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Ask the Optom - Glaucoma Awareness Week

17 March, 2017
AJ
AJ, Optom at Specsavers in Sittingbourne, gives advice on glaucoma

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a general term that can be used to describe a group of ocular conditions that mainly affect the Optic nerve – the main nerve that interprets vision and relays information to the brain. These conditions have the potential to cause permanent visual loss through raised intra ocular pressure, visual field changes and Optic nerve damage.

What are the causes?

Most common causes include raised eye pressure and other systemic diseases, for instance diabetes.

Who's most at risk from glaucoma?

- Patients over the age of 40

- Those that have a direct family member, for example a parent or a sibling

- Patients of Asian and African American ethnicity

- Poorly controlled systemic conditions, for instance diabetes

How is it diagnosed?

Glaucoma can easily be detected/diagnosed at a routine sight test. Most common tests will include IOP's (Intra Ocular Pressure) Visual Fields test (visual response in peripheral vision) and Optic nerve assessment (photos of back of the eye).

Any other advice for customers?

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness across the world. This can easily be avoided by having regular/routine sight tests at your local Optometrist.

It is important to make your optician aware if you think you fall into any of the risk categories since there are no symptoms in the initial stages of the disease.

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