How to reduce the risk of avoidable blindness

Keep an eye on your vision

LAST UPDATED: 15 Oct, 2015 @ 22:26
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By Amrik Sappal, Store Director from Specsavers Opticas Fuengirola

WORLD Sight Day 2015, celebrated last week, was themed on eye care for all.

This is something we wholeheartedly support, as lack of eye care can lead to avoidable blindness.

Looking out for your vision and knowing what conditions can lead to blindness is key to reducing the risk.

Q: What is the most common cause of avoidable blindness?
A: Cataracts are responsible for almost 50% of all blindness. It is common around the world, but thankfully, in developed countries, it can be easily treated with surgery.

Q: What is glaucoma and can this cause blindness?
Glaucoma is a buildup of fluid on the eye which increases pressure and, in turn, damages the optic nerve. If left untreated it can lead to permanent tunnel vision and blindness. Often, there are no symptoms in the first stages and vision loss occurs gradually, so it’s hard to spot before severe damage has been done. There is no cure for this vision loss, so it’s extremely important to have regular eye tests to identify the disease as early as possible.

Over 60s are more at risk of glaucoma but babies and young adults can also be affected. People of African origin are more at risk of glaucoma at a younger age. Other high-risk groups include anyone with family history of glaucoma, people who are severely short sighted, and diabetics.

Q: How can diabetes affect my eyes?
Diabetes affects the small blood vessels and capillaries of the body. The walls of these vessels can develop small bulges (micro-aneurysms) and become ‘leaky’.  Diabetic changes can occur in the blood vessels at the back of the eye. When diabetes results in these changes, it is referred to as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes can also have other ocular pathological effects, including cataracts and retinal detachments.  Severe changes, if left untreated, can result in blindness.

If you are experiencing any changes in your vision or have any concerns, please get your eyes tested as soon as possible. There are Specsavers stores in Fuengirola and Marbella which are currently offering free eye tests.

• To make an appointment or find your nearest store visit www.specsavers.es.



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