February 21st 2022

World Glaucoma Week 2022

Taking place between 6-12 March, World Glaucoma Week sees the world unite against glaucoma in an effort to both raise awareness and funding.

In today’s news article, we explore the awareness week as well as share advice on how to reduce the likelihood of contracting the disease.

It is estimated that around 80 million people have glaucoma worldwide. Approximately 50% of the individuals with glaucoma are unaware that they have the disease, and this number may be even higher in underdeveloped countries. This is because in its early stages, glaucoma is asymptomatic. If untreated, glaucoma may progress to blindness.

An initiative of the World Glaucoma Association, World Glaucoma Week witnesses activities taking place around the world to put a spotlight on glaucoma as the leading cause of preventable irreversible blindness worldwide.

Glaucoma is a chronic, progressive, degenerative disorder of the optic nerve that produces characteristic visual field damage. Glaucoma is the second cause of blindness, and importantly: it is irreversible.

The prompt diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma can prevent needless vision impairment, however, so many are unaware they have the disease or may not have access to much-needed care.

As the numbers are expected to increase exponentially, it is a growing public health concern that needs more attention and effective eye health systems. Generally speaking, periodic testing allows early diagnosis to prevent visual disability and, currently, regular eye exams are the best form of prevention against significant glaucoma damage. Early detection and careful, lifelong treatment can maintain vision in most people. In general, a check for glaucoma should be done:

  • Before age 40, every two to four years
  • From age 40 to age 54, every one to three years
  • From age 55 to 64, every one to two years
  • After age 65, every six to 12 months

While there are no known ways of preventing glaucoma, blindness or significant vision loss from glaucoma can be prevented if the disease is recognised in the early stages. In its most prevalent form – primary open angle glaucoma – vision loss is silent, slow, and progressive. It typically affects side vision first (peripheral vision) and as it progresses, central vision is lost.

Benefits of Exercise

A regular program of moderate exercise will benefit your overall health, and studies have shown that moderate exercise such as walking or jogging three or more times every week can have an IOP lowering effect.

The benefits from exercise last only as long as you continue exercising; this is why moderate exercise on a routine basis is recommended. Yoga can be beneficial, but it’s best to avoid inverted positions such as headstands and shoulder stands, as these may increase IOP.

Protect Your Eyes

Wearing protective eyewear is important when engaged in sports activities or home improvement projects. Eye injuries can result in traumatic glaucoma or secondary glaucoma, so protecting your eyes from injury is another way to prevent glaucoma.

Remember, regular comprehensive eye exams are the best form of prevention against glaucoma and other eye diseases.

On behalf of all at the OCCS, we welcome the initiative and support the global community in raising awareness and dialogue around the disease. If you are concerned, we recommend speaking to your optician and arranging for an eye examination.

April 20th 2022

Opticians Are Human Too

It is the human condition to be fallible sometimes. This includes opticians, their  staff and mediators. Fallibility takes many forms, but a key cause is communication and, more importantly, miscommunication.
READ MORE
April 20th 2022

Feeling Heard : The Importance of Helping a Client to Feel Heard and Valued

As part of our mediation service, the OCCS assist both the public and the optical profession in finding mutually beneficial outcomes to complaints.
READ MORE
March 1st 2022

How to Manage Emotions when Communicating

In this article, we look at how to manage emotions when communicating both as a member of the public and as an optical professional.
READ MORE