50,000 Aussies at risk of developing glaucoma
During World Glaucoma Week (March 8-14), OPSM Waurn Ponds is urging locals to know the risks of the world’s biggest contributor to irreversible blindness – glaucoma – and get their eyes tested at OPSM.
About 150,0000 Australians or 50 per cent of people who have glaucoma aren’t being treated for the disease because they have not been diagnosed, and according to OPSM Waurn Ponds optometrist Rowan Prendergast, glaucoma can only be detected with comprehensive eye examination.
“Glaucoma results in a slow painless loss of small areas in your side vision. These blind spots slowly enlarge to eliminate your peripheral vision so often people don’t notice a deterioration until the disease has taken hold,” he said.
“The end result is ‘tunnel vision’, which is like looking through a keyhole. Because of the slow and often unnoticed loss of side vision, glaucoma has been called the ‘silent thief of sight’.”
Family history is one of the largest indicators that a person may be predisposed to glaucoma. Those who have a first-degree blood relative with the disease are eight times more likely to develop glaucoma themselves.
Other people with possible risk factors of glaucoma include those who have a history of steroid (cortisone) use, have a history of injury to the eye, have high amounts of myopia (commonly referred to as short sightedness), have diabetes and/or hypertension.
To make a booking at OPSM Waurn Ponds, phone 5243 9288 or book online at opsm.com.au.