SPECSAVERS in Keighley is stressing the importance of having regular eye tests to detect the early signs and symptoms of glaucoma.

The opticians, in the Airedale Shopping Centre, chose World Glaucoma Week to highlight the common risk factors associated with the condition.

Specsavers said there were more than 4,670 people in the Bradford area with glaucoma, which it termed the “silent thief of sight” due to its gradual onset.

Glaucoma is the third largest cause of blindness in the world and can affect anyone, however men are 16% more likely to lose their sight than women with the condition.

Specsavers said the five main warning signs were raised eye pressure, change in vision, optic nerve damage, and people’s age and genes.

Raj Gill, store director at Specsavers in Keighley, said: ‘Glaucoma occurs when naturally-occurring fluid inside the eye does not drain properly causing a build-up of pressure.

“The condition often affects both eyes, usually to varying degrees, however, there are two types - chronic glaucoma which develops slowly and acute glaucoma which develops rapidly with a sudden, painful build-up of pressure in the eye.”

Raj said that during an eye check, an optometrist would carry out an eye pressure test using a tonometer.

This instrument is used to measure the pressure inside the eye and is useful in identifying people who might have or are at risk of developing glaucoma.