Eye Health – Glaucoma (Part 2)

Dr S S Gill, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Hospital Fatimah Ipoh
Dr S S Gill, Consultant Ophthalmologist

In conjunction with World  Glaucoma Week  2012, Ipoh Echo talks to Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr S.S. Gill about this “silent thief of sight”  –  PART 2

Glaucoma as we know is a group of eye diseases that results in permanent blindness in the affected eye(s) that is irreversible. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. The disease often goes unnoticed until the loss of vision is significant, hence the nickname “silent thief of sight”.

Who is at risk of glaucoma?

Everyone is at risk for glaucoma and should go for an eye check annually. However, certain groups are at higher risk of developing glaucoma. The following conditions and groups have a higher risk of glaucoma:

  • Aging
  • Family members of glaucoma patients
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Short sightedness (Myopia)
  • Long sightedness (Hyperopia)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Past or Present use of steroids
  • Migraine
  • Eye injuries
  • Certain ethnic groups – Asians & Africans

People Over 60

Glaucoma is much more common among older people. You are 6 times more likely to get glaucoma if you are over 60 years old and that is why it is important to have your eyes checked as you advance in years.

Family Members with Glaucoma

The most common type of glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). This glaucoma is hereditary. The risk of glaucoma increases by 5 to 9 times if you have a family member who suffers from glaucoma. This hereditary link has been confirmed by two studies, i.e., the Baltimore Eye Study and the Rotterdam Eye Study.

Glaucoma-Rubeosis - eye health - S.S. Gill


Several large studies suggest that people with diabetes are more likely to develop glaucoma. If diabetes and glaucoma are treated early, vision can be saved. Otherwise, abnormal vessels in diabetes may form resulting in bleeding in the eye and rubeotic glaucoma (picture on left).

Dr Gill will elaborate more on glaucoma in the next issue of the Ipoh Echo.

For more information, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at  05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.