Redruth Store director, Jonathan Eva, explains the importance of finding the time in our busy lives to have regular sight checks to help detect conditions such as Glaucoma.

A leading cause of preventable blindness

Jonathan said: ‘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. One of the main signs of glaucoma is loss of peripheral vision.

‘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.’

Advice from an expert

Jonathan continued: ‘More than 80 per cent* of drivers aged between 40-54 feel that 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. If detected early and treated, glaucoma patients can carry on driving for many years and avoid the life-changing impact of losing their license.’

He added: ‘Glaucoma is a hereditary condition so it’s particularly to get checked if you have parents or siblings with the condition. As well as those over 40 running an increased risk of developing glaucoma, other risk factors include short-sightedness, if people are of Afro-Caribbean descent, or have other medical conditions such as diabetes, poor circulation, migraine headaches or past eye injuries.

'There is no need to be frightened of glaucoma if you are having regular eye examinations that can detect it and ensure that you get the correct treatment. 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 this winter.’

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*ICM Research conducted a survey in July 2011 for the International Glaucoma Association (IGA), the charity for people with glaucoma.