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This is the week to get your eyes checked


Sunday March 9th sees the start of World Glaucoma Week.

Everyone over 50 should be aware of the increasing risk of glaucoma which can lead to blindness if left untreated. Nearly 500,000 people in the UK suffer from the disease, about 1 in 50 over the age of 40 have glaucoma and this steadily rises to around one in 10 at the age of 75 and above.

So World Glaucoma Week is something that hopefully will encourage everyone over 50 to go for an eye MOD. This is important because with the more common open-angle glaucoma, there are virtually no symptoms. Vision loss begins with peripheral or side vision and once vision is lost it cannot be regained.

Throughout World Glaucoma Week, Optegra, the special eye hospital group, is calling on people to go and get their eyes checked.

Brendan Moriarty, Glaucoma expert and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Optegra Manchester Eye Hospital, told Laterlife that glaucoma is often referred to as the “silent thief” of vision because it is so gradual and there are no indications for the sufferer until disease is well advanced.


“Early detection of  glaucoma is absolutely vital  to prevent unnecessary damage to vision or even blindness,” he said.

“I find it incredible that so many people fail to have regular eye tests, particularly when you consider what is at stake. The earlier we spot glaucoma, the more we can do to treat it.”

Opticians are well practices in giving glaucoma check-ups and these usually include two routine eye tests, tonometry and opthalmoscopy. Tonomentry measures the pressure in your eye (this is often the test that involves a puff of warm air onto the eye) and normal pressure is usually around 12 to 22 mm HG, or millimetres of mercury). 

Ophthalmoscopy is when your optician uses a small device with a light on the end to light and magnify the optic nerve so its shape and colour can be carefully studied.

Other tests are also sometimes used to diagnose glaucoma.

The disease can run in a family and people who have suffered from very short sign can be more vulnerable to glaucoma.

If you haven’t had your eyes checked recently, World Glaucoma Week is a good week to think seriously about it and organise a visit to your optician.

For more information on glaucoma, there is a lot of information on the internet or visit

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