The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Friday, 13 December

No Replays - When Eyesight's Gone, It's gone

National Glaucoma Awareness Week (6-12 June 2016) saw Kim Champion from Maltby near Rotherham urging others not to take their sight for granted after routine eye tests at Vision Express recognised her as being at risk of the eye condition, which can cause blindness.

Although 46-year-old Kim had no prior symptoms, regular checks at her local Vision Express in Rotherham twice revealed the presence of eye conditions that can lead to glaucoma.

Kim said: “I’ve had reading glasses for about 15 years so I make optical appointments at least annually in case my prescription needs to be changed. In the last five years, two of my visits to Vision Express found that I had separate eye conditions but I hadn’t even realised there was anything wrong on both occasions.

“I didn’t have any pain, my eyes didn’t look or feel any differently and the quality of my sight hadn’t deteriorated. I had no reason to think there was any kind of problem with my eye health until I was tested.”

 

Ocular hypertension

Kim’s first diagnosis came five years ago when an optometrist told her she had high eye pressure. Also known as ocular hypertension, the condition meant that she had an elevated pressure inside of her eye. If the signs hadn’t been spotted - leaving Kim untreated - she would have faced an increased chance of developing glaucoma and a gradual loss of her sight.

Kim said: “I hadn’t heard of high eye pressure before so I didn’t know what it meant or what would be next. My optometrist was really helpful and put me at ease by explaining the situation and what I could expect from treatment.” Following the diagnosis, Vision Express immediately made arrangements for Kim to be referred to a specialist eye clinic at Rotherham General Hospital.

Last year, another routine check-up showed Kim had narrow angles, a different eye condition indicative of glaucoma. She explained: “If it wasn’t for having my regular check, I would have been none the wiser and my eye health could have suffered.

“I can’t stress how important it is to go for regular test. If my experiences are anything to go by, it proves that you can’t just assume your eyes are fine - don’t wait to be prompted by something out of the ordinary to get checked.”

Kim is now under the regular care of a consultant to monitor her conditions. She added: “I would hate to lose my sight. You only get one pair of eyes so it’s important to look after them.”

Dr Rosemary Leonard, the GP known to millions as a TV health expert and author echoed the importance of regular eye tests: “As with so many things in health you only really appreciate something when you are losing it or when it is gone, and that applies particularly to your sight.

"There are effective treatments available for glaucoma and catching it early can have a hugely beneficial impact on the longer term effects - nine out of ten people who are diagnosed early retain useable sight for life."

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions in which the main nerve to the eye (the optic nerve) is damaged where it leaves the eye. This nerve carries information about what is being seen from the eye to the brain and, as it becomes damaged, vision is lost. There are an estimated 600,000 people with glaucoma in the UK, but 300,000 are undiagnosed.

Russell Young, CEO International Glaucoma Association, commented: “With an estimated 300,000 people living with undetected glaucoma in the UK today, it is vital that we do more to reach at risk groups including anyone over the age of 40, close blood relatives of people with glaucoma and African-Caribbbeans.”

Picture: (L-R) Vision Express store director Melanie McKee, Kim Champion and assistant store manager Mandy Griffiths

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

Share



Related Articles

Menopause Screening A Life Saver

Health screening for women as they hit the menopause may be a life saving intervention say doctors. Menopause expert Miss Tania Adib, a consultant gynaecologist at...

 Read Full Article
Measuring the Cost of Stress in the Workplace

Pressure is part and parcel of most work environments and to an extent, our modern way of life. At an appropriate level, pressure can help us to maintain our motivation...

 Read Full Article
Nine to Five & Five to Nine - We Want the Airwaves

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has encouraged leading TV and radio broadcasters to work with him to help inform Londoners in particular and the country as a whole about...

 Read Full Article
Healthy Offices - the Board Convenes

The British Council for Offices (BCO) has announced this week ending April 28 that it is commissioning a major research study 'Wellness Matters: health and wellbeing...

 Read Full Article
Speaking-up About Difficult Conversations

A Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) report has found that 53% of managers are not trained or qualified to handle ‘difficult...

 Read Full Article
Smoking and Drinking - Encourage One But Not the Other

March 13 marked the start of Nutrition and Hydration Week - March 13-19. This yearly awareness campaign aims to highlight and promote improvements in the provision of...

 Read Full Article
Middle Age and Modern Life - Obesity the New Normal

PHE’s (Public Health England) One You campaign was launched at the end of January to help middle age people live more healthily by asking ‘How are you?’...

 Read Full Article
Dads Take The Penalties - Employers Miss Their Goals

The UK is running the risk of creating a ‘fatherhood penalty’ – as fathers consider stalling or side-lining their careers to find roles they can better...

 Read Full Article
Eight Ways To Design Wellbeing Into The Office

Most employers would agree that the health and wellbeing of staff is important to their company's success. There are plenty of ways you can improve your office space...

 Read Full Article
For Hands That Do

Paul Jakeway explains why workplaces should think beyond the provision of handwashing opportunities – and implement a structured skin care programme that keeps the...

 Read Full Article