Estimated 350,000 people in UK have eye condition that can cause vision loss
Cause of Glaucoma explained
Specsavers has revealed there have been more than 30,000 referrals for glaucoma in the past year for Britons aged between 40 to 60.
The eye health specialists have now warned many of the people affected don’t know they have it.
Consultant ophthalmologist at Queen Margaret Hospital in Fife, Professor Roshini Sanders, commented on its latest findings.
“The biggest challenge when it comes to glaucoma is not seeing people in time,” said Professor Sanders.
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“Patients must be seen quickly, either in hospitals or in community clinics, as this is the single most important step in preventing blindness.”
Professor Sanders warned: “Too many people around the UK are losing their sight whilst sitting on NHS waiting lists.”
Giles Edmonds, Clinical Services Director at Specsavers, cautioned: “Glaucoma is a common eye condition.”
Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged, Edmonds explained.
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“It’s usually caused by fluid building up in the front part of the eye, which increases pressure inside the eye,” he added.
“Although most will not experience any symptoms, glaucoma can lead to loss of vision if it’s not detected and treated early.”
Vision lost to glaucoma can not be recovered but, with early detection and treatment, most people can retain their sight.
“Having an eye test at least every two years, regardless of your age or whether you’re experiencing vision issues or symptoms, is so important,” said Edmonds.
Joanne Creighton, Chief Executive of Glaucoma UK, added: “As a charity that provides help and support to everyone living with glaucoma, Glaucoma Awareness Week is an opportunity to highlight the fact that an estimated 350,000 people in the UK are unaware they have glaucoma.
“Glaucoma can be symptomless, and people could lose sight to the disease before they’re able to spot the signs.
“An optometrist can identify glaucoma at a routine eye appointment at your local opticians, which is why we urge everyone to book an eye test and save their sight.”
The charity that provides help and support to everyone living with glaucoma is committed to raising awareness about the condition.
From June 26 to July 2, Specsavers and Glaucoma UK have collaborated for Glaucoma Awareness Week.
If you have not had an eye appointment in the past two years, you can book an appointment here at Specsavers.
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