12 May 2014
This year’s National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2014 is urging people to take Action for Sight, and have regular eye tests, particularly if they are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma. People of African-Caribbean origin are four times more likely to develop the condition, and are more likely for it to appear earlier and for it to be more severe, when compared to people of European origin.
Early detection and treatment literally saves sight, as over 90% of individuals who are diagnosed early will retain useful sight for life. Despite such promising results, it is estimated that over 50% of cases of glaucoma remain undetected in the UK.
Awareness and regular eye health checks are critical. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness. There are no early symptoms and it isn’t until the condition is fairly advanced that people recognise that there is something wrong with their vision. Once vision is lost, it cannot be recovered. A simple eye health check can pick up the condition early and treatment, which most commonly includes taking eye drops, means most people will maintain sight for life.
The IGA will be supporting the Action for Sight campaign through awareness packs which will be distributed via hospitals, opticians, and through our members and volunteers. Advertising at bus shelters in London and promotions with The Voice newspaper and Nigerian Watch newspaper and website will focus on the increased need for the African-Caribbean population to book an eye test. The campaign will also be supported by the launch of new research into general awareness and understanding of glaucoma.
For more news about National Glaucoma Awareness Week, follow us on Twitter @TweetIGA or search using the hashtag #ActionForSight, or join our Facebook community. The helpline can be called on 01233 64 81 78, and the website, www.glaucoma-association.com has an interactive forum.
For further information about the week, please write to Karen Brewer (by post or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 01233 64 81 69).
Notes for editors:
For further information or to interview an IGA spokesperson, please contact: Karen Brewer, Head of Marketing and PR on 01233 64 81 69 or email email@example.com