Oftalmología Médica y Quirúrgica (OMIQ), the Ophthalmology Service of idcsalud Hospital General de Catalunya, has organized a series of activities to raise public awareness of glaucoma during the week of March 9-13. With the campaign “Early diagnosis prevents blindness”, OMIQ aims to raise awareness of the importance of having your eyesight checked periodically by installing a checkpoint in the hospital lobby where patients and visitors will be tested by taking intraocular pressure in a non-invasive way. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that lead to progressive damage of the optic nerve. This nerve is key to the transmission of information from the eye to the brain.

Glaucoma is a chronic disease with a prevalence of 1% to 4%, increasing with age and in ocular hypertension up to 5% in those over 60 years of age. It can lead to a gradual and irreversible loss of vision, and eventually to blindness. There is no cure for glaucoma and lost vision cannot be recovered, but early diagnosis and proper treatment can slow down and help delay the progression of this disease.

In the most common form of glaucoma, the buildup of fluid pressure occurs slowly. Often, there are no bothersome or painful symptoms. Up to 40% of vision can be lost without patients noticing any substantial change. As the disease progresses, they may experience a loss of side (or peripheral) vision, tunnel vision or eye spots.

For OMIQ’s team of specialists, early diagnosis is “undoubtedly the best way to fight the disease. We currently know how to delay, to a greater or lesser degree, the progression of the disease but, unfortunately, we do not know how to cure it and for this reason early detection is, if possible, even more important, with screening of the population at risk as one of the most effective ways of detecting it.

The prevalence of the disease in Spain is between 0.5% and 4% and increases with age.

“In addition to the disease itself, ocular hypertension is taken into account, which is its major risk factor, and which has a prevalence of approximately 5% in the population over 60 years of age.”


There are two main types of glaucoma: primary open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common type and accounts for almost 90% of all cases.

For these reasons, it is essential to have regularly scheduled comprehensive dilated eye examinations to detect and monitor the disease.


– Loss of vision at the sides, or in the periphery, or no symptoms at all.

– Notable loss of vision. Possible tunnel vision.

– Continuous loss of vision, and eye spots.


Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. It affects patients of all ages, in all parts of the world. Despite the fact that it is a widespread disease, there are many

misconceptions about its symptoms and the people who suffer from it.

I am young. This only happens to the elderly.

False. Anyone, from infants to the elderly, can develop glaucoma. Everyone runs that risk.

2. It has a cure.

False. There is no cure for glaucoma and it can result in gradual and irreversible vision loss, and eventually blindness.

3. I am going to go blind from glaucoma.

False. Treatment can help reduce a patient’s IOP and may slow the progression of the disease.

4. There are symptoms that warn me.

False. Glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of vision” and can progress without symptoms.

Patients can lose up to 40% of their sight before they discover they have glaucoma.

5. Glaucoma is not hereditary. False. Glaucoma runs in families and is hereditary. The probability of suffering from primary open-angle glaucoma is four to nine times higher if there is a history in a close family member.


The exact cause of glaucoma is unknown, but elevated IOP may be a risk factor for disease. Anyone can develop glaucoma, even someone who has a normal IOP range.

But there are certain factors that can put people at greater risk.


Age: In people 60 years of age or older, the risk of developing glaucoma is six times higher.

Race: People of African and Hispanic origin have a higher risk of glaucoma. For Africans, the increased risk begins after the age of 40.

Family history: Having a family history of glaucoma increases the risk.

Health status: Heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure may increase the risk of developing glaucoma.

Eye injuries: Severe trauma, such as receiving a blow to the eye, may cause damage to the drainage canal, resulting in an immediate or gradual increase in intraocular pressure. An injury can also dislocate the lens, closing the drainage angle and increasing pressure.

Use of corticosteroids: Prolonged use of oral steroids or treatment with cortisone are factors that increase the risk of developing glaucoma.

About IDCsalud

The IDCsalud group, leader in Spain in the provision of healthcare services, manages 29 hospitals in four autonomous communities and has a staff of more than 9,500 professionals to carry out its activities. IDCsalud’s healthcare work covers all medical specialties, with special emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular and oncological pathologies. The centers it manages, in which more than 550 million euros have been invested, have state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment facilities and equipment. Víctor Madera, president of IDCsalud, highlights the group’s “commitment” to providing patients with quality care and excellence: “To fulfill this commitment, we are committed to the active promotion of innovation, research and teaching, and we have the best professionals”.