Half of all people with glaucoma undiagnosed

How often do you get your eyes tested? If it is only when you can no longer read the small print, then a visit to an optician may be overdue.

There are an estimated 600,000 people with glaucoma in the UK, but 300,000 are undiagnosed. As there are no early symptoms people over 40 should have regular eye health checks every one or two years. Advanced glaucoma leads to serious loss of sight.

It was National Glaucoma Awareness Week in June and it focussed on driving and encouraging people to have regular eye health checks to ensure that they are safe to drive. Glaucoma causes misty, patchy or blurred vision in places. It can cause people to miss the unexpected such as a person crossing the road, a cyclist passing, or a vehicle merging into traffic.

One incentive to get along to the optician is that you are required by law to report to the DVLA if you have glaucoma. Failure to do so may mean a criminal conviction, a fine of up to £1,000 and you may be uninsured to drive.

The good news about glaucoma is with treatment you can protect your vision. Most people will retain useful sight for life.