Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Canadian Glaucoma Society, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society and the CNIB, I am pleased to declare today, March 6, 2008, to be National Glaucoma Day in Canada.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, nearly three out of every 100 Canadians over the age of 40 self-reported having glaucoma.
It is estimated that 60.5 million people worldwide will have glaucoma by 2010 and 8.5 million of those will be blind in both eyes.
The motto of this year's campaign is “Don't Get Blindsided by Glaucoma”. Early detection is the key to treating the effects of glaucoma since more than half of these sufferers do not even realize they have the disease known as “the sneak thief of sight”.
Canadians need to be much more vigilant about this disease. Those who are at high risk should have their eyes examined for the disease at least every two years by an eye care professional.
I ask all parliamentarians to join me in recognizing National Glaucoma Day.