‘Red flag’ reminder for glaucoma

PEOPLE with glaucoma are four times more likely to have a car accident than Australians with normal vision, underlining the need for GPs to inquire about family history of the disease, an ophthalmologist is warning. 

Dr Paul Healey, a glaucoma surgeon and lecturer at the University of Sydney, wants to raise awareness of the ‘red flags’ that could help identify patients who need to have their driving ability assessed professionally.

“Side vision loss, sensitivity to lights such as sunlight or headlight glare, blurred vision and an increase in near-miss crashes are all warning signals,” he said.

Glaucoma Australia figures showed one-half of all Australians with glaucoma remained undiagnosed, due primarily to patients not having their eyes checked. 

“The important message for GPs is to be asking their patients whether they have a family history of eye disease and particularly glaucoma,” he said.