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Save your eyes and get them tested this Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. Glaucoma is usually caused by fluid building up in the front part of the eye, which increases pressure inside the eye. It can lead to reduced vision and even blindness.

There are no symptoms at the beginning as glaucoma develops slowly over the years and affects the edges of your vision first (peripheral vision) and for this reason many people do not realise they have it.

The condition if picked up early can be managed and 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.

Please seek urgent medical attention should you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • intense eye pain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • a red eye
  • a headache
  • tenderness around the eyes
  • seeing rings around lights
  • blurred vision

Dr Rahul Thakur a local GP and clinical lead at the CCGs, said:

“Glaucoma can cause serious damage to your eyes and in worst case scenarios it can even 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.”

“I would strongly 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 you are 40 or over and your mother, father, sibling or child has been diagnosed with glaucoma you are entitled to a free eye test.”

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:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/glaucoma/