4Sight Vision Support Champions World Glaucoma Week

Image: this photograph of 4Sight’s Head Office illustrates how glaucoma can cause loss of peripheral vision of sight over time

West Sussex charity 4Sight Vision Support is supporting World Glaucoma Week from 6th to 12th March 2022, a global initiative of the World Glaucoma Association (WGA) aiming to raise awareness on glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a chronic, progressive, degenerative disorder of the optic nerve that produces characteristic visual field damage. It is the second cause of blindness, and importantly, it is irreversible. The optic nerve is damaged by the pressure of the fluid inside the eye, perhaps because the eye pressure is higher than normal, or because of a weakness to the optic nerve. If the pressure is too high, it can cause the optic nerve to become damaged at the point where it leaves the eye – this damage is called glaucoma. In its early stages, glaucoma is asymptomatic and if untreated, it may progress to blindness. 4Sight Vision Support provides support and specialist information to blind and sight impaired residents throughout West Sussex, including many people living with glaucoma. One of its key services is to promote the importance of regular eye health checks – in the case of glaucoma, with early treatment, the damage may be limited and sight may be saved.

Fabian Lerner, President of the World Glaucoma Association explains, “The overarching goal of this campaign is for everyone to know about glaucoma and encourage the general public to get tested. 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 history of it in their close family environment.”

4Sight Vision Support hopes that by raising awareness of glaucoma, it will encourage all of us to have a regular eye examination – a vital health check that can detect a number of conditions and prevent avoidable sight loss. Even those suffering from vision loss should continue to do so as checking for further changes in the eyes can help make the best use of remaining vision and prevent any unnecessary further sight loss.

It is estimated that there are over 2 million people living with sight loss in the UK, and over 35,000 people living with sight loss or low vision in West Sussex (RNIB West Sussex Data 2020).

4Sight Vision Support CEO Kirstie Thomas added, “World Glaucoma Week is an opportunity to raise awareness of having regular eye health checks. It is important to understand that initially most people with glaucoma are not aware of it and have zero symptoms. Catch the disease early and you have a great chance of preserving your vision for the years to come.”

To find out more about glaucoma and the importance of taking care of our sight, or how 4Sight Vision Support can support you or someone you know living with sight loss, call 01243 828555 or visit www.4sight.org.uk For more details about World Glaucoma Week visit https://wga.one/


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