As World Glaucoma Week approaches (9-15 March) eye experts at Nuffield Hospital Bournemouth have urged the public not to turn a blind eye to Glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of preventable blindness in the UK, affecting around two percent of the population over the age of 40. The condition usually occurs when too much pressure inside the eye damages the optic nerve.
The onset of the disease is symptom free and its progression painless, chipping away at peripheral vision. By the time sufferers notice a problem, considerable damage to their sight has already occurred.
In some cases, acute closed angle Glaucoma symptoms can include severe eye pain, redness, blurred vision seeing haloes around lights and nausea and vomiting.
Mr Ramchandani, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Nuffield Health Bournemouth Hospital said “Undetected and untreated, Glaucoma causes irreversible sight loss. In advanced cases the effects on lifestyle can be devastating with loss of independence, a ban on driving, increased risk of falls, depression and in some cases, blindness. The frustration is that modern treatments including eye drops, laser options and surgery can slow down or stop its progression, emphasising the need for early detection”
The chance of developing Glaucoma increases with age and after the age of 45 regular two yearly sight tests at the optician can help to detect it.
Other groups more at risk include those with first degree relatives who have been diagnosed with Glaucoma, people who have very high spectacle corrections, and some ethnic groups who are also more susceptible to different types of the disease.
The Nuffield Health Bournemouth Hospital will be holding a public open event during World Glaucoma Week on March 12 at 7pm to cover everything the public needs to know about Glaucoma, including the most up to date treatments. Mr Ramchandani will also be holding an informal question and answers session during the evening.
Though attendance is free places are limited so people are asked to book to avoid disappointment, the number to call is 01202 702830. Information is also at available at www.nuffieldhealth.com.