The week of 12th – 18th June is National Glaucoma Awareness Week .
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is one of the leading cause of preventable blindness in the UK; it is estimated that 600.000 people in the UK have the disease with half of those remaining undiagnosed. Over the age of 40 one in 50 of us will be affected and over this rises to one in 5. In its early stages glaucoma has no obvious symptoms but advanced glaucoma can lead to serious sight loss.
The campaign aims to encourage people, particularly those most at risk, to have their eyes checked to help detect glaucoma at the earliest possible stage which makes treatment more successful.
So who is most at risk?
- Anyone over the age of 40
- Anyone with a close family history of glaucoma
- People with diabetes
- People who are very short-sighted
- People of Afro-Caribbean or Asian origin
How is it diagnosed?
There are three main tests that need to be carried out:
- An examination of the main nerve in your eye, this is performed by shining a light into the eye.
- Measuring the pressure in your eye.
- Checking the field of vision.
All of these test are painless and easy to perform and can be done as part of a routine eye check . We are proud that the equipment that allows us to do these tests is equivalent to that of most hospital eye departments; particularly the use of scanners that allow examination of the eye tissues in the finest detail, again with no discomfort.
Our patients will be aware that we were one of the first practices in the UK over 10 years ago, and remain the only local practice, to offer OCT scanning. Having built up the skills needed to use and interpret the results over that time, we have just invested heavily to install the very latest scanner to improve this service even further.
How is it treated?
Most people with glaucoma are given eye drops to use but occasionally tablets, laser treatment or surgery is needed. However early detection is the most important part or helping retain useful sight for life.