Families urged to focus on glaucoma

PIC IAN RUTHERFORD

PIC IAN RUTHERFORD

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In recognition of National Glaucoma Awareness Week (June 6 to June 12), Specsavers in Forfar is encouraging all locals who know of glaucoma in their family to book in for an eye examination at an opticians.

Research shows that close relatives of glaucoma sufferers are up to four times more likely to develop the sight-threatening condition than those without a family history of the disease.

Optometrists can detect signs of glaucoma, one of the leading causes of preventable sight loss in the UK, by carrying out three simple tests - observing the main nerve in the eye, measuring the pressure in the eye (puff test) and checking peripheral vision. These checks are included a part of the comprehensive standard eye examination for patients as appropriate. Everybody in Scotland is entitled to free eye tests through NHS Scotland.

Blair Michie, store director at Specsavers in Forfar says: “An estimated 600,000 people in the UK have glaucoma, but at least half haven’t been diagnosed[ii]. Many are unaware that glaucoma can be hereditary and signs go unnoticed, especially in the early stages when there are often no symptoms.

“Early detection means the condition can be monitored and future damage to vision minimised, which is why we’re asking everyone in Forfar to make sure they have their eyes tested, especially if their siblings or parents have glaucoma.”

National Glaucoma Week 2016 sees the International Glaucoma Association launch the Family Foresight campaign, supported by Specsavers, which aims to raise awareness of family history linked with glaucoma.

Russell Young, CEO of the International Glaucoma Association says: “We’re pleased to be working with Specsavers to highlight the importance of regular eye health checks. As glaucoma is not well understood, many people could be irretrievably losing their vision without realising it. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment can help to save vision.”

To make a donation to the International Glaucoma Association via Justgiving visit https://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/iga/ngaw2016