Barbados will join with the rest of the world in observing World Glaucoma Day, this Friday, March 12.

World Glaucoma Day was first commemorated in 2008.

This year is the first time the country will actively participate, hosting a number of events, including a public lecture on Friday night at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St. Michael. These activities have been spearheaded by Head of

Ophthalmology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Mr. David Callender and his staff, with assistance from eye care professionals across the island.

The lecture, entitled "Glaucoma: The Thief of Sight in the Barbadian Context" will be delivered by Senior Ophthalmologist at the QEH and Educator in that discipline for over 30 years, Mr. Clive Gibbons, at 7:00 p.m.

Prior to the lecture, there will be a presentation by President of the World Glaucoma Patient Association and Chief Executive Officer/President of the Glaucoma Foundation, (based in New York), Scott Christensen.

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that causes progressive damage of the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye to carry visual information to the brain. Glaucoma is described as the "silent blinding disease" or the "sneak thief of sight" and is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide.

Currently, there is no cure for the ailment, and vision loss is irreversible, therefore eye-care professionals recommend that it be detected early.

Members of the public are being encouraged to attend the lecture and learn more about the disease and the best course of action for addressing related problems.

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