Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in the UK and can reduce a person’s eyesight by up to 40 per cent before the sufferer even realises there is a problem.
Specsavers Newport store director Catherine Kidd explains the importance of having regular sight checks to help detect conditions like Glaucoma: ‘Glaucoma is the general term used to describe damage to the optic nerve, most commonly caused by increased pressure in the eye when fluid within the eye, called aqueous humour, is unable to drain away properly. In advanced cases, glaucoma can lead to a greater loss of visual field, meaning the patient would be unable to drive.’
What do the stats say?
Statistics from the International Glaucoma Association show that 80 per cent* of drivers aged between 40-54 feel their lives would change dramatically if they could no longer drive, yet nearly one in three had failed to have an eye test during the recommended two year period.
Catherine continued: ‘If detected early and treated, glaucoma patients can carry on driving for many years and avoid the life-changing impact of losing their license. With early detection and compliance with treatment, glaucoma need not mean the end of the road for drivers.
‘It’s very common to assume there is nothing wrong with your eyesight if you think you can see well, but an eye check can detect much more than your level of sight so I would urge everyone to take care of their eye health.’
*ICM Research conducted a survey in July 2011 for the International Glaucoma Association (IGA), the charity for people with glaucoma