Awareness week shines a light on Glaucoma – the thief of sight
World Glaucoma Week highlights a main cause of preventable blindness in Ireland
To coincide with World Glaucoma Week, 12 – 18 March, Specsavers and National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) are highlighting the importance of regular eye tests in helping reduce preventable sight loss.
Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes permanent and irreversible damage to the optic nerve, which transmits images to the brain. But it is one of many conditions that can be picked up by an opticians and successfully treated if detected early.
While generally symptomless during its early stages, it slowly destroys eyesight through raised pressure within the eyeball. The most common cause of the increase in pressure is when the fluid, called aqueous humour, is unable to drain away properly or too much is produced. Most people affected experience no discomfort, which means that significant and lasting damage can occur before they notice any difference. In fact, 40% of optic nerve damage can occur before it is possible to notice any loss of vision.
Sinead Clohessy, Specsavers Ireland Chairperson said: ‘Because glaucoma is a painless disease and does not cause symptoms until it is quite advanced, early detection through regular and thorough eye examinations is the key to protecting your eyes. Left undetected, glaucoma can cause blindness. However, it is readily treatable and the condition can be controlled if diagnosed early.’
‘As we age we are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma, which is also hereditary. During World Glaucoma Week we want to remind people that they should have an eye examination every two years, especially if they are aged over 40 or have a family history of glaucoma.’
Chris White, CEO of NCBI says: ‘Early detection is vital in the fight against preventable sight loss. What’s shocking is that as much as 75% of blindness is preventable*. Many people fear losing their sight over their other senses but they don’t often take the steps necessary to protect their vision. Regular eye exams are a vital health check, as your optometrist may be able to see changes in your eye before you’ve noticed a change in your vision, when steps can be taken to try to prevent or halt any damage.’
Committed to providing the highest quality of optical care, Specsavers provides in depth eye examinations, including digital retinal photography at no extra charge when required. This technique assists the early detection of conditions including glaucoma, inflammatory disorders, age-related macular degeneration and vascular occlusions. Specsavers stores nationwide also provide Digital Precision Eyecare, a cutting edge way of selecting and fitting customers’ glasses using imaging software on tablet devices.
In Ireland eye examinations are free if you have been advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you are at risk of glaucoma, or you have already been diagnosed with the condition. They are also free if you are aged 40 or over and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma.
What’s even better, is that with Specsavers you can now book your eye test within seconds online by simply visiting website: http://www.specsavers.ie/expert-eyecare
For more information, please visit http://www.wgweek.net/about-world-glaucoma-week/ or show your support on social media by using #WGW2017
*Framework to adopt a Strategic Approach for Vsiion Health in Ireland. Nov 2012.
For more information, please contact:
Faye Docherty and Catriona Gallagher, Wilson Hartnell, 01 6690030
- Specsavers is a partnership of almost 2,000 locally-run businesses throughout the world -all committed to delivering high quality, affordable optical and hearing care in the communities they serve.
- Each store is part-owned and managed by its own joint venture partners who are supported by key specialists in support offices.
- More than 31 million customers used Specsavers in 2016 and the partnership had a turnover of more than £2bn.
- Specsavers opened its first store in Ireland in 1990 and currently has more than 50 stores nationwide
- Specsavers supports several charities including National Council for the Blind, Vision Aid Overseas, Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and has raised more than €160,000 for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, to help with the refurbishment of the Ophthalmology Unit.