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Glaucoma Awareness Month: Have you had your eye test yet?

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month and doctors at East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are encouraging local residents to take part in their routine eye tests, at least once every two years.

Glaucoma is an eye condition that can lead to reduced vision, even blindness. In most cases Glaucoma does not present with symptoms until very late when some irreversible damage may have already occurred. Glaucoma can be managed and it is for this reason that it is recommended that people have their eyes tested at least every 2 years. The eye tests are painless and include measurements of the pressure inside your eye and tests of your peripheral vision.

We want take this opportunity to also remind the public that their eye health is critically important and we would urge patients to seek urgent medical attention should they develop any of the following symptoms:

• Intense Eye Pain
• A red eye
• A headache
• Tenderness around the eyes
• Seeing rings around lights
• Blurred vision

Dr Mark Dziobon, Clinical Director of Performance at East Lancashire CCG said “Glaucoma can cause serious damage to your eyes and in worst case scenarios it can lead to blindness. This is why it is important to diagnose the problem during the early stages of the illness and the best way to do this is have regular eye tests, at least once every 2 years.”

Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG said “I would encourage all patients to take part in their routine eye tests at least once every two years so if anyone does develop Glaucoma it can be diagnosed early to prevent any long terms problems.”

If tests suggest you have glaucoma, you will be referred to an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) to discuss treatment.

There are a number of ways to treat glaucoma including taking eye drops to reduce the pressure in your eyes, laser treatment to open up the blocked drainage tubes in your eyes or surgery to improve the drainage of fluid from your eyes.

If you need any more information about glaucoma, or to find out what to do if you feel you are experiencing any symptoms visit: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Glaucoma/Pages/Introduction.aspx