What is Glaucoma?
For most people, vision will worsen with age, but besides natural deterioration, some eye diseases may lead to poorer vision over time, or in a worst case scenario, rapid deterioration.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the UK, affecting around 500,000 people in England and Wales, and Yate Specsavers is on hand to remind customers of the importance of regular eye examinations as World Glaucoma Awareness Week (8-14 March) approaches.
What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?
Chronic open angle glaucoma is the most common form and develops slowly over time, meaning sufferers will rarely notice any symptoms. People are also more susceptible to developing the disease in later life - although people of all ages may be affected. Over-40s are at particular risk and are advised to keep up with regular eye examinations, at least the recommended every two years.
'Glaucoma comes in several forms and is one of the leading causes of sight loss in the UK, often being described as the ‘silent blinding disease’ as symptoms can be difficult to spot,' said Jane Morgan, Retail Director at the store. 'This can be worrying, but regular eye checkups can ensure any signs are spotted so treatment can begin as soon as possible.
'If you’re aged over 40, or have a family history of glaucoma, there is an increased risk of contracting the disease, so it’s especially important for these people to have regular eye examinations,' she added.
Are there different types of Glaucoma?
There are four main types of glaucoma – chronic open angle, primary angle closure, secondary, and developmental – a term which refers to damage caused to the optic nerve, often as a result of increased pressure on the eye. Despite there not being any cure for Glaucoma currently, treatment has developed considerably in recent years and in most cases, early diagnoses results in sufferers retaining some vision for life, making early detection essential.
Over-60s, under-16s, under-19s in full-time education and over-40s who have a first-degree relative with glaucoma, are entitled to a free eye test under the NHS.
How do I find out more about glaucoma?
More information about glaucoma can be found here, or alternatively, please feel free to stop by the store and talk to our qualified optometrists.