We need to talk about glaucoma
Prevention is better than cure!
Mention the word ‘glaucoma’ and we immediately change the subject. It’s something we don’t quite understand and, until it’s happening to us, we don’t see the point in doing anything about it.
I’ve got one word for you and you’re not going to like it. It’s pretty boring, so be warned.
There are two types of people in this world. Those who think ahead and those who don’t. You’ve got that little group of sensible human beings who save money and have pensions. Then you’ve got the rest of us. We get on with things and try not to let thoughts of the future ruin our good time.
Those same fiscally responsible types also consider how well their bodies are going to work (or not) in the future. So, they’ll eat a balanced diet, do some regular exercise and they’ll pencil in visits to the dentist and the optician. All of these little habits will keep their engines ticking over nicely.
Now, before you accuse me of idolising ‘boring’ people, consider this: they’re not dull at all; they have fun just like the rest of us. They eat cake and savour a single malt whiskey at the weekend. But, they value the importance of regular health checks that will allow them to confidently partake in extreme ironing, mud snorkelling and whatever other activities float their proverbial boat.
Prevention is the key to a happy, healthy life. By setting aside a couple of hours of year, (yes, a year, or even two!) you will avoid a decade of whingeing to your loved ones about how you wished you’d done something about your eyes.
Ignoring something won’t make it go away. A trip to your local optician isn’t an exercise is dodging attempts at getting you to part with your cash. We want to make your visit a pleasure. Some good chat, a cuppa (and a biscuit if you’re good) and a little bit of education goes a long way. Eye tests are fairly priced (and often free!) so consider this appointment a nice investment in your future. You and your eyes deserve it.
Now, back to glaucoma.
This is a common condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. In most instances this damage originates from a buildup of fluid in the front part of the eye. This in turn increases pressure inside the eye. If not diagnosed and treated early it can lead to vision loss.
Most of us associate glaucoma with older age but in reality it can affect anyone over the age of 40.
- Slow onset loss of peripheral vision
- Blurred vision
- Seeing rainbow coloured circles around bright lights
- Without treatment, eventual blindness
- VERY RARELY, acute glaucoma can cause intense eye pain, vomiting and blurred vision. It should go without saying that this would necessitate a visit to A&E.
Take note that the above symptoms are not always prevalent in the early stages of glaucoma. That is why it is vitally important to get regular check ups as a preventative measure. I want you to contact your local optician and make an appointment. You’ll feel good about yourself and afterwards you can treat yourself to coffee and cake. Repeat this exercise in two years’ time.
The good news is that glaucoma can be detected during a routine, painless eye test so there’s no need to anticipate an invasive, lengthy appointment. You’ll be in and out in no time.
Who should be tested?
- Anyone over the age of 40
- Specifically, anyone over the age of 40
- with a family history of glaucoma
- of African Caribbean or Asian descent
- with diabetes
- with low blood pressure
- who is short-sighted
Following your test you may be referred to hospital. This is not necessarily because your optician thinks you have glaucoma, however they may have discovered signs that could put you at increased risk.
If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma you will be offered simple and effective treatment, normally in the form of eye drops which should be applied several times a day. In rare cases where the condition doesn’t respond well to eye drops, laser treatment or surgery can be considered.
Remember folks, glaucoma can be symptomless for many years so please book in for regular eye tests! The old proverb remains as relevant as ever: prevention is better than cure!
If you have any queries or would like to book an eye test, please get in touch with us at ‘Your Eyes Optician’ by telephone: 016973 22285 or email: email@example.com
Besides the in-house expertise there’ll be tea, coffee, biscuits and chat aplenty.
We look forward to meeting you!