In the early days of my childhood, we had no wireless radio. I remember vividly that there was a wired radio network called Rediffusion before the great Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the founder of the Nigerian Tribune, started WNTV ‘First in Africa’ in 1959 and WNBS, the first commercial radio station in1960.
Locally the Rediffusion was called in Yoruba, ‘Asoro magbesi’. This translated means someone who speaks but does not wait for a reply,’- or someone engaged in monologue, talking without giving you the opportunity to reply.
Today, I am going to give you 10 questions to see how much you know about glaucoma. If you get less than five correct, you know very little about glaucoma and stand a high risk of ignoring it if and when it creeps in on your eyes.
One of my primary school teachers used to tell us, “Son, to thy own self be true.” I neither understood its significance nor did I realise that it was a quote from Shakespeare which meant,” Do not engage in self-deception.” Answer truthfully before you look at the answers provided below.
Questions – Answer, True, False or Not sure
- Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in Nigerians
- Glaucoma tends to run in families.
- A person can have glaucoma and not know it.
- People over age 40 are more likely to get glaucoma.
- Eye pain is often a symptom of glaucoma.
- Glaucoma can be controlled but not cured.
- Glaucoma is caused by increased eye pressure (IOP for short)
- Vision lost from glaucoma can never be restored.
- A complete glaucoma examination consists only of measuring IOP.
- If you have diabetes and or hypertension, you have increased risk of blindness from glaucoma.
- True – Read the Nigerian National Survey of Blindness and Low Vision (2008)
- True – But does not always show in every generation.
- True – Most people with glaucoma don’t know it. That is why it is dangerous.
- False – There are no symptoms suggestive of chronic glaucoma which we are talking about. Isn’t that enough reason to be worried and get examined once a year?
- True – But that is not the whole truth as there are people with glaucoma whose IOPs are within normal limits. There must be other factors which we know little about at this time.
- False –Vision lost cannot be restored. That is why we keep on drumming it into you to get examined and if found to have glaucoma to keep rigorously to your treatment.
- False – A complete glaucoma examination includes a minimum of physical examination of the inside of the eye; measuring of visual acuity, intraocular pressure and central visual field examination.
- True – patients with diabetes and hypertension have increased risk of blindness
Talking about Chief Obafemi Awolowo reminds me of Alhaji Lateef Jakande, a great disciple of Awolowo. Imagine what Lagos would have been today and by extension, Nigeria, if his Lagos Metro Rail Project (which had gone beyond planning stage) had not been scuffled by the then almighty Federal Government.
We must thank Fashola and Ambode for rekindling the spirit of Jakande’s foresight, albeit on a smaller scale. Despite the poor economy, we can do a lot more! Let our politicians think less of self and more of the people they are supposed to be serving. Together we can do more!