Glaucoma Awareness Week takes place on 28 June – 4 July 2021 and this year’s theme is family and loved ones. We want everyone to know about the disease called ‘glaucoma’ and encourage the general public to get tested.
Glaucoma occurs when the drainage tubes, trabecular meshwork, within the eye become blocked. This prevents eye fluid, aqueous humour, from draining properly. When the fluid cannot drain properly, pressure builds up. This is called intraocular pressure.
This results in damage to the optic nerve, which can lead to blindness. Glaucoma often affects both eyes in varying degrees. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness, but if it is diagnosed early enough, with early treatment, the damage may get limited and sight may be saved. By promoting regular testing, we also want glaucoma patients to get their relatives involved, as the chances of them getting glaucoma are 10 times higher than someone with no glaucoma history in their close family environment. Therefore, Glaucoma Awareness Week is a great opportunity to raise awareness.
It is estimated that around 80 million people have glaucoma worldwide. Approximately 50% of the individuals with glaucoma are unaware that they have the disease, and this number may be even higher in underdeveloped countries. This is because, in its early stages, glaucoma is asymptomatic. If untreated, glaucoma may progress to blindness.
Learn more about Glaucoma here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/glaucoma