Specsavers is an official partner of Glaucoma Australia's awareness week 9-15 March.
More than 300,000 Australians have Glaucoma, yet only half know about it. In the lead up to this year’s World Glaucoma Week, 9 - 15 March, Specsavers is urging residents to think about their eye health and book an eye test, a simple examination that could save someone’s sight.
Scott Priddle, Specsavers Orange optometrist says Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, and is known as the ‘sneak thief of sight’ because it has very few symptoms until the condition is advanced.
“If glaucoma goes undetected it can gradually destroy your eyesight, leaving you blind,” Scott added.
Geoff Pollard, national executive officer of Glaucoma Australia, says, “Fifty per cent of people with glaucoma in Australia are undiagnosed. That’s why it’s so important to get a regular optic nerve check. Early detection is vital to preserve vision as, by the time symptoms develop, significant sight loss has usually occurred. Glaucoma is truly an invisible disease,” Mr Pollard said.
“A total of 40 per cent of Australians have their eyes tested less often than every two years or have never had their eyes tested,” he added.
This year, Specsavers is an official partner of Glaucoma Australia’s World Glaucoma Week, supporting them in their quest to get Australians talking about the condition and raise funds for further glaucoma research. By signing up and holding a Beat Invisible Glaucoma (B.I.G) Breakfast you can raise funds for Glaucoma Australia and spread awareness of the disease.
“Whilst Glaucoma is more common as people get older, it can occur at any age. If caught early, appropriate treatment can prevent further deterioration to sight, but we cannot undo damage once it has occurred,” Scott added.
“Specsavers is urging Australians to discuss glaucoma with their families, as it is commonly a hereditary condition, and book an eye test this World Glaucoma Week.
“We recommend getting your eyes tested every two years. You can get a comprehensive eye test at Specsavers stores nationwide, including free Digital Retinal Photography - a simple procedure that helps to detect and manage potential sight threatening diseases such as glaucoma,” Scott said.
To host your own BIG Breakfast visit www.glaucoma.org.au/BIGbreakfast. Money raised will go towards increasing further awareness that eye checks can save someone’s sight.