” said Dr Dhamankar.

The session also had a talk on newer procedures on combined surgery of glaucoma and cataract. “A new procedure for combined surgery called high frequency deep sclerotomy was discussed. It is a microinvasive glaucoma surgery which is seen to be very beneficial for cataract patients with early to moderate glaucoma. With this procedure, one can prevent the advancement of glaucoma effectively,” concluded Dr Dhamankar.