Ely opticians raise awareness of glaucoma, the silent thief

PUBLISHED: 11:50 03 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:53 03 April 2018

Subhash Suthar, of the International Glaucoma Association, visits the Ely branch of Vision Express. Seen here with IGA representative with Vision Express at Ely optical assistants (L-R) Emma James, Jane Woods and Ewa Mickiewicz

Subhash Suthar, of the International Glaucoma Association, visits the Ely branch of Vision Express. Seen here with IGA representative with Vision Express at Ely optical assistants (L-R) Emma James, Jane Woods and Ewa Mickiewicz

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A new opticians in Ely is helping to raise awareness of what it calls 'a silent thief.'

Subhash Suthar, of the International Glaucoma Association, visits the Ely branch of Vision ExpressSubhash Suthar, of the International Glaucoma Association, visits the Ely branch of Vision Express

Vision Express was visited by a leading figure at the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) who gave a talk on the importance of good eye health and preventative measures to help those at risk of the disease.

The retailer, based in Tesco, urged people in Ely to prioritise sight amid figures that show around 70,063 residents in the East of England have glaucoma.

Subhash Suthar, development manager at the IGA, said: “Sadly, glaucoma is a long term, chronic condition, sometimes referred to as a silent thief of sight.

“It is essential that people have regular eye health checks so that glaucoma can be detected and treated early.

Subhash Suthar, of the International Glaucoma Association, visits the Ely branch of Vision ExpressSubhash Suthar, of the International Glaucoma Association, visits the Ely branch of Vision Express

“Treatment is life-long and most people will start with eye drops.

“The difficulty we find is that people often stop using drops as they don’t understand that the drop is helping to control the pressure in the eye which in turn protects the optic nerve and saves sight.”

It is thought glaucoma will rise by nearly 50 per cent by 2035, he added.

It is a leading cause of preventable sight loss worldwide but as it often has no symptoms in the early stages it often remains undetected until a person has an eye health check.

Jane Woods, who works at the Ely store, said: “With an estimated 70,063 people in the region living with glaucoma, we’re here to ensure their vision is the best it can be.

“We have over 100 ways to test your eyes, to assess how they’re working and help detect serious conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and increased risk of stroke.

“It’s great that Vision Express is now in such a convenient location for local people to drop in and get this essential health check, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the public in our opening week.”

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