Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions in which the optic nerve that connects your eye to your brain becomes damaged. It is linked to a build-up of pressure inside the eye and is one of the most common causes of vision loss, yet statistics reveal up to 50% of people affected in developed countries are not aware they have the condition.[i] To raise the health and happiness of the nation this World Glaucoma Week (12th – 18th March), Boots Opticians is encouraging people in the UK to actively monitor their eye health with regular eye examinations, to support the earlier diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.
Primary open angle glaucoma usually develops slowly and can, therefore, easily go undetected for years. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2020 there will be half a million people in the UK living with glaucoma, both detected and undetected,[ii] but this figure would be significantly reduced by people following NHS advice which recommends a routine eye examination every two years.[iii]
Boots Optometrist, Samantha Watson comments; “As Glaucoma tends to cause a loss to the edge of your vision first, it can develop without any noticeable symptoms and is often only picked up during a routine eye examination. Vision loss due to glaucoma cannot be reversed but, with early diagnosis, treatment can be very effective at preventing further damage. Regular eye examinations are recommended to help spot the first signs. As part of a routine eye examination, your optometrist can test the pressure inside your eye, perform a visual field test to check your peripheral vision and assess the health of the front and back of the eye. These tests are quick and painless and all help determine whether there is a suggestion of glaucoma. If anything irregular is detected, you’ll usually be referred to an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) who will work out the best course of treatment for you. In most cases this will be in the form of medicated eye drops.
“Those at increased risk of developing glaucoma include people aged 40 and over, people of African-Caribbean descent and people living with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and low blood pressure. Glaucoma can also be hereditary, which is why, under the NHS, you may eligible for free annual eye examination which are available from opticians such as Boots,” says Samantha.
To check if you are eligible for free NHS eye examinations contact your local Boots opticians practice.
This World Glaucoma Week, make room for a routine eye examination to help protect your vision. To book an eye examination visit your local Boots Opticians or book online at http://www.boots.com/en/Opticians/ .
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Notes to editors:
For more information or additional quotes from Boots Optometrist Samantha Watson, please contact the Boots UK Press Office:
Boots Opticians UK Press Office: 020 7025 6657/ BootsOpticians@redconsultancy.com
About Boots UK
Boots UK (boots.com), the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, is part of the Retail Pharmacy International Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. With 2,510**** stores in the UK, Boots UK is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care, be the first choice for pharmacy and healthcare and offer innovative 'only at Boots' exclusive products such as the UK’s leading skincare brand No7, all delivered with the great value customers love. Created over 165 years ago, the Boots brand is still at the heart of the communities it serves.
[i] Sommer et al. Arch Ophthalmol 1991; 1090-1095
[ii] http://www.rnib.org.uk/sites/default/files/Eye_health_data_summary_report_2014.pdf [Last accessed: 16.01.17]
[iii] http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1093.aspx?CategoryID=68&SubCategoryID=157 [last accessed: 18.01.17]