Research shows that close relatives of glaucoma sufferers are up to four times more likely to develop the sight-threatening disease than those without a family history of the condition.
In recognition of National Glaucoma Awareness Week (6-12 June), Banbury staff are encouraging their local community to book eye tests if they are aware of a family history of glaucoma.
Optometrists can detect signs of glaucoma by carrying out simple tests – observing the main nerve in the eye, measuring the pressure in the eye and checking peripheral vision.
‘An estimated 600,000 people in the UK have glaucoma, but at least half haven’t been diagnosed,’ store director, Paul Bridge, said. ‘Many are unaware that glaucoma can be hereditary and signs go unnoticed, especially in the early stages when there are often no symptoms.
‘Early detection means the condition can be monitored and future damage to vision minimised, which is why we’re asking everyone in the area to make sure they have their eyes tested, especially if their siblings or parents have glaucoma.’
National Glaucoma Week 2016 sees the International Glaucoma Association launch the Family Foresight campaign, supported by Specsavers, which aims to raise awareness of family history linked with glaucoma.
Russell Young, CEO of the International Glaucoma Association, commented: ‘We’re pleased to be working with Specsavers to highlight the importance of regular eye health checks. As glaucoma is not well understood, many people could be irretrievably damaging their vision without realising it. Detection, diagnosis and treatment can help to save vision.’