World Glaucoma Week: 50% of Australians living with glaucoma are undiagnosed
During World Glaucoma Week, Vision 2020 Australia would like to encourage all Australians to consider regular eye tests to ensure they are not one of the 150,000 people unknowingly living with glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of avoidable blindness in Australia, affecting over 300,000 Australians, but it can be diagnosed with a simple eye test by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
CEO of Vision 2020 Australia, Carla Northam, said “We encourage all Australians to have regular eye tests, especially those with a direct family link to help prevent and treat conditions like glaucoma. Eye tests can save your vision; don’t take your sight for granted.
By detecting eye conditions such as glaucoma early, many people can prevent blindness or maintain a level of vison which allows them to live independently.”
Many cases of glaucoma go undiagnosed as sufferers do not notice symptoms until the disease advances, and those without any existing or obvious eye conditions often do not consider getting their eyes tested.
“Blindness from glaucoma is both tragic and unacceptable as it is largely preventable and treatable” said Glaucoma Australia Ophthalmology Committee Chair Dr Simon Skalicky.
“If detected and treated early, glaucoma blindness can be avoided. Taking the time to have a comprehensive eye exam can save your sight” added Glaucoma Australia Optometry Committee Chair Dr Ben Ashby.
The risk of developing glaucoma increases significantly if you have a direct family member with the disease, so relatives of glaucoma sufferers are encouraged to get a full eye test every 2 years from the age of 40 to help ensure early treatment and prevention.
“Considering you are 10 times more likely to have glaucoma if you have a direct family member with glaucoma, and up to 50% more likely if their glaucoma is advanced, it is the relatives who we are reaching out to during World Glaucoma Week to be glaucoma aware and increase early detection. Our primary mission is to eliminate blindness due to glaucoma” said Glaucoma Australia CEO Annie Gibbins.
World Glaucoma Week 2018 runs from March 11-17. Host a B.I.G. Breakfast to help B
For more information: Amy Johnston at Vision 2020 Australia
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