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When did you last have an eye health check?

The NHS in Gloucestershire is urging people who have a family history of glaucoma to look after their eyesight and have regular eye tests to ensure they retain their sight for years to come.

The local campaign supports National Glaucoma Awareness Week which runs from 8 – 14 June, and aims to raise awareness about glaucoma and encourage people living in Gloucestershire to book an eye check appointment with their local optician.

This year, the national campaign’s focus is on driving and keeping safe to drive through regular eye health checks.

Dr Graham Mennie, Clinical Lead for Eye Health at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Having regular eye health checks is really important. Glaucoma often has no symptoms in its early stages, and it’s only when the condition is fairly advanced that people recognise there is something wrong with their vision. Unfortunately, once vision is lost, it cannot be recovered.

Early detection and treatment of glaucoma and other eye conditions literally saves sight – a simple eye health check is all that’s needed to identify any problems. Over 90% of individuals who are diagnosed early will retain useful sight for life and be safe to drive for many years.”

A simple optic nerve check, which is part of a full eye test, is the best way to diagnose glaucoma. Treatment for glaucoma is generally simple, and most commonly includes taking eye drops. With appropriate treatment, most people can expect to halt or slow progressive vision loss, which may otherwise lead to blindness.

Glaucoma can affect anyone, although it becomes increasingly common as we grow older. People with a family history of glaucoma are five times more likely to get the condition, and people who have diabetes, are very short sighted or are of African Caribbean origin, are also at higher risk.

To find out more, visit www.glaucoma-association.com or call Sightline (helpline) on 01233 64 81 70.

 

 

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