Skip to content

Do you know about glaucoma?


Over 60 million people worldwide suffer from glaucoma, and don’t know about it…

Eyecare Awareness Month is from 23rd September to 10th October this year, so VISION Optometrists decided to focus on creating awareness for the eye disease – glaucoma. The World Health Organisation has named glaucoma the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, and according to the South African Glaucoma Society (SAGS), 12.5% of South Africans over the age of 40 suffer with this disease.

“Although the disease may result in irreversible blindness, the latest ZEISS GDx polametry laser instrument (ZEISS GDx), provides optometrists with unparalleled data that no other glaucoma test can match resulting in early diagnosis,” says Werner Noëth a leading optometrist from VISION Optometrists where the ZEISS GDx test is included in their glaucoma assessments. According to Noëth the age old ‘puff test’ has been known to only identify the disease in one third of patients. Noëth concludes by stating that “with the ZEISS GDx data, eye care practitioners are able to identify glaucoma in its early stage, thus possibly preventing any further vision loss.”

The main cause of glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve (the eye’s connection to the brain), due to an increase of pressure-inducing fluid in the eye, and damaging the optic nerve. The damage to the optic nerve is irreversible resulting in partial to complete permanent blindness, depending on the severity and treatment of the condition.

If you are unsure of whether you might be at risk, the team at VISION Optometrists has put together some quick questions:

  • Do you have a family history of glaucoma?
  • Are you of African decent (Africans are six to eight times more prone to the disease)?
  • Do you feel increased pressure in your eye socket?
  • Are you older than 40?
  • Do you have diabetes?
  • Was your last eye examination more than a year ago?

If you answered yes to any of the above, Noëth advises that you book an eye examination with your practitioner along with a ZEISS GDx test as soon as possible.

If you answered no, you may still be at risk if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • You are 20–29 years old and have never had a complete eye exam
  • You are 30–39 years old and it has been over 5 years since your last complete eye exam
  • You are 40–64 years old and it has been over 2 years since your last complete eye exam
  • You are 65 or older and it has been over a year since your last complete eye exam
What to read next
Join South Africans with Diabetes on Facebook

Join our diabetes community

Be First to Comment

What do you think?

Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.