Research shows that close relatives of glaucoma sufferers are up to four times more likely to develop the sight-threatening condition than those without a family history of the disease.
This week, in recognition of National Glaucoma Awareness Week, Specsavers in Coleraine is encouraging all locals who know of glaucoma in their family to book in for an eye examination at an opticians.
Optometrists can detect signs of glaucoma, one of the leading causes of preventable sight loss in the UK, by carrying out three simple tests - observing the main nerve in the eye, measuring the pressure in the eye (puff test) and checking peripheral vision.
Lynn Mackey, store director at Specsavers in The Diamond says: “‘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.
“Early detection means the condition can be monitored and future damage to vision minimised, which is why we’re asking everyone in Coleraine to make sure they have their eyes tested, especially if their parents or grandparents have glaucoma.”