Glaucoma ignorance highlighted

October 27, 2008

On World Sight Day, Windows to Health, the Pfizer UK initiative to promote regular eye test attendance, unveiled results of the All Eyes on Glaucoma survey, which highlighted the UK's ignorance around glaucoma and its prevention.

On World Sight Day, Windows to Health, the Pfizer UK initiative to promote regular eye test attendance, unveiled results of the All Eyes on Glaucoma survey, which highlighted the UK's ignorance around glaucoma and its prevention.

The survey, of UK adults aged ≥16 years (n=2297), demonstrated low levels of glaucoma awareness and attempts at disease prevention. The respondents reported poor rates of attendance at optician appointments; <50% had visited an optician in the last five years; approximately 20% will visit an optician only when a specific vision problem becomes apparent, and the same percentage is unclear as to the availability of (and their own eligibility for) free eye tests. Approximately one third of respondents were unaware of the symptoms of glaucoma, which may explain why an estimated half a million people in England and Wales suffer from the disease yet remain undiagnosed.

World Sight Day is an annual day of events to promote awareness of low vision and blindness. Although events are organized independently, the World Sight Day initiative - held on the second Thursday in October - is co-ordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and organized by VISION 2020, the campaign to eliminate preventable blindness by 2020.

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