The prevalence of glaucoma in adults over the age of forty years is estimated to be about 2.5-3.0% in rural India. (Aravind Comprehensive Eye Survey, 1993). Although infants and children can rarely be affected, glaucoma is more common in the adult population.
The Glaucoma Services handle primary glaucomas, which are largely inherited, in addition to secondary glaucomas caused by trauma, inflammation, diabetes, retinal vascular disease and hyper mature cataracts. Deviations from normal retinal nerve fiber thickness are the earliest structural changes in persons with glaucoma.
With glaucoma services poised for significant growth in patient services, research and training, a need-based assessment of various resources (human, technological, etc) are planned.
The clinics are equipped with the most advanced diagnostic tools, such as the recent version of Humphrey's automated perimeter and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to measure retinal nerve fiber thickness, to diagnose glaucoma at very early stages even before there is significant loss of vision. The clinic also serves as a large referral centre for the treatment of congenital glaucoma, a rare condition with increased eye pressure and corneal enlargement present at birth or during the first few months of life.
The Aravind-Zeiss Centre of Excellence in Glaucoma was established at Aravind-Tirunelveli with a commitment to combat blindness due to glaucoma by enhancing quality of patient care and education of ophthalmologists in early diagnosis and therapy. The centre is well equipped with the latest diagnostic and therapeutic modalities.