Glaucoma is sometimes called “the sneak thief of sight” because around 50% of people affected don’t know that they have it.
Glaucoma is one of the main causes of vision loss in Australia, and the leading cause of irreversible vision loss. Primary health care providers have an important role to play to ensure that patients at risk of developing glaucoma understand the risks and how they can help stop glaucoma in its tracks.
World Glaucoma Week (12-18 March 2023) is an opportunity to raise awareness about this disease.
In most cases, vision loss is gradual and starts with the loss of peripheral vision. Its slow progression means it can remain asymptomatic until significant damage has been done to the optic nerve.
Those at risk of glaucoma:
• Have a family history of glaucoma
• Have high eye pressure
• Are aged 50 or over
• Are of African or Asian descent
• Are a person with diabetes
• Have been on a prolonged course of cortisone (steroid) medication
• Experience migraines
• Have had an eye operation or eye injury
• Have a history or high or low blood pressure
• Experience obstructive sleep apnoea
Regular eye tests with an optometrist or ophthalmologist can help detect, diagnose and treat the condition early. Treatment options include eye drops, laser or surgery. They aim to control the progression of glaucoma and slow the rate of vision loss.
Learn more about glaucoma
- Register for Vision 2020 Australia’s Glaucoma Deep-Dive webinar on Tuesday 14 March at 6.30pm here. You’ll hear from Dr Jennifer Fan Gaskin, ophthalmologist and glaucoma specialist on clinical characteristics, tests, treatment and management. She’ll also talk about medication management and where patients can get information and support.
- To learn more about your role in reducing vision loss and blindness, access Vision 2020 Australia’s free online eye health training for Victorian health professionals here.
- To support your patients: Click here for up to date, easy to read glaucoma information.
- To learn more about how to support patients with compliance with glaucoma treatment, visit website.
- For more information on glaucoma and support services available, visit: .
World Glaucoma Week is a global initiative of the World Glaucoma Association (WGA) in order to raise awareness on glaucoma. For more information, visit: www.worldglaucomaweek.org
About Vision 2020 Australia
Vision 2020 Australia is the national peak body for the eye health and vision care sector. They represent organisations involved in local and global eye health and vision care, health promotion, low vision support, vision rehabilitation, eye research, professional assistance and community support.
The mission is for the elimination of preventable blindness and vision loss and the full participation of people who are blind and vision impaired in the community. To support this mission, Vision 2020 provides eye health education for primary health professionals and plain language information to support patient interactions.
Disclaimer: This article was provided by Vision 2020 Australia. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network does not warrant or represent the accuracy, currency and completeness of any information or material included within.