Australians1, yet it is estimated that 50% of those living with glaucoma are undiagnosed1.
While nine out of 10 Australians say that sight is their most valued sense 2, as many as one in three Australians cannot recall having an eye test in the past two years.3
You can help change the statistics.
Who is at risk?
While people over the age of 50 and those with a family history of glaucoma have a higher risk, anyone can be blindsided by this insidious disease. Known risk factors include:
- a family history of glaucoma
- high eye pressure
- being aged over 50
- being of African or Asian descent
- myopia (shortsighted)
- prolonged use of cortisone (steroid) medication
- an eye operation or eye injury
- a history or high or low blood pressure
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma occurs due to damage of the optic nerve in the back of the eye. There are no obvious symptoms and the only way to monitor risk is with a comprehensive eye examination.
Glaucoma results in a constriction of the peripheral vision but is subtle in its approach and I have seen patients lose up to 30% of their vision before they are aware of a concern. With this type of constriction in vision, you cannot hold a drivers licence, there is compromise to vision in variable light conditions and mobility is a concern with increased risk of trips and falls.
Can Glaucoma be treated?
Once damage is done, nothing can repair it, however early detection can lead to successful intervention in the form of daily drops, laser treatment or other surgery to halt the progression.
Optometry Australia recommends all Australians from 40 years have a comprehensive eye exam every 2 years, and for those over 65, visit your optometrist annually. Eye examinations are covered under the Medicare.
Beckenham Optometrist has been operating in Avalon for 21 years. The team is passionate about delivering the best possible eye care to the community. For further information call 9918 0616 or pop in to 15 Old Barrenjoey Rd Avalon. Online bookings available via our website beckenhamoptometrist.com.au
1 Abridged: NHMRC Guidelines, 2010