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 Walworth Road store director Radhika Radia is here to bust a few of these myths around Glaucoma.

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

‘We’ve had many patients come to us before who think they have really good vision and don’t think they could possibly have glaucoma. However, it’s a condition that remains almost symptomless until it’s at a moderate or advanced stage so having good eye sight shouldn’t be used as an indicator for glaucoma.’

Myth 2: Glaucoma only affects the elderly

‘While it may be true that the risk of developing glaucoma does increase with age, this certainly doesn’t mean that younger people are completely immune to the condition. There have been cases where babies have had congenital glaucoma so it is obviously something that 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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