Don't Let Glaucoma Steal Your Sight!

Don't Let Glaucoma Steal Your Sight!

Unlike many eye diseases and disorders, glaucoma is especially concerning because it can begin to take your vision away without you even knowing it is happening.

In fact, glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. There are often no immediate or obvious symptoms of glaucoma. The disease comes on gradually, so vision loss is hard to detect, and any sight that is lost through glaucoma can never be retrieved.

Janine will always check for glaucoma and if there are any symptoms present she will ask you to do a visual fields test. If glaucoma is suspected on the screening test you will be referred to an ophthalmologist.

Currently, there’s no cure but the good news is that once glaucoma is diagnosed, the ongoing treatment is often simple and quite effective.

Glaucoma Awareness Week works on several levels

Be aware of your own eye health. If you’re over the age of 50 and haven’t had an eye examination in two years, book an appointment with an optometrist.

Be aware of the eye health of friends and family. Ask someone you care about if they’ve recently had an eye examination. If not, a little ‘loving pressure’ could save their vision.

So, what is glaucoma?

Glaucoma affects the optic nerve, which is responsible for carrying visual messages from the retina to the brain. This nerve is actually made up of around one million delicate nerve fibres which are responsible for sight. Glaucoma causes damage to these important fibres.

The pressure inside the eye (called intraocular pressure or IOP) can become elevated, usually due to a build-up of a fluid known as aqueous humour that flows in and out of the eye. The normal pressure varies greatly from patient to patient. It is very important that we have a history of what is normal for you.

How do you know if you might be suffering from glaucoma?

Because it can happen so slowly, you may have glaucoma and not even know it. The only way to be sure is to have regular eye checks with your optometrist, who will check the pressure inside your eye, and inspect your optic nerve for signs of glaucoma damage. If you’re over the age of 50, you should have eye checks every 2 years as a matter of course – once a year if you have a family history of glaucoma. Close relatives of those with glaucoma are eight times more likely to suffer from the condition themselves

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