World Glaucoma week begins on Sunday 12 March and despite there being a great deal of research into the disease, there are still a number of misconceptions which continue to circulate. Specsavers Brixton store director Brian Simpson is here to bust a few of these myths around Glaucoma.
Myth 1: My vision is great, so I don’t have it…
‘Many people refuse to believe they can have glaucoma because they believe they have good sight. However, it is a disease which only really displays symptoms once it has reached a moderate or advanced stage so quality of sight is certainly not always the best indicator.’
Myth 2: Glaucoma only affects the elderly
‘While it may be true that the risk of developing glaucoma increases with age, this certainly doesn’t mean that younger people cannot be affected. In fact, it’s something that people of any age can be affected by – some babies can have congenital glaucoma.’
Myth 3: Glaucoma is always hereditary
‘Again, this is incorrect. Family history can definitely play a part and it would be recommended to err on the side of caution if relatives have developed glaucoma, but there are a number of risk factors, such as elevated intraocular pressure, age and high blood pressure, which people should be aware of that can all increase the risk of glaucoma.’
Myth 4: Glaucoma is only caused by elevated intraocular pressure (IOP)
‘Simply not correct. There are several different types of glaucoma and not all of them are simply characterised purely by elevated IOP levels. Some patients have what would be considered to be a ‘normal’ IOP reading yet they still develop glaucoma as a result of damage to the optic nerve.