More than 8 million Asians to be blinded by glaucoma in 2 years

July 8, 2008

A survey, released by the global campaign, All Eyes on Glaucoma, has revealed that more than 8.4 million people in Asia will be blinded by glaucoma by 2010 if they do not undergo treatment.

A survey, released by the global campaign, All Eyes on Glaucoma, has revealed that more than 8.4 million people in Asia will be blinded by glaucoma by 2010 if they do not undergo treatment.

The survey, which interviewed 935 people across nine countries, including China and India, found that awareness levels were low amongst the population, with only 54% having heard of glaucoma.

Clement Tham, professor of ophthalmology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong admitted that Asians were more prone to glaucoma because their eyes are generally smaller than those of Westerners, which leads to higher pressure within the eye. Prin Rojanapongpun, an ophthalmology professor in Thailand, also blamed excessive use of over-the-counter steroid eye drops, which could lead to glaucoma, for the increase.

According to the survey, 9.4 million people aged 40 or over in China alone suffer from the disease and this figure is expected to increase by 6 million by 2020.