The team at Specsavers in Alfreton are up-skilling to better support customers with glaucoma.
Often symptomless in its early stages, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible sight loss. It is thought to affect 700,000 people in the UK today, but as many as 50% of cases are undiagnosed.
As part of the store’s support for the awareness week, staff member Sharon Hardie has undergone specialist glaucoma training in store. In conjunction with the International Glaucoma Association, Specsavers has developed the training for its retail teams 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.
Eugene Grant, store director at Specsavers Alfreton, said: ‘We are very proud to be involved in supporting the International Glaucoma Association and being able to better support our customers with the condition is a really positive development for our store.
‘Our store is such a big part of the community and it is really important to us that we can provide the very vest service to our customers and support someone with the condition in the most effective way possible.’
‘The training was very comprehensive and provided a deeper understanding of the condition,’ said Sharon. ‘I am available in store to assist and advise glaucoma sufferers, and I’m also hoping to provide meaningful practical support to those that are struggling with the management of their condition.’
The training is being rolled out across Specsavers stores nationwide and complements the skills held by Specsavers’ optometrists, who have collectively completed almost 5,000 postgraduate glaucoma accreditations since 2017, through a variety of accrediting bodies including Cardiff University and the College of Optometrists.
Karen Osborn, chief executive of IGA, said: ‘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.’