This week (March 11 to 17 ) is World Glaucoma Week, and Specsavers and the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI ) are using the opportunity to highlight the importance of regular eye tests in helping to reduce preventable sight loss.
Almost all adults living in Ireland would rank sight as the sense they would least like to lose, yet shockingly only half prioritise their eye health by getting their eyes tested every two years, according to research recently commissioned by Specsavers.
Glaucoma, an eye condition that causes permanent and irreversible damage to the optic nerve, which transmits images to the brain – is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in Ireland. Glaucoma is one of many conditions that can be picked up by opticians and successfully treated if detected early.
While generally symptomless during its early stages, it slowly destroys eyesight through raised pressure within the eyeball.
Most people affected experience no discomfort, which means that significant and lasting damage can occur before they notice any difference. In fact, 40 per cent of optic nerve damage can occur before it is possible to notice any loss of vision.
Kerril Hickey, Specsavers Ireland chairperson, said: “Because glaucoma is a painless disease and does not cause symptoms until it is quite advanced, early detection through regular and thorough eye examinations is the key to protecting your eyes. Left undetected, glaucoma can cause blindness. However, it is readily treatable and the condition can be controlled if diagnosed early.”
With the recent changes to PRSI optical benefits, anyone who has been employed or self-employed in Ireland for two years is now entitled to a free eye test as well as a free pair of glasses or contribution to a pair of glasses at Specsavers.
Specsavers is committed to providing the highest quality of optical care and there has been significant investment in the latest optical technology, including digital retinal photography, which can detect symptoms of a variety of health problems such as diabetes, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.
For more information visit www.wgweek.net/about-world-glaucoma-week/ or show your support on social media by using #WGW2018.