Roselands optometrist, John Boulos says Glaucoma Week provides an opportunity to raise awareness of an “insidious disease”.
AN estimated 300,000 Australians are living with glaucoma, a name given to a group of eye diseases where vision is lost due to damage to the optic nerve.
Once a year, during Glaucoma Week, Roselands OPSM optometrist John Boulos says the challenge is out there to spread the word about the eye disease.
This collaborative project between the World Glaucoma Association and the World Glaucoma Patient Association, contributes to the elimination of glaucoma blindness by alerting people to have regular eye checks, including optic nerve checks.
"Glaucoma is a disease that is insidious," Dr Boulos said.
"It is a 'silent thief' robbing you of good vision. There are no symptoms that make you aware you have glaucoma until it is too late."
Dr Boulos says glaucoma takes away the ability to see objects in your peripheral (side) vision.
"Eventually, even your central vision is lost," he said.
"All of this occurs without symptoms."
Dr Boulos said the best prevention was an annual eye exam.
"In fact, if you have a relative with the disease, this increases your risk by 800 per cent to that in the normal population," he said.
"Vision is our most important sense, contributing to our quality of life.
"It is well documented that people with good vision are happier and more involved in the community."
For further information, visit glaucoma.org.au.