World Glaucoma Week: Premier Helen Zille to Undergo Glaucoma Test to Raise Awareness
On Monday, 12 March, Premier Helen Zille will undergo a glaucoma test to raise public awareness for World Glaucoma Week which runs from 11 to 17 March. The theme for Glaucoma Week in 2012 is "Don't Let Glaucoma Darken Your Life", as decided by the World Glaucoma Association.
Glaucoma is a chronic progressive eye disease causing structural and functional damage of the optic nerve. It is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide after cataracts. If detected early, glaucoma can be treated adequately with eye drops, laser or surgery to prevent blindness.
It is recommended that people between 40 and 50 years of age should be tested every two years for symptoms of glaucoma, people between 50 and 60 should be tested every year and a half and people over 60 should have an eye pressure every year.
There is no cure for glaucoma and vision loss is irreversible. However, medication or surgery - traditional or laser - can halt or slow down any further vision loss. Therefore, early detection is essential to limiting visual impairment and preventing the progression towards severe visual handicap or blindness.
For further information, visit the Glaucoma Awareness Week website.