Opticians are reminding people the importance of getting their eyes checked regularly.
Monkseaton-based Robinson Opticians are among those marking National Glaucoma Awareness Week – June 6 to 12.
Nigel Robinson, optician, said: “It is imperative for over 40s to have their eyes tested at least once every couple of years.
“Early detection allows early treatment which can prevent much of the nerve damage that could otherwise occur. Treatment is usually with drops.
“Several tests are done in an eye examination to look for signs of glaucoma.”
Glaucoma often has a strong hereditary element so that direct relatives of a glaucoma sufferer are four times more at risk.
Nigel added: “Glaucoma is a very real threat to visual welfare.”
Nigel will be among opticians at an information stall being held in Eldon Square, Newcastle, on Thursday.
Specsavers in North Shields is also encouraging people to check their eyes, especially if glaucoma runs in the family.
Eddie O’Gara, store director, said: “An estimated 600,000 people in the UK have glaucoma, but at least half haven’t been diagnosed.
“Many are unaware that glaucoma can be hereditary and signs go unnoticed, especially in the early stages when there are often no symptoms.
“Early detection means the condition can be monitored and future damage to vision minimised, which is why we’re asking everyone in North Shields to make sure they have their eyes tested, especially if their parents or grandparents have glaucoma.”
For more information visit www.glaucoma-association.com