World Glaucoma Week 2017March 14, 2017 2:07 pm
World Glaucoma Week is a collaboration project between the World Glaucoma Association and the World Glaucoma Patient Association. The aim of the project is to eliminate glaucoma by educating people to have regular eye tests, including optic nerve checks.
Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions that can cause permanent sight loss by damaging the optic nerve. Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve (connecting the eye to the brain) becomes damaged by the pressure of fluid increasing inside of the eye. It is one of the worlds leading causes of blindness with around 2% of the UK’s over population living with the condition. Despite it being such a common condition, many people will not realise they have glaucoma as it doesn’t carry any symptoms in the early stages.
It is not possible to regain any vision lost from glaucoma however, with early diagnosis, careful monitoring and regular treatment, further damage is preventable and most patients can retain useful eyesight.
The following factors can increase your risk of glaucoma:
- Being over the age of 40
- Having a family history of glaucoma
- Being short sighted
- Being diabetic
- Being of African-Caribbean origin
Regular eye checks are essential to detect glaucoma in its early stages as there are often no initial symptoms. We recommend that anyone over the age of 40 or who falls into one of the categories above should see an optician or a medical specialist for an eye examination every two years.