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Glaucoma awareness Indian military personnel: a tri-service study


Introduction In India, glaucoma is the third most common cause of blindness, reflecting both its asymptomatic presentation and a lack of knowledge in the general population. No previous published data of glaucoma awareness among the Indian Armed forces personnel exists, who constitute a unique group consisting of people drawn from all parts of the country and society.

Methods Bilingual questionnaires were distributed to 496 serving Army, Navy and Air Force personnel serving in units local to the Zonal military hospital in North India. Having heard of the term glaucoma resulted in the subject being ‘glaucoma aware’, while ‘knowledge of glaucoma’ required at least three out of six questions to be answered correctly.

Results 110/496 (22%) participants were found to be glaucoma aware, while knowledge of glaucoma was found in 60/496 (12%) participants.

Conclusions This study demonstrates that glaucoma awareness and knowledge is high compared with rural or urban Indian populations. This is likely reflects the frequent health camps conducted by the armed forces and periodic medical examinations. However, these figures are still low compared with developed countries and likely reflects differences in education standards, socioeconomic status and differing influences of the media.

  • awareness
  • blindness
  • Indian armed forces
  • knowledge
  • glaucoma

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