Bupa on preventing the 'silent thief of sight'

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Bupa said this year's World Glaucoma Week shone the light on the disease that affects 300,000 Australians with 50 per cent unaware that they have the condition because they have not had an eye test.

Glaucoma has no comprehensive cure but Bupa optometrist Karen Makin said early detection is critical to minimising its effects.

“For many people with undiagnosed Glaucoma, the changes to their sight happen very slowly and by the time they look to do something about it, irreversible damage has already been done,” said Ms Makin.

“Getting your eyes tested regularly is the most effective way to identify and prevent the impacts of Glaucoma as well as other eye diseases.”

Bupa said some of its optical and hearing stores now have the ability to look even deeper into the eye following the rollout of NIDEK Optical Coherence Tomography Retina Scan Duo machines.

These machines perform a ‘3D MRI of your eye’ that scans the layers of your eye to detect any early signs of Glaucoma or other retinal diseases.

“There are a series of tests an optometrist does, as part of a standard eye test, to check for Glaucoma. These include examining the optic nerve and retina to pick up any early signs of the disease and measuring eye pressure. If there are any suspicious results, then your optometrist will discuss the options available which may include referral to an eye specialist.

“While the disease can affect anyone, men and women over 50 years of age are at the greatest risk and should visit an optometrist every 2 years for an eye test3. It’s fast, painless and could save your eyesight,” added Ms Makin.