Moorfields is celebrating Glaucoma Awareness Week (17-23 June). Led by the International Glaucoma Association, the week aims to raise awareness of the fact that around 700,000 people in the UK have glaucoma, yet half of these people are unaware that they have it.
To mark the occasion, we have been reflecting on results published earlier this year on a study carried out by researchers at Moorfields and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. This study found that using a laser-based treatment on newly diagnosed cases of glaucoma was more successful and cost-effective than the current method of using intraocular pressure lowering eye drops. The treatment could save the NHS £1.5m each year in direct treatment costs for newly diagnosed cases of glaucoma. However, if the results from this study prove to be the same in patients who have had glaucoma for some time, the savings for the NHS could reach up to £250 million per year.
This week we’re also looking back on a study co-authored by Moorfields consultant eye surgeon Anthony Khawaja last year, which identified 133 genetic variants in the DNA of those were at highest risk of developing glaucoma. The genetic variations were able to predict whether someone might develop glaucoma with 75% accuracy, meaning these results could pave the way for a genetic-based screening program to help identify glaucoma risk in patients.
The International Glaucoma Association has launched their ‘sightseeing or sight loss’ campaign this week, which focuses on managing glaucoma while on holiday. They have produced a set of useful tips including how to take eye drops on a plane and how to keep eye drops cool in a hot country. Read their guide on their website.
More information about glaucoma can be found here.
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