There have been many advances in glaucoma treatment in recent years but one statistic about the disease remains stubbornly persistent. Glaucoma is the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness – but at least half of the people living with the disease don’t know they have it.
In Australia, it’s estimated about 150,000 people with glaucoma are undiagnosed and missing out on treatment to save their sight.
Often called the ‘silent thief of sight’ because it has no symptoms in its early stages, glaucoma can be difficult to diagnose and by the time a patient notices vision loss, irreversible damage has occurred.
But now a new Health Services Research Unit at CERA is investigating new ways of screening for glaucoma to improve detection rates, enable earlier treatment and prevent blindness.
“We want our research to have a tangible impact, so that in the future when eye health is measured in national surveys we will see fewer undiagnosed individuals,” says Principal Investigator .
“Our mission is to help our current eye health services find those 150,000 Australians with undiagnosed glaucoma.”