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Wednesday / March 20.
HomeminewsOPSM and Glaucoma Australia Launch Australia’s Largest Glaucoma Screening

OPSM and Glaucoma Australia Launch Australia’s Largest Glaucoma Screening

OPSM and Glaucoma Australia have partnered exclusively to host Australia’s largest public glaucoma risk screening event, Eye Screen for Ice-Cream, as part of World Glaucoma Week (10–16 March). The public screening will take place in Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD on Monday 11 March.

The Eye Screen for Ice-Cream activation has been designed to reach Sydneysiders aged over 40 who may not be having regular eye exams. At the public screening people will be rewarded with an ice-cream in exchange for taking a few minutes out of their busy day to undertake a glaucoma risk assessment.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of avoidable blindness worldwide, affecting over 300,000 Australians1, yet it is estimated that 50% of those living with glaucoma are undiagnosed.1

While nine out of 10 Australians say that sight is their most valued sense, a large proportion of Australians are still not having regular eye tests.

Alfonso Cerullo, OPSM General Manager said, “OPSM is proud to partner with Glaucoma Australia to raise awareness of the importance for Australians to be screened for glaucoma and to visit their local optometrist for regular eye exams. Through this activity we aim to screen over 2000 Australians and help educate people on the risk factors associated with glaucoma.”

Glaucoma Australia CEO Annie Gibbins said, “We are delighted to be partnering with OPSM on this exciting event to provide free glaucoma risk screening to the public during World Glaucoma Week. We want to dispel the myth that glaucoma only affects the elderly and encourage anyone at risk of developing glaucoma to get their eyes tested, especially if you have a family history of glaucoma as you are 10 times more likely to develop glaucoma if you have a direct relative with it.”

Director of Optometry at OPSM, Peter Murphy stated, “During the event, our team will be screening people for known glaucoma risk factors, including age, ethnicity, a family history of glaucoma, diabetes, myopia and intraocular eye pressure. The glaucoma risk screening is very simply and will only take two to three minutes.”

Glaucoma Risk Factors

Although anyone may develop glaucoma, some people have a higher risk – they are people who:

  • Have a family history of glaucoma
  • Have high eye pressure
  • Are aged over 50
  • Are of African or Asian descent
  • Have diabetes
  • Have myopia (nearsighted)
  • Have been on a prolonged course of cortisone (steroid) medication
  • Experience migraines
  • Have had an eye operation or eye injury
  • Who have a history or high or low blood pressure

(Abridged: NHMRC Guidelines, 2010)

Reference

  1. Keel S, Xie J, Foreman J, Lee PY, Alwan M, Fahy ET, et al. Prevalence of glaucoma in the Australian National Eye Health Survey. Br J Ophthalmol. 2018; 26 April 2018:10.1136/bjophthalmol-2017-311786.