Public awareness

  • Marking World Glaucoma Week, 8 - 14 March 2015

    4 March 2015

    Next week marks the beginning of World Glaucoma Week (8 - 14 March), where countries around the world raise awareness of the importance of regular eye health checks.

    The International Glaucoma Association will be highlighting the importance of regular eye health checks for people who are at an increased risk of glaucoma. Comments Russell Young, CEO of IGA:

    "With an estimated 300,000 people living with undetected glaucoma in the UK today, it is vital that more is done to reach groups who are at greater risk of glaucoma. This includes anyone over the age of 40, close blood relatives of people with glaucoma and African Caribbeans.” We are working with optometrists around the country to reinforce this message.

    Members of the IGA will also find out more about research that the IGA is funding via the AGM which is being held on Friday 13 March at The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in London. Keynote presenters include Dr Paul Foster who heads up the UK BioBank Project and the Glaucoma Data Analysis Research Project; and Mr Ananth Viswanathan, who is the Chairman of the Honorary Medical Advisory Panel to the UK Secretary of State on Visual Disorders and Driving, and Consultant Surgeon at Moorfields.

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  • John Hughes IGA talks to Inverclyde Radio about glaucoma

    12 January 2015

    John Hughes, IGA Scottish Manager, discusses glaucoma and the importance of regular eye health checks, with radio presenter David Faller on Inverclyde Radio. John also provides information about the latest guidelines that will be in place to help with the detection and management of glaucoma, due to be published in March 2015.

    To listen to the interview visit the Health Matters page http://www.inverclyderadio.scot/Health/

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  • European Coalition for Vision calls for more harmonized data collected at EU level

    10 December 2014

    European Coalition for Vision (ECV) regrets the lack of data on vision impairment in Europe and calls for more harmonized data collected at EU level to provide better policy advice to decision-makers. Vision is a vital part of the health dimension that is too often neglected. ECV’s objective is promote a EU eye health indicator that would address this issue.  European Coalition for Vision welcomes the report “Health at a glance: Europe 2014” presented on 3rd December 2014 by Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis. The report, based mainly on the European Core Health Indicators (ECHI), highlights key trends in health, providing a state of play of Europe’s health.  Chair of ECV, Mr. Peter Ackland, stated: “This report is essential as it provides a good overview of the state of health in the member states. We call on the Commission and Member States to develop and promote a EU eye health indicator, that would complement the data on health to include the field of vision – that would help stimulate further public policy actions in the eye health domain”.  Representing professional bodies, patient groups, European and national health, and disability NGOs as well as trade associations representing suppliers, the ECV aims at raising the profile of eye health and vision to reduce the unacceptably high levels of avoidable vision impairment and blindness, and to secure an equal and inclusive society for those with low vision and irreversible blindness in Europe.  More information on ECV can be found: http://www.ecvision.eu/ Manifesto: http://www.ecvision.eu/manifesto/  For further information on the European Coalition for Vision, please contact:  Zoe Gray zgray@iapb.org

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  • Bono helps to raise awareness of glaucoma

    21 October 2014

    The recent announcement by U2 lead singer Bono having had glaucoma for the last 20 years, has helped to raise national and international awareness of the sight loss condition. Whilst it is estimated that there are 600,000 people with glaucoma in the UK today, about half of these are undiagnosed. Widespread national press coverage of Bono's announcement will lead to more people thinking about their eye health, and having regular checks at their local optician.

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  • World Sight Day 2014

    BRUSSELS, 09.10.2014

    On the occasion of World Sight Day, the European Coalition for Vision (ECV) set an ambitious objective to leverage vision and eye health at European level. World Sight Day is a global event that focuses on bringing attention on blindness and vision impairment. It is observed worldwide on the second Thursday of October each year.

    Meeting on 8th October 2014 in Brussels, members of the European Coalition for Vision agreed to develop and promote a European vision and eye health indicator. Today, more than 80 European Core Health Indicators exist, but none of the current health indicators fully addresses the eye health issue. Health indicators are sets of data (tables, graphs, maps) on health status, determinants and care in EU Member States and play an important role in supporting policy development.

    Mr Peter Ackland, Chair of the ECV stated: ‘ECV’s role is to alert European public authorities on the issue of vision and eye health. ECV is therefore asking for the creation  and implementation of an EU-wide recognized eye health indicator – in order to collect detailed and harmonized data and consequently better shape European public policy in that respect’.

    In parallel, EFAB (European Forum Against Blindness), EGS (European Glaucoma Society), EGDF (European Guide Dog Federation) and ECV presented in the European Parliament with an information stand on preventable blindness. Numerous Members of European Parliament had the opportunity to have a digital retina photograph taken by members of ECOO (European Council of Optometry and Optics) and to learn more about vision and eye health.  On 7th October, Honourable Members of European Parliament Marian Harkin, Richard Howitt and Pilar Ayuso also hosted a dinner-debate on “Vision for Europe: addressing the challenge of avoidable blindness” at the European Parliament.

