All you need to know about World Glaucoma Week
Glaucoma is the 2nd leading cause of blindness, affecting over 4.5 million people worldwide today, and yet to the general public it is an eye disease that we know relatively little about. To combat this issue, the WGA and WGPA combined their efforts to create World Glaucoma Week which aims to raise and spread awareness of the disease across the globe.
Charity events are taking place in every corner of the world this week – if you want to take part, you can find one local to you here.
What is glaucoma?
This is the biggest question that World Glaucoma Week hopes to answer for millions of people. Glaucoma is a progressive disease that causes permanent damage to the optic nerve in the eye, which can ultimately prevent visual information getting to the brain and result in blindness.
The trickiest thing about glaucoma is that there are no obvious warning signs or symptoms during it’s earliest stages. It has been nicknamed the ‘sneak theif of sight’ because many people over the years didn’t realise that they had glaucoma, or didn’t know what it was, and are now blind because of it.
Unfortunately there is no cure to glaucoma as vision loss is irreversible, but options such as medication and surgery are available to help prevent rapid development. As with any disease, early detection is essential to slowing it down – and not all cases lead to blindness. Regular checkups with an Optician mean that any visual signs of glaucoma, or any other eye disease, will be detected and diagnosed as early as possible.
World Glaucoma Week seeks to educate how to assess your risk for glaucoma, reinforce the importance of going for regular eye exams so any diseases can be detected, and to provide support for diagnosed patients. If you would like to find out more information on the topic, visit the Glaucoma Association.