At least five million Chinese currently suffer from Glaucoma and 790,000 of them are blind, announced an official with the Chinese Medical Association Tuesday.
Zhao Jialiang, head of the association’s ophthalmic department, made the remarks based on various surveys over the past years.
As a disease of optic nerve atrophy and visual field defection resulting from increasing eye pressure, glaucoma is a major cause of eye dysfunction and blindness.
The survey in the Shunyi District of Beijing found that older people are more likely to be affected by the eye disease. Two out of every one hundred people surveyed over the age of 50 suffer from glaucoma.
Zhao said that harmful as the disease is, it can be prevented. Early detection and early treatment are actually able to prevent the patients from losing their sight. However, due to ignorance of the disease, many people fail to go to hospital and often delay in seeking treatment.
Zhao, who is also professor of Beijing Union Medical College Hospital advised those over forty to have their eye pressure checked periodically and include glaucoma in their yearly medical examination.
(Xinhua News Agency 08/15/2001)