People over the age of 40 could be risking their eyesight as they may be unaware they have glaucoma, the second largest cause of unnecessary blindness.
That is the warning from Specsavers which is urging people in this age group to have regular eye examinations to detect the onset of the condition.
The store located at the Eyre Square Centre, is lending its support to World Glaucoma Day today (Thursday ) by offering free eyecare advice.
The director of the local store, Noel Meehan says regular eye examinations, at least every two years, are crucial to detect early signs of the disease.
“People can lose up to 40 per cent of their sight before they even realise they have a problem due to no early symptoms being noticed. Left undetected, glaucoma can cause blindness but it is treatable and progression can be controlled and even prevented if diagnosed early enough.
“We want to make people aware that if they are aged over 40 or have a family history of glaucoma then they are at an increased risk of developing the disease and should have a regular eye examination. Other risk factors include short-sightedness, if people are of Afro-Caribbean descent or have other medical conditions such as diabetes, poor circulation, migraine headaches, or past eye injuries.”
Glaucoma is a general term used to describe damage to the optic nerve. The most common cause is an increase in pressure in the eye when the fluid, called aqueous humour, is unable to drain away properly. Some types develop gradually and the sufferer is often unaware of any problem until it is quite severe. Without a regular eye examination the sufferer may find it is too late for treatment.