Help us to save people's sight

PUBLISHED: 11:30 10 May 2007 | UPDATED: 12:28 04 May 2010

DID you know that National Glaucoma Awareness Week runs from June 11-17 of June? More importantly, do you know why this week exists? Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the UK today. About two per cent of the population over the age

DID you know that National Glaucoma Awareness Week runs from June 11-17 of June? More importantly, do you know why this week exists?

Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the UK today.

About two per cent of the population over the age of 40 have glaucoma.

Half the people with this potentially blinding condition are unaware of the risk to their sight because it gives no symptoms to warn the sufferer, until the condition is in the latter stages.

A person can lose almost half of their field of vision before they become aware of a sight problem.

As glaucoma damage cannot be reversed, only arrested or slowed, treatment is much more likely to preserve an individualís quality of life if the condition is diagnosed early.

Three simple tests, available at most high street opticians (optometrists) can diagnose glaucoma at that vital early stage, these tests are painless and quick to perform.

During National Glaucoma Awareness Week our aim is to encourage everyone over the age of 40 to have a regular (once every two years) routine eye test that includes all three glaucoma tests, whether or not they believe anything is wrong with their vision. We are asking for your help to publicise this advice so that the needless visual loss and blindness due to glaucoma can be avoided.

Surely, in a modern developed country, the fact that so many people go blind for want of three simple tests is a scandal, especially as these tests are readily available on almost every High Street.

Please help us publicise this simple sight saving message to your readership during National Glaucoma Awareness Week.

With kindest regards and many thanks

DAVID J WRIGHT

(Chief executive) International Glaucoma Association.

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