Religious fasts can affect eye treatment

Glaucoma patients, who must apply eye drops, risk damaging their eyes if they stop treatment during religious fasting, a British researcher said.

Nishant Kumar of the University Hospital in Liverpool, England, said glaucoma patients often notice no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, which poses challenges for physicians in motivating patients to stick to treatment regimens. If patients neglect treatment until their vision noticeably declines, the damage is often irreversible.

Kumar studied patient compliance in relation to fasting by analyzing 350 surveys completed by members of the worlds' major faiths: Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, Judaism, Bahai and Buddhism -- 50 surveys per religion.

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