January 12th, 2022

// Canadian Ophthalmological Society puts Glaucoma Awareness Month in focus through photographic works of Toronto-based photographer

Images help spread awareness of glaucoma by capturing moments through her lens

TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2022 /CNW/ - Known as the "silent thief of sight", glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in older North Americans, and more than 400,000 Canadians are living with glaucoma today. Yet, according to a survey by the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, nearly half of Canadians (49 per cent) are unfamiliar with this eye disease. As January marks Glaucoma Awareness Month, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society is helping to spread awareness by highlighting the work of Toronto-based photographer and fashion model, Jordan Naomi Tidd, who captures the unique perspective of the world through a person living with this eye disease.

"As a photographer, there are some challenges living with this eye disease, but I've quickly learned to notice the beauty in my photographs and the way I see the world," says Tidd. "During the editing process, I'm not always able to catch all the required fixes so I have to ask others for support. However, I've turned this challenge into an opportunity to spread awareness of glaucoma. Through my lens, I want to educate others on what this eye disease is and how it can affect your eyesight."

Although glaucoma is most common in older adults, young people are at risk as well. At the early age of 17, Tidd was diagnosed with glaucoma after noticing a subtle grainy film in her eyesight during one of her regular eye exams, where she was then referred to an ophthalmologist for extensive treatment. Since then, Tidd has made it her mission to spread awareness about this eye disease through her craft by capturing moments through her lens from her international travels and life in nature.

"Since glaucoma has no noticeable symptoms, most people affected by this eye disease don't even know they have it," says Dr. Colin Mann, President of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society. "This can be especially true for younger people who may think they aren't at risk but, while there currently is no cure, the good news is that it can be controlled with proper management, and vision loss can be prevented through early diagnosis during comprehensive eye exams."

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which transmits the images you see from the eye to the brain and is made up of many nerve fibres. These nerve fibres become damaged by pressure that builds up inside the eye, known as intraocular pressure (IOP), which can cause blind spots and vision loss.

Since glaucoma has no noticeable symptoms, ongoing monitoring is needed to detect any changes. During a glaucoma evaluation, you may have the following tests done by your eye care team:

  • Tonometry to test eye pressure 
  • Gonioscopy to determine eye drainage angles 
  • Ophthalmoscopy to assess optic nerve appearance 
  • Visual field test to assess peripheral vision 
  • Optical coherence tomography to assess the thickness of the retina and optic nerve

"My advice is don't take anything for granted, and make sure to keep up with your eye exams, no matter the age," adds Tidd. "If I hadn't gone to my regular checkup, the optometrist wouldn't have sent me to the ophthalmologist, where I was diagnosed and provided with early treatment. If you've been diagnosed with glaucoma recently, it's natural to be a little frightened but the number one thing to remember is that it can be managed with the support and guidance of your eyecare team, so you can still live a beautiful life."

To learn more about glaucoma and your risk for developing this eye disease, visit seethepossibilities.ca to take a quick test. To view Jordan Tidd's work and make a donation to the Glaucoma Research Society of Canada, visit eyesopenexhibition.com.

About Canadian Ophthalmological Society
The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) is the national, recognized authority on eye and vision care in Canada. As eye physicians and surgeons, we are committed to assuring the provision of optimal medical and surgical eye care for all Canadians by promoting excellence in ophthalmology and by providing services to support our members in practice. Our membership includes over 900 ophthalmologists and 200 ophthalmology residents. We work collaboratively with government, other national and international specialty societies, our academic communities (ACUPO), our provincial partners and affiliates and other eye care professionals and patient groups to advocate for health policy in Canada in the area of eye and vision health. The COS is an accredited, award-winning provider of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and is an affiliate of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). For more information, visit cos-sco.ca

SOURCE Canadian Ophthalmological Society


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