Carrot good for eyesight but cannot prevent glaucoma —Expert

Although carrot is good for vision, an eye expert, Dr Olusola Olawoye, had said there is no evidence that it can improve a worsening eyesight due to glaucoma.

Dr Olawoye, speaking at the World Glaucoma Day at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, stated that carrot can only improve eye diseases associated with Vitamin A deficiency, but not glaucoma.

The consultant ophthalmologist, who described glaucoma as a silent thief of sight, said a loss of vision due to this disease cannot be prevented by any food but only by treatment using medication, surgery or laser treatment.

She said many people have glaucoma and they do not even know that they have the condition.

According to her, “At the UCH, Ibadan, we see about 400 patients with glaucoma in a week. This includes 30 new cases every week. About seven to eight of every 100 people have glaucoma and do not know because it is usually painless and the eyes are not red.

“The person just wakes up one morning to say he does not see. But the disease has always been there for years without the person knowing it. That is why we call it the silent thief of sight.”

Dr Olawoye urged individuals from age 30 to have regular eye checks even when nothing is wrong with their sight, warning that by the time there are signs of the disease, the problem is already advanced.

She also recommended regular eye checks for glaucoma for people with a family history of blindness, who wear prescription glasses, and those with the disease in their family.

Earlier, UCH’s Chief Medical Director, Professor Abiodun Otegbayo stated that glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness and that it constitutes about 16 per cent of what causes blindness worldwide.

Professor Otegbayo said the hospital was offering a week-long free eye checks for glaucoma to underscore the importance of regularly undergoing eye tests in the prevention of blindness due to glaucoma.

He added, “there is a treatment for it; it is a preventable cause of blindness.”

He cautioned people against the use of unprescribed eye drops but to see the eye doctor for appropriate treatment if their vision is blurred or depreciating.

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