In Haiti, glaucoma is a feared disease because it is very aggressive. Glaucoma, for the most part, is when there is an increase pressure in the eyes which causes damage to the optic nerve. A healthy optic nerve is crucial as it connects the eye to the brain. Patients who have glaucoma will slowly lose their peripheral vision. There is no cure for glaucoma but the main goal of treating a glaucoma patient is to detect the disease early so that we can initiate drops or perform surgery to lower the pressures. Sadly, most of the glaucoma patients walked into the clinic with already advanced end stage glaucoma. We use the term "glaucoma wobble" for when a patient wobbles into the clinic because he/she has no peripheral vision. They often bump into walls, hit into corners and are unable to detect difference in ground depth. We know instantly when a glaucoma patient walks into the clinic.
This gentleman came in with his daughter, also pictured in the photo. His pressures were 45 mmHg in both eyes. The normal eye pressure is between 14-16 mmHg. We gave him drops to lower the pressure in hopes of preserving what vision he had left. He also walks his daughter to school everyday. When I asked him how he sees where he is going, he said he knows the route from memory.