World Sight Day 2011 to take place on October 13th

Posted on 10 October 2011

The International Glaucoma Association is using World Sight Day 2011 to underline the importance of eye tests in an effort to stave off glaucoma - a condition which affects many people looking for ways to pay for care.

The day will be marked worldwide on Thursday October 13th, with organisations around the globe highlighting the important cause in their own way.

Sarah Zerbib, head of marketing and PR at the International Glaucoma Association, emphasised that "sight is precious".

She noted that it is important to take care of eyesight by having regular eye tests at least every two years, even if sight seems fine.

The reason for this is that glaucoma is often symptomless in its early stages, meaning that it can "creep up on you".

Glaucoma affects more than 600,000 people aged over 40 in the UK, pointed out the expert, but only half of these have been diagnosed.

While anybody can develop the condition, age is a major risk factor and those over the age of 40 are at a much higher risk.

"Early diagnosis and compliance with recommended treatments are essential to avoid unnecessary sight loss," said Ms Zerbib.

According to VISION 2020, some 284 million people worldwide are visually impaired.

Despite this, some 80 per cent of these cases could have been prevented, treated or cured.

It is estimated that 90 per cent of blind people live in developing countries, with the condition costing individuals, families and communities a lot of money each year.

This follows research from the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center which revealed that both hypertension and diabetes are risk factors for glaucoma.

Furthermore, having both of the conditions substantially increases risk of the condition, research shows.

Those with diabetes were at a 35 per cent increased risk of developing open-angle glaucoma, while individuals with hypertension had a 17 per cent higher chance of getting the eye condition.

People with both conditions were at a 48 per cent increased risk of the disease, the research showed.

Posted by David Mitchelson

 

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