Close relatives of glaucoma sufferers are up to four times more likely to develop the condition than those without a family history of the sight-threatening disease.
This week, during National Glaucoma Awareness Week, staff in Worcester are encouraging locals who have a family history of glaucoma to book an eye examination in store.
Optometrists can detect signs of glaucoma by carrying out three simple tests - observing the main nerve in the eye, measuring the pressure in the eye and checking peripheral vision.
Alan Richards, store director in Worcester, said: ‘An estimated 600,000 people in the UK have glaucoma, but at least half haven’t been diagnosed. Many are unaware that glaucoma can be hereditary and signs go unnoticed, especially in the early stages when there are often no symptoms.
‘Early detection means the condition can be monitored and future damage to vision minimised, which is why we’re asking everyone in the area to make sure they have their eyes tested, especially if their siblings or parents have glaucoma.’
National Glaucoma Week 2016 sees the International Glaucoma Association launch the Family Foresight campaign. Supported by Specsavers, the campaign aims to raise awareness of family history linked with glaucoma.
Russell Young, CEO of the International Glaucoma Association, commented: ‘We’re pleased to be working with Specsavers to highlight the importance of regular eye health checks. As glaucoma is not well understood, many people could be irretrievably damaging their vision without realising it. Detection, diagnosis and treatment can help to save vision.’