Over 40s in Aberdare were urged to have their eyes checked during World Glaucoma Week (6-12 March).

Leading cause of blindness

In the UK around one in 50 people over the age of 40 are known to have glaucoma, and this figure rises to about one in 10 for people over the age of 75.

The disease is the leading cause of irreversible blindness , and the most common type of glaucoma can develop without any symptoms until it is at advanced stages.

And without a regular eye examination the sufferer may find it is too late for treatment.

Therefore, Specsavers urged the over 40s in Aberdare to have regular eye examinations to detect the onset of glaucoma. Glaucoma is the term used to describe damage to the optic nerve, commonly caused by increased pressure in the eye.

Promoting awareness

Alison Williams, director at Specsavers in Aberdare, said: ‘Many people assume that unless their eyesight is deteriorating, their eye health is fine. Specsavers is dedicated to making people aware that this is not the case for all optical conditions, as glaucoma can show no symptoms of developing until sight is irreversibly lost.

‘Regular eye examinations, at least every two years, are crucial to detect early signs of glaucoma as people can lose up to 40 per cent of their sight before they even realise they have a problem.

‘To mark World Glaucoma Week, we wanted to make people aware that if they are aged over 40 or have a family history of glaucoma, then they are at an increased risk of developing the disease. We want people to know the risks, and that as sight test could prevent glaucoma from affecting their vision.’

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