Next week is the National Glaucoma Awareness Week (12-18 June 2017).
What exactly is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions. The main nerve in the eye (the optic nerve) becomes damaged, usually as a result of increased pressure in the eye. This can lead to misty and patchy vision which worsens if left untreated. It can eventually lead to blindness although this is rare, especially if detected early.
Is glaucoma common?
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness. It is estimated that 600,000 people in the UK have glaucoma, with half of those undiagnosed. It affects two percent of people over the age of 40, and this rises to five percent of people over the age of 80.
Who is at greatest risk?
If any of these glaucoma risk factors apply to you, it is especially important to get an eye examinaation:
Anyone over the age of 40
Anyone with a history of glaucoma in the family
People with diabetes
People who are very short-sighted
People of African-Caribbean or Asian origin
People who are long-sighted
Why are eye health checks important?
The only way to know if your eyes are healthy and your vision is accurate is to have your eyes checked by an optician (optometrist).
Glaucoma has no obvious symptoms in the early stages, but advanced glaucoma can lead to serious and permanent loss of sight.
With early diagnosis, careful monitoring and regular use of treatments, the vast majority of patients will retain useful sight for life.
FREE NHS funded tests if you are:
Over the age of 60
Under 16 or under 19 in full-time education
Living in Scotland
Receiving income support, certain beneﬁts including pension credit (more information at www.nhs.uk)
Diabetic or have glaucoma
Over 40 and have a close relative with glaucoma
Advised by an ophthalmologist that you are at risk of glaucoma
Registered as visually impaired
Receiving vouchers for complex lenses
A prisoner or on leave from prison
Contact The BIG Optician now on 0191 2244555