Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to the World Health Organisation. It is a disease that works silently with few symptoms to reduce our sight, which could lead to blindness if undetected. We are all at risk, everyone from babies to seniors.
It is estimated that over 2 million people in the UK are living with sight loss. 250 people begin to lose their sight everyday, that’s 5 people every minute. And by 2050 there is expected to be over 4 million people living in the UK with sight loss.
This week is Glaucoma Week 2018, so please share and make people aware of Glaucoma, or book an eye test to check on your eyesight.
What is Glaucoma ?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause progressive damage of the optic nerve, where it leaves the eye to carry visual information to the brain. If left untreated, most types of glaucoma progress without warning or obvious symptoms. The disease will gradually worsen vision, leading to possible blindness.
There are many different types of Glaucoma, with some being a complication of other visual disorders. However, the majority are primary and occur after the 4th decade of life, with it’s frequency increasing with age.
Is There A Cure ?
Currently there is no known ways of preventing Glaucoma, blindness or vision loss and be slowed down and prevented if the disease is recognised in it’s early stages.
Glaucoma is a silent disease that is slow but progressive, the typical first sign of Glaucoma is when peripheral vision (side vision) is lost. It will then proceed to central vision loss.
How can you prevent glaucoma ?
Currently, regular eye exams are the best form of prevention against significant glaucoma damage.
Early detection and careful, lifelong treatment can maintain vision in most people. In general, a check for glaucoma should be done:
before age 40, every two to four years
from age 40 to age 54, every one to three years
from age 55 to 64, every one to two years
after age 65, every six to 12 months
Anyone with high risk factors should be tested every year or two after age 35.
Protect Your Eyes
Wearing protective eyewear is important when engaged in sports activities or home improvement projects. Eye injuries can result in traumatic glaucoma or secondary glaucoma, so protecting your eyes from injury is another way to prevent glaucoma.