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Watch: New research reveals Glaucoma may be detected eight years before sight loss

Glaucoma – the biggest cause of preventable sight loss in the UK – can now be detected up to eight years before any sight loss is experienced, new research shows.

As World Glaucoma Week (6th-12th March 2016) put the condition at the top of the health agenda, researchers have identified for the first time, evidence that red flags can be spotted up to eight years before sufferers may notice their vision is affected. The findings further emphasise the importance of having a regular eye test, with serious issues able to be identified and treated before they cause permanent damage.

There are an estimated 600,000 people with glaucoma in the UK, but around half of these undiagnosed. Despite glaucoma being an hereditary condition, 31% of people are unaware that glaucoma runs in families and 72% of those in at risk groups don’t realise they are at an increased risk.

At-risk groups includes those aged over 40, anyone with a family history of glaucoma, diabetics, and people of African-Caribbean or Asian descent. People of African-Caribbean origin are four times more likely to develop the condition, and are more likely for it to appear earlier and for it to be more severe, when compared to people of European origin.

With a survey showing that 37% of people put off having an eye test due to cost concern, Vision Express is taking its Vision Van – a large mobile vehicle equipped with the latest eye testing technology – on a UK tour. It will give free eye tests to members of the public most at risk of glaucoma, in a bid to tackle the worsening eye health of the nation.

In support of World Glaucoma Week 2016, Vision Express will also be offering a free eye test for all, with a voucher that can be downloaded from 6 March to 18 March at 5pm and redeemed in any Vision Express store nationwide until 5pm on 18 April 2016. To receive a voucher click here.

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Editor at large, SalfordOnline.com