Research shows that close relatives of glaucoma sufferers are up to four times more likely to develop the sight-threatening condition than those without a family history of the disease.
National Glaucoma Awareness Week
In recognition of National Glaucoma Awareness Week, which took place earlier this month, the team at Specsavers in Northallerton has been encouraging all locals who know of glaucoma in their family to book in for an eye examination.
Optometrists can detect signs of glaucoma, one of the leading causes of preventable sight loss in the UK, by carrying out three simple tests - observing the main nerve in the eye, measuring the pressure in the eye (puff test) and checking peripheral vision.
Ruth Sinclair, store director at Specsavers in Northallerton says: ‘An estimated 600,000 people in the UK have glaucoma, but at least half haven’t been diagnosed . Many are unaware that glaucoma can be hereditary and signs go unnoticed, especially in the early stages when there are often no symptoms.
Importance of early detection
‘Early detection means the condition can be monitored and future damage to vision minimised, which is why we’re asking everyone in Northallerton to make sure they have their eyes tested, especially if their siblings or parents have glaucoma.’
National Glaucoma Week 2016 sees the International Glaucoma Association launch the Family Foresight campaign, supported by Specsavers, which aims to raise awareness of family history linked with glaucoma.
Russell Young, CEO of the International Glaucoma Association says: ‘We’re pleased to be working with Specsavers to highlight the importance of regular eye health checks. As glaucoma is not well understood, many people could be irretrievably damaging their vision without realising it. Detection, diagnosis and treatment can help to save vision.’
What you should know about Glaucoma:
1. Glaucoma is the most common cause of preventable blindness in the UK today
2. Close relatives and people of African Carbbean origin have a four times increased risk of developing glaucoma
3. Glaucoma can cause misty, patchy and blurred vision
4. The most common glaucoma is a slow progressive condition which can go unnoticed by the individual for several years.