An interview with Dr. Jennifer Rahman
For World Glaucoma Week , March 7-13, 2021, we sat down to chat (virtually, of course!) with Dr. Jennifer Rahman, glaucoma specialist and MHCF board member.
Dr. Rahman has been practicing in Winnipeg as a comprehensive eye physician and surgeon, specializing in glaucoma since 2005, and in 2011, founded GEM (Glaucoma and Eye Management) Clinic.
Working with the Eye Care Centre of Excellence, located at Misericordia Health Centre, Dr. Rahman primarily performs glaucoma surgeries. Alongside performing surgery, a large part of glaucoma management is providing education as well as treatment.
Glaucoma is a group of related eye disorders, resulting in progressive damage to the optic nerve that if left undetected/untreated can lead to blindness. It’s the most common cause of irreversible blindness, affecting 78 million people world-wide, according to worldglaucomaweek.org.
“With a diagnosis of glaucoma, most people jump to the conclusion of blindness. While there isn’t a cure, there are ways to manage the condition and prevent further vision loss,” says Dr. Rahman.
Creating awareness, providing education and promoting getting tested are the main objectives behind World Glaucoma Week. Glaucoma is usually associated with older adults, but as Dr. Rahman notes and has seen firsthand, anyone from infants to the elderly can be affected.
Regular eye exams are critical in detecting and managing glaucoma, because the earlier it’s diagnosed, the less damage will be done and more vision will be saved.
“Regardless of age and family history, everyone should get their eyes tested regularly,” says Dr. Rahman. “An optometrist can provide an initial screening of your eye health and refer you to an ophthalmologist if needed.”
It’s recommended that those under the age of 40 go for an eye exam every 2-4 years; from age 40-60 every 2-3 years; and after age 60 every 1-2 years.
“The eye as an organ is so beautiful. Even a small intervention can make a huge difference in a patient’s sight, and in turn, their life.”