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Video Urges Action During World Glaucoma Week

mivision | 13 March 2017
A new video aims to reach 150,000 Australians who face preventable blindness due to glaucoma. Launching this World Glaucoma Week (March 12 – 18), the ‘Glaucoma Aware’ campaign will provide much-needed education about glaucoma and encourage those at-risk to get a comprehensive eye check.

More than 300,000 Australians have glaucoma yet only half have been diagnosed,1,2 typically because they haven’t had a simple eye check by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Around 60 per cent of Australians either haven’t been tested or don’t know if they’ve been tested for glaucoma.3

Optometrist and Director of Eyecare at OPSM, Peter Murphy said blindness from glaucoma is a tragedy that is largely preventable.

“The biggest risk factor for glaucoma is having a family history of the disease. In fact, relatives of glaucoma have a ten-fold increased risk of developing the disease,” said Mr. Murphy.

“Glaucoma can make it very difficult for people to carry on with their day-to-day activities.

“People affected by the condition are more likely to be involved in falls and motor vehicle accidents than those of the same age without the condition6 which is why I am urging all Australians to visit their local optometrist to get their eyes tested.”

Geoff Pollard, National Executive Officer of Glaucoma Australia, said: “Glaucoma doesn’t just appear in families, anyone can get it. Glaucoma prevalence is four to 10 times higher in people aged 60 years or older, compared to individuals in their 40s.”

“World Glaucoma Week presents a valuable opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis of glaucoma. National guidelines encourage every Australian over the age of 50 to get a comprehensive eye exam to test for the early signs of glaucoma which will assist in unearthing the 150,000 Australians currently unaware that they are living with the disease. It is critical that at-risk Australians understand the importance of regular testing and that early diagnosis could save their vision,” said Mr. Pollard.

Watch and share the Glaucoma Aware campaign, and access digital assets to promote glaucoma awareness to your customers via social media and your website. Visit glaucoma.org.au/glaucoma-aware  

1. Mitchell P et al. Prevalence of open angle glaucoma in Australia. The Blue Mountains Eye Study. Ophthalmology. 1996 Oct?103(10):16619.
2. Wensor MD et al. The prevalence of glaucoma in the Melbourne Visual Impairment Project. Ophthalmology. 1998 Apr?105(4):7339.
3. Edelman Intelligence. Global glaucoma awareness campaign: awareness survey results. June 2016

' Watch and share the Glaucoma Aware campaign, and access digital assets you can use to promote glaucoma awareness to your customers via social media at glaucoma.org.au/glaucoma-aware '