It may be surprising to learn that glaucoma is actually one of the biggest causes of blindness in the world, but many don’t even realise they have it due to the gradual onset nature of the condition.
Specsavers Romford is shining a light on the condition this month to help prevent avoidable sight loss.
First off, what is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma occurs when naturally occurring fluid inside the eye does not drain properly causing a build-up of pressure. The condition often affects both eyes, usually to varying degrees, however, there are two types - chronic glaucoma, which develops slowly with subtle changes to your vision, and acute glaucoma which develops rapidly with a sudden, painful build-up of pressure in the eye.
- Glaucoma can be symptomless so the best way to detect it is through regular eye tests.
- While caffeine can raise eye pressure, some studies indicate that regular exercise can lower it.
- Glaucoma strikes earlier and progresses faster in men and women of black-African or black-Caribbean origin and occurs about five times more often.
- Your chances of having glaucoma are 20% higher if the disease is in your family and blindness is about six times more common. Age also plays a big part. Regular eye tests after the age of 40 are even more important.
- U2’s Bono, astronaut John Glenn, Whoopi Goldberg, Dame Maggie Smith and Andrea Bocelli are just a few well-known names that have or are known to have had glaucoma.
Providing Glaucoma Care in the local community
Bhavi Mistry, Specsavers Romford store director and optometrist, sais: ‘Our store in Romford currently works as a shared care store, which means that we have a contract with the local PCT (primary care trust) and look after longstanding and suspect glaucoma patients. In 2018, we were proud to be recognised by RNIB for detecting a glaucoma patient and potentially saving their sight. Don’t delay, book an eye test and you could be saving your sight.’