    Representing professional bodies, patient groups, European and national health, and disability NGOs as well as trade associations, the ECV aims at raising the profile of eye health and vision, to prevent avoidable visual impairment and secure an equal and inclusive society for those with low vision and irreversible blindness in Europe.

    More information on ECV can be found: http://www.ecvision.eu/

    Manifesto: http://www.ecvision.eu/manifesto/  

    For further information on the European Coalition for Vision, please contact:

    Zoe Gray zgray@iapb.org

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  • New Sight loss guide for general practitioners

    3 October 2014 Comments Russell Young, CEO of the IGA on the launch of the new Sight loss in older people guide for general practitioners: “It is estimated there are 600,000 people with glaucoma in the UK, but half remain undetected, GPs can play a vital role in helping to identify people with an increased risk of glaucoma. This includes first degree relatives of a known glaucoma patient, people of African Caribbean descent, myopics and diabetics. GPs can recommend these people, as well as those over the age of 40, have regular eye health checks. GPs are also ideally placed to ensure glaucoma patients are taking their eye drops correctly and are continuing to renew prescriptions. All too often, we hear of patients who struggle with the dropper bottle, have difficulty administering the drop to the eye, and then default from treatment. Glaucoma is life-long, and without the drops, glaucoma patients are at risk of losing sight. We look forward to working with primary care in the future, and are delighted with the launch of this Sight loss in older people guide”.

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  • The IGA at Notting Hill Carnival 2014

    27 August 2014

    Raising awareness of the need for eye tests amongst the African Caribbean community at Notting Hill Carnival 2014. Click on the Notting Hill Carnival live stream link: http://www.thelondonnottinghillcarnival.com/

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  • National Eye Health Week 22 to 28 September 2014

    The IGA will be supporting the fifth National Eye Health Week (NEHW) which takes place on the 22 – 28 September 2014.  The week provides an opportunity for eye care charities, organisations and health professionals from across the UK to join together to promote the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all. The IGA will be providing promotional stands in hospitals through Kent, and profiling glaucoma and its impact on vision in national newspaper supplements.

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  • IGA campaign extends to Notting Hill Carnival 2014

    20 August 2014

    The International Glaucoma Association will be advertising at the Notting Hill Carnival (23 to 25 August) as part of the organisations campaign to raise awareness of the need for African Caribbean’s to have regular eye tests to detect glaucoma and prevent blindness from glaucoma.

    Comments Russell Young: “The Notting Hill Carnival is the largest festival celebration of its kind in Europe. We are pleased to be involved, and hope that our advertising on screens throughout the Carnival will encourage people to book an eye health check”.

    This latest advertisement builds on the last 12 month’s activity aimed at the African Caribbean audience which began in Manchester with billboard campaigns and extended throughout National Glaucoma Awareness Week, June 2014 with advertising in bus shelters in London, promotions with African Caribbean newspapers, local community activity and press and PR.

    The risk of glaucoma increases over the age of 40. People of African Caribbean origin are four times more likely to develop glaucoma when compared to Europeans, and are more likely for it to develop earlier and be more severe. These are some of the messages that IGA has been stressing throughout the campaign.

    “We hope that our activity will act as a wake-up call and encourage people to book an eye test, or to call our helpline and speak to our advisors about the health of their eyes. In this way we aim to reach some of the 300,000 people with undiagnosed glaucoma in the UK.  With no symptoms in its early stages most members of the public have little or no knowledge of the damage that undetected glaucoma can have on their sight. Once sight is lost, it is never recovered”, concludes Young.

    -ends-

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  • IGA comments on Smartphone glasses covered in press today

    17 June 2015

    There has been widespread coverage today, on the development of Smartphone glasses that can help people registered blind to use their remaining sight. The glasses are still in development. The new technology will be useful for people diagnosed with Reginitis Pigmentosa, Diabetic Retinopathy, Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Cataracts. It will not benefit people with glaucoma. The Chair of IGA, Keith Barton explains: "Most of these devices work for patients with damaged retinas in situations where the optic nerve is in reasonably good shape. In other words the eye is capable of transmitting impulses in the brain, but the sensory retina has generally reduced function. By amplifying the signal in some way, the retina can pick up enough to send some information via the optic nerve to the brain.   Glaucoma is completely different in that the retina is fine but the optic nerve is damaged. Either the optic nerve is capable of transmitting information to the brain or it isn't. It is not a matter of amplifying or modifying the signal. Hence most of these types of aids don't work for patients with severe glaucoma". -ends-

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