Glaucoma - the silent thief of sight

Jim Lythgow
Director of Strategic Alliances
Specsavers Corporate Eyecare
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This week is World Glaucoma Week and all Specsavers teams are being upskilled to better support patients with glaucoma – the leading cause of irreversible sight loss.


Often symptomless in its early stages, glaucoma is thought to affect 700,000 people in the UK today, but as many as 50% of cases are undiagnosed.*


In conjunction with the International Glaucoma Association, we have developed training for our retail teams to assist sufferers with their treatment. Specifically, they will be advising on how to effectively administer eye drops, which are crucial for managing the condition.


The aim is for each store to have at least one person on the shop floor that has completed the course by World Glaucoma Week (11-18th March). This new training complements the skills held by Specsavers’ optometrists, who have collectively completed almost 5,000 postgraduate glaucoma accreditations since 2017, through a variety of accrediting bodies including Cardiff University and the College of Optometrists.


Alan Murphy was just 37 when a trip to Specsavers in Connswater, Belfast, found the early stages of glaucoma.  Thanks to early detection, his condition is now managed by using eye drops daily. Alan, now an advocate of regular eye tests and good eye health, believes early diagnosis and careful management has saved his sight.


Glaucoma is a serious threat to employees’ eyesight and employers are now in a position to help. Simply by offering basic eye care, they can help to ensure that conditions such as glaucoma are detected and treated early, which will be beneficial for the business and could be life-changing for the individual.



* Source: RNIB and Specsavers State of the Nation Report - Eye Health September 2017.



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