Keep an eye on health

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A SCARBOROUGH opticians is lending its support to World Glaucoma Week by encouraging local people to become more aware of their eye health.

From March 6 to 12 Specsavers in Scarborough will be raising awareness of glaucoma, one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in the UK.

Glaucoma affects an estimated 500,000 people over the age of 40 - yet half of sufferers could be putting their sight at risk as they are unaware of their condition.

Alasdair Corbett, store director at Specsavers Scarborough, said: “Regular eye examinations, at least every two years, are crucial to detect early signs of the disease as people can lose up to 40 per cent of their sight before they even realise they have a problem.

“Left undetected, glaucoma can cause blindness, but it is treatable and the progression of the disease can be controlled and even prevented if diagnosed early enough.

“Increasing age is a risk factor for glaucoma and it is also a hereditary condition. We want to make people aware that if they are aged over 40 or have a family history of glaucoma then they are at an increased risk of developing the disease and should have a regular eye examination.

“Other risk factors include short-sightedness, if people are of Afro-Caribbean descent, or have other medical conditions such as diabetes, poor circulation, migraine headaches or past eye injuries.”

Glaucoma is the general term used to describe damage to the optic nerve, most commonly caused by increased pressure in the eye when the fluid within the eye, called aqueous humour, is unable to drain away properly.