International Glaucoma Association-IGA- visit Specsavers L-R Professor Philip Bloom, Karen Osborn, Doug Perkins, Dame Mary Perkins

Working to tackle preventable sight loss

The chair and chief executive of the International Glaucoma Association have visited Specsavers’ main office in Guernsey at the start of Glaucoma Awareness Week (17 to 24 June) to discuss opportunities to improve detection, treatment and care for glaucoma patients.

Professor Philip Bloom, IGA chair and consultant ophthalmologist at the Western Eye Hospital and Hillingdon Hospital, and Karen Osborn, IGA chief executive, spent the day at the office, meeting with Specsavers founders Doug and Dame Mary Perkins and senior clinicians.

Their visit included a tour of a fully-equipped store, with the focus on the diagnostic capability of high street optometry – including OCT and visual fields screening – and on the investment in training and accrediting optometrists and their colleagues to provide the best possible care to people with glaucoma.

Commenting after the visit, Karen Osborn said: ‘We have been working in partnership with Specsavers for more than two years now to raise awareness of glaucoma and encourage more people to have regular eye health checks to catch it in time.

‘There is a clear and urgent need to do this, with glaucoma as the largest cause of preventable sight loss in the UK and the number of people affected by glaucoma-related sight loss, which currently stands at 700,000, on the increase.

‘It was great to have the opportunity to discuss the aims of our charity with Doug and Dame Mary and senior colleagues and to explore what more we can do together to raise awareness and improve detection, treatment and care.’

Doug Perkins added, ‘Tackling glaucoma is a key focus for us at Specsavers and we are looking forward to making a positive difference, including through our much-valued partnership with the IGA.’

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