To mark World Glaucoma Week (11-18 March) Specsavers teams across the nation are being upskilled to better support patients with glaucoma – the leading cause of irreversible sight loss.

Often symptomless in its early stages, glaucoma is thought to affect 700,000 people in the UK today, but as many as 50% of cases are undiagnosed.*

New training for stores

The training has been carried out in conjunction with the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) where store teams have been taught how to assist sufferers with their treatment.

Specifically, they will be advising on how to effectively administer eye drops, which are crucial for managing the condition.

This new training complements the skills held by Specsavers’ optometrists, who have collectively completed almost 5,000 postgraduate glaucoma accreditations since 2017.

Case study

Alan Murphy was just 37 when a trip to Specsavers in Connswater, Belfast, found the early stages of glaucoma. Thanks to early detection, his condition is now carefully managed by using eye drops daily.

Alan says: ‘I would strongly urge people to go for regular eye tests, and to make the most of the advice and support provided by their local optician.’

A word from the IGA

Karen Osborn, chief executive of the IGA, says: ‘The majority of people who are diagnosed early with glaucoma will retain useful sight for life. Most will be treated with medical eye drops.

‘Unfortunately we know from calls to our helpline that many people aren’t told about how to put the drop in the eye correctly, or aren’t advised about the aids that are available to help them. We are delighted to work with Specsavers on this often over-looked aspect of glaucoma management.’

* Source: RNIB and Specsavers State of the Nation Report - Eye Health September 2017.

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