2017 marks the beginning of the 8th
annual World Glaucoma Week and this year could be your chance to save someone’s vision.
Organised by The World Glaucoma Association and the World Glaucoma Patient Association, World Glaucoma Week aims to raise awareness of the eye condition and rally the public into spreading the message to family, friends and co-workers in a bid to eliminate the growing threat of glaucoma blindness.
How much do you know about glaucoma?
- Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness
- More than 64 million people worldwide suffer from the condition
- It is estimated that by 2020 there will be 11.2 million people worldwide who are fully blind as a result of glaucoma
- 90% of these cases can be prevented with early diagnosis
- Up to 50% of sufferers in the UK do not know they have glaucoma
What is Glaucoma?
is a group of eye conditions which affect the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye to carry visual information to the brain. It causes progressive, irreversible damage which, if left untreated, can cause loss of vision and ultimately blindness.
High intra-ocular pressure (IOP) within the eye is one of the leading causes of glaucoma, although age, racial ancestry, family history and high degrees of myopia (short sightedness) are also key factors in the development of the condition.
There is a 2.3% risk that you will develop glaucoma in your lifetime, but this risk increases tenfold if you have a first degree relative who suffers from glaucoma. Educating patients about the need to inform their parents, siblings and children is therefore crucial in the fight against glaucoma blindness, and one of the most important messages of World Glaucoma Week
Glaucoma is most common in people over the age of 40; however it can develop in new born children (congenital glaucoma) and during childhood (juvenile glaucoma). It can also develop as a result of other eye conditions (secondary glaucoma), but typically it develops without any known cause (primary glaucoma). For more information on the different types, take a look at our glaucoma infographic
Glaucoma Monitoring Service & Surgery at Optegra
At Optegra we offer a bespoke glaucoma monitoring service
in a number of our dedicated eye hospitals around the country. The service helps to identify and treat any potential risks or developments during what can be a daunting time for patients.
Our world class surgeons and consultants
will carry out a series of comprehensive tests using state-of the-art technology to find out exactly what point your glaucoma is at, and offer you invaluable information about how to treat or manage the condition going forward.
The glaucoma monitoring service is available for patients who currently have glaucoma as well as those who are at risk of developing the condition, and can be carried out at the Optegra eye hospitals in North London
If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, medication can be used to slow the progression of the condition and ease intra-ocular pressure. Alternatively, you may be able to benefit from glaucoma surgery. Your specialist Optegra surgeon will be able to advise you on the most suitable medication or surgery based on your medical situation and lifestyle.
How to Prevent Glaucoma
While damage is irreversible, vision can be maintained for most patients through early detection and careful treatment. Regular eye examinations are the best way to prevent significant loss of vision due to glaucoma. You should have glaucoma checks more frequently as you get older, as the risk of developing the condition naturally increases. As a general rule, you should get glaucoma checks:
- Every two to four years if you are under 40 years old
- Every one to three years between 40 and 54 years old
- Every one to two years between 55 and 64 years old
- Every six to 12 months if you are above 65 years old
Anyone at high risk, such as diabetics, people of African descent, and people with a family history of glaucoma should be tested once a year after the age of 35.
Finally, protecting your eyes is another important way to prevent traumatic or secondary glaucoma. You should therefore always wear the correct eye protection when carrying out home improvements, sports activities or any other situation where your eyes are at risk.
To find out more about how Optegra can help detect and treat glaucoma, get in touch
with us today.