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Glaucoma awareness and knowledge in patients attending ophthalmology opd at aiims, raipur

Author: 
Dr. Ankur K. Shrivastava, Dr. Divya Verma, Dr. Kanishk Singh and Rajaram Kacher
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Introduction: Worldwide glaucoma is the second leading cause of preventable blindness after cataract. In developed countries less than 50% of affected people are aware about their disease, awareness is further lower in developing world. Incidence in India is steadily rising and by year 2020 it is projected to be second largest home for glaucoma cases. Glaucoma is irreversible and remains asymptomatic until it is in a very advanced stage. Early diagnosis and treatment remains an important cornerstone in management of this deadly disease. Published data indicates that late presentation to doctor is an important risk factor for subsequent blindness and is associated with poor awareness about the condition. Patient's knowledge / lack of knowledge concerning eye care may play a significant role in seeking timely eye care treatment. For this, efficient information, education and communication material (IEC) and population screening strategy needs to be designed to increase the community’s knowledge about glaucoma. Aims and objective: To evaluate the awareness and knowledge about glaucoma in patients attending Ophthalmic outpatient department (OPD) at a tertiary center in Central India. Material and methods: The study was conducted over a period of six months from January to June 2014 at Ophthalmology OPD. A pre-prepared questionnaire was given to all participants between ages of 40-70 years, which included participant’s socio-demographic profile, awareness, knowledge about glaucoma and the usefulness of awareness raising strategies. The source of awareness about glaucoma was also questioned. Results: Total number of participants was 500, out of which 337 (67.4%) were aware and 163 (32.6%) unaware about glaucoma. Among aware participants 148 (44%) were having knowledge of glaucoma and 189 (56%) were not having knowledge of glaucoma. Only 23% of aware participants were screened for glaucoma. 77% participants know that glaucoma is irreversible while only 36% know that it is blinding condition. Mass media was found to be most effective awareness raising strategy. Conclusion: Public awareness of this almost silent disease plays a pivotal role in bringing the high-risk patient to the ophthalmologists, and hence, preventing the dreadful results. However, only spreading the awareness about glaucoma is not sufficient to prevent blindness but people need to be informed and educated about the disease. An aware and knowledgeable person is in a good position to inform others about need for glaucoma screening program to utilize screening services provided by eye care personnel. This could diminish the morbidity and economic burden of the disease.

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