Awareness of glaucoma in the rural population of Southern India

Krishnaiah, Sannapaneni; Kovai, Vilas; Srinivas, Marmamula; Shamanna, Bindiganavale R.; Rao, Gullapalli N.; Thomas, Ravi
September 2005
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology;Sep2005, Vol. 53 Issue 3, p205
Academic Journal
journal article
Purpose: To explore the awareness of glaucoma amongst the rural population of Andhra Pradesh, India.Materials and Methods: A total of 7775 subjects of all ages, representative of the rural population of Andhra Pradesh, participated in the Andhra Pradesh Eye Disease Study. The responses of subjects older than 15 years (n=5573) who completed a structured questionnaire regarding awareness (heard of glaucoma) and knowledge (understanding of disease) of glaucoma formed the basis of this study.Results: Awareness of glaucoma (n=18; 0.32%) was very poor in this rural population, and females were significantly less aware (p=0.007). Awareness of glaucoma was also significantly less among illiterate persons (p<0.0001), and socially backward population (p<0.0001). Majority of the respondents who were aware of glaucoma (n=10; 55.6%) did not know if visual loss due to glaucoma was permanent or reversible. The major source of awareness of glaucoma in this population was TV/magazines and other media followed by information from a relative or acquaintance suffering from the disease.Conclusion: Awareness of glaucoma is very poor in the rural areas of southern India. The data suggest the need for community-based health education programmes to increase the level of awareness and knowledge about glaucoma.


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