An Ophthalmologist,

Edokpolor, who works with St Patrick Hospital, Ajah, made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He also urged government  to make drugs available and accessible to the sufferers in various government-owned hospitals across the country.

“It is important for the general public to know about glaucoma and its danger; this will enable us to prevent blindness in the society.

“People who are above the ages of 40 should be encouraged to go for screening at least once in a year because glaucoma does not give specific symptoms.

“The general public, especially glaucoma diagnosed patients, need to spread the message among their families and others on the importance of screening for glaucoma.

“Family members of glaucoma patients should be examined because glaucoma can be hereditary and screening should be a life-long process.

“From the screening, we can discover the rate of progression and also prevent blindness,” he said.

Edokpolor said that glaucoma progression could be halted through effective and consistent treatment.

“Diagnosed glaucoma patients are faced with so many challenges such as cost of drugs, its availability and blindness, amongst others.

“Availability and accessibility of drugs and treatment will help such challenged patients to get necessary care that can ensure a productive life with good vision,” the expert said.

NAN reports that glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness.