The eye condition which is threatening the sight of thousands of people

Ian Walker at Specsavers Hartlepool.
Ian Walker at Specsavers Hartlepool.

Staff at two opticians stores are raising awareness of an eye condition which affects 600,000 people a year.

Specsavers stores in Hartlepool and Peterlee are campaigning as part of National Glaucoma Awareness Week which runs until June 12.

An estimated 600,000 people in the UK have glaucoma, but at least half haven’t been diagnosed[ii]. Many are unaware that glaucoma can be hereditary and signs go unnoticed, especially in the early stages when there are often no symptoms.

Ian Walker, director of the Specsavers store in Hartlepool

Latest statistics show close relatives of glaucoma sufferers are up to four times more likely to develop the sight-threatening condition.

Optometrists can detect signs of glaucoma, one of the leading causes of preventable sight loss in the UK, by carrying out three simple tests - observing the main nerve in the eye, measuring the pressure in the eye (puff test) and checking peripheral vision.

Ian Walker, store director at Specsavers in Hartlepool, said: “Early detection means the condition can be monitored and future damage to vision minimised, which is why we’re asking everyone in Hartlepool and Peterlee to make sure they have their eyes tested, especially if their parents or grandparents have glaucoma.

Russell Young, chief executive of the International Glaucoma Association, said: ‘We’re pleased to be working with Specsavers to highlight the importance of regular eye health checks. As glaucoma is not well understood, many people could be irretrievably damaging their vision without realising it.”

To make a donation to the International Glaucoma Association via Justgiving visit:

https://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/iga/ngaw2016