People regularly check the pressure in car tyres, the boiler and even check their blood pressure regularly, but who thinks about eye pressure? It is the pressure in the eye which keeps it inflated. If it is too high it can lead to irreversible damage to the optic nerve leading to loss of vision. It is estimated that there are 64 million people with glaucoma worldwide and 600,000 in the UK, with half undetected.
The International Glaucoma Association is focusing on the importance of eye pressure detecting as part of National Glaucoma Awareness week (12-18 June).“People have such a limited knowledge about the health of their eyes. All too often we hear that people do not have an eye health check until they realise that something is wrong with their vision. This is too late for glaucoma as a significant amount of vision will be lost and it can never be recovered”, comments Karen Osborn, Chief Executive of the International Glaucoma Association.
Saagar Hirani, Optometrist and partner at Edmonds & Slatter opticians wants people to be aware of this year’s campaign and to educate people about the importance of eye pressure as part of a regular eye health check.
Mr Hirani said “If detected early, glaucoma can be managed and useful sight can usually be maintained throughout life. The tests are quick, simple and convenient. An eye sight test at your opticians is all that is needed to see if you are at risk of glaucoma.”
There are three simple tests which include:
1 – Looking at the appearance of the main nerve in the eye, called the optic nerve (ophthalmoscopy)
2 – Measuring the pressure in the eye, often referred to as the air puff test (tonometry)
3 – Checking the field of vision (perimetry)
The International Glaucoma Association helpline often takes calls from people who are shocked to realise that had they had an eye health check earlier, they may not have lost a significant proportion of their sight. Glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of sight” for a good reason, as the brain fills in missing parts of vision; and it isn’t until there is significant sight loss that a person thinks to visit an optician who can help to detect what is happening.
For more information or to arrange your next eye sight test please Edmonds and Slatter Opticians on 0116 277 7733 (Blaby), 0116 287 1025 (Glenfield) or 01455 556053 (Lutterworth)