Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable sight loss in the UK. Various awareness weeks remind us of its important but Specsavers in Alton is urging customers to be mindful of this condition, year round.
Why the need?
Glaucoma is one of the main causes of preventable blindness and is referred to by experts as the 'silent killer of sight.'
The good news is that optometrists - such as Owen Coyles from the Alton store - can detect signs of glaucoma by carrying out three simple tests.
'There are three key things that I look for - observing the main nerve in the eye, measuring the pressure in the eye (puff test) and checking peripheral vision.
These tests can throw up early indicators of the disease and we can then monitor it from there on. Future damage to the vision can be minimised so it really is a 'no brainer' as to why the test is so important in the first place.'
It is estimated that nearly 600,000 people in the UK have glaucoma, but nearly half of those are completely unaware.
Owen says: 'In the early stages, there are often no symptoms, so you can see how this statistic exists. But we are urging Alton locals to have a test, particularly if a relative has the condition because it can be hereditary.'