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Survey highlights glaucoma's silent nature

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/12/2016

A survey of glaucoma patients nationwide has confirmed most were unaware they had the eye condition before being diagnosed.

The results show 80 per cent of the 470 members of Glaucoma New Zealand who took part had not suspected they had the disease.

In a paper in the NZ Medical Journal, the authors said the survey highlighted the silent nature of glaucoma and showed the importance of opportunistic screening by healthcare providers to detect the disease early.

They said most participants had worn or were wearing spectacles, representing an excellent potential point of contact for patient education and examination.

The survey results also raised the question of whether a formal glaucoma screening programme should be implemented rather than relying on the recommendations of professional bodies.

Glaucoma, which can lead to permanent loss of vision, is the leading cause of preventable blindness in developed countries.

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