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Keeping sight of the value of eye tests

Post on 11th March 2019

The importance of regular eye tests comes into focus in World Glaucoma Week (March 10-16).

Glaucoma is caused when pressure builds up inside the eye, damaging the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain. As most types of glaucoma have no symptoms, a regular eye test is the best way to let you know if you have the condition.

It is the third highest cause of blindness worldwide, but if detected early enough it can be treated, usually with eye drops alone.

You may not notice any difference in your vision because glaucoma affects your peripheral or side vision first. Symptoms can develop slowly over many years so that people only seek treatment when they notice they are losing their sight, when significant damage has already occurred.

Glaucoma can affect people of all ages, including babies and young children, but is most common in adults in their 70s and 80s. Although it usually develops gradually, very occasionally glaucoma can develop suddenly and cause intense eye pain, a red eye, headaches, tenderness around the eyes and blurred vision. Should this happen you should seek immediate care from an ophthalmologist.

Glaucoma causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve that worsens over time. While treatment is effective in arresting the disease, it cannot reverse damage caused previously. This means the earlier the diagnosis, the less damage done and the more vision there is to save.

World Glaucoma Week is a timely reminder of the value of having your eyes checked regularly to help keep your vision in good shape.

If you have any concerns about your eye health, or you have not had an eye test for more than two years, you can find help and advice at your local Scrivens branch.