The Silent Thief of Sight

Did you know that Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, after Cataracts?

What is Glaucoma you ask? Well, this is an eye disease that is as a result of progressive damage to the optic nerve. Although irreversible, if detected early through screening it can be treated. In Kenya alone, over 20,000 cases are reported every year.

11th March to 18th March 2018 is World Glaucoma Week. Conversations are being had across the globe in order to create awareness of the disease. Free eye screenings have also been taking place in various parts of Kenya, including Nairobi and Mombasa.

Referred to as the “silent thief of sight”, Glaucoma has no warning signs or symptoms. Anyone above 35 years of age, is short-sighted (myopic), has a family history of Glaucoma, is Diabetic and Hypertensive is at risk of getting Glaucoma.

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A visual acuity test is carried out to determine the smallest letters one can read at a distance.

The treatment procedure begins with an eye pressure test whereby a Tono-pen is used to measure the pressure of one’s eyes. The ideal pressure should be between 10 and 15. Thereafter, if it is noted that one has Glaucoma, laser procedures are recommended and finally surgery. These will prevent any further loss of vision.

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Crystal Asige gets her eye pressures checked by an eye specialist during a free screening session at Aga Khan Hospital on 14th March 2018

Crystal Asige, a visually impaired persons (VIP) Ambassador, knows too well what it is like having had Glaucoma for the past 15 years. She was diagnosed at 14 years at a hospital in Mombasa, Kenya, and has so far undergone 6 surgeries.

Despite losing most of her vision, Crystal continues to live life like any other visually enabled individual. She is a singer, songwriter, producer and motivational speaker.

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Be My Eyes is an app that is used to assist visually impaired persons to get by. Visually enabled people can also offer their services to assist the former. The app can be downloaded from the Play Store or ioS store.

Below is a short film on Crystal Asige’s inspirational story:


2 thoughts on “The Silent Thief of Sight

    1. nimuexpressions says:

      Thank you Shahisa. I am more than happy to create more and more awareness on issues and conditions that do not get much airtime in mainstream media using my art. I too am a student when it comes to these topics :-).


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