To mark World Glaucoma Week, Kam Singh, store director at Specsavers in Dartford, sheds some light on the most common misconceptions about the condition that continue to circulate.
If you have perfect vision and no symptoms, you won’t get glaucoma
‘The reason why glaucoma is called the silent thief of sight is because people often won’t notice the symptoms until it is moderate or advanced.
‘Therefore, even though you will not have symptoms in early glaucoma, if untreated, vision will slowly deteriorate – and the later the disease is diagnosed and treated, the worse the long-term outcome.
‘Your optometrist will be able to identify glaucoma during a routine eye-test. This is why I cannot stress the importance of regularly get your eyes checked enough!’
You can only get glaucoma if you have a family history of the condition
‘While a family history of glaucoma is a risk factor, there are many glaucoma patients who are the only ones in their families who are diagnosed with the eye disease.
‘However, all patients with glaucoma should share their diagnosis with their family members and ask them to have a dilated eye examination.’
It only affects the elderly
‘While it is true that the risk of having glaucoma increases as we get older, this eye disease can affect people of all ages, even babies.
‘There are certain types of glaucoma that often manifest in patients between ages 20 and 50, such as pigmentary glaucoma.’