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 Orpington store director Shahen Raj busts a few of these myths around Glaucoma.

Myth 1: My vision is great, so I don’t have it…

‘A lot of people assume just because they appear to have good vision, they couldn’t possible have glaucoma. However, it’s a condition which only really begins to show symptoms once it has reached a moderate or advanced stage so one’s perception of their eye health should not be used to make a judgement.’

Myth 2: Glaucoma only affects the elderly

‘While we do tend to see more instances of older people developing glaucoma this doesn’t mean younger people are not at risk to it as well. It’s possible for babies to have congenital glaucoma which demonstrates that it can affect people of all ages.’

Myth 3: Glaucoma is always hereditary

‘Family history can certainly play a part in the development of glaucoma but there are a number of additional risk factors which people should be aware of that can increase the risks. Intraocular pressure, age and high blood pressure, for example, can all be contributing factors so just because it doesn’t run in the family, shouldn’t mean people think there is no chance of developing glaucoma.’

Myth 4: Glaucoma is only caused by elevated intraocular pressure (IOP)

‘There are a number of different types of glaucoma and not all of them are characterised simply by elevated IOP levels. Glaucoma is caused by damage to the optic nerve and for some people, this damage can be done by IOP levels that would generally be considered as ‘normal’

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