The 7th – 13th March is World Glaucoma week, a dedicated week to raise awareness about glaucoma.
This year the main focus of the week reflects the important of regular eye examinations and detecting glaucoma as early as possible.
Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that cause irreversible blindness due to damage to the optic nerve, usually as a result of elevated intra ocular pressure. Unfortunately, glaucoma is often asymptomatic, meaning that many people are living with glaucoma and are often unaware.
The most common type of glaucoma is associated with older age and develops slowly, occurring when the eye’s drainage channels gradually become blocked. Other types of glaucoma can be caused by underlying eye conditions or present from birth.
Glaucoma usually has no symptoms as it is developing, and symptoms may only be noticed once damage has already occurred. This can be in the form of reduced peripheral vision, rings appearing around bright lights and severe eye pain, headaches, and nausea.
Across the world it is estimated that 78 million people are living with glaucoma, and it is predicted that by 2040 this will increase to 111.8 million!
These figures show just how important it is to ensure you have regular eye examinations at the recommended intervals. For most people this will be every year or 2 years, and for those who have a family history of glaucoma it is recommended you are seen every year.
At your eye examination at The Eye Place we use state-of-the-art technology which take scans of the back of the eye, allowing our optometrists to detect eye conditions such as glaucoma in its earliest stages, allowing for early diagnosis and treatment. Having these scans at every eye examination also gives our optometrists an ongoing history of the health of your eyes, which allows them to detect any changes.
Glaucoma is usually treated by managing the underlying issues to prevent any further damage to the optic nerve. The usual treatments are eye drops that improve the fluid drainage or reduce the amount of fluid being produced in the eye or laser treatment to help lower eye pressure.
If you have noticed any changes in your vision or have missed any regular eye examinations due to the pandemic, please contact your local Eye Place today to book your appointment.Our practices have social distancing measures in place in line with current guidance to ensure your visit is safe and Covid-19 secure.