Muslim glaucoma patients have been urged not to stop taking eye drop medication during Ramadan (ending June 14) as stopping drops even for a short period of time can cause permanent loss of vision.

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA), which issued the advice, said hospital reports and calls to its helpline had indicated that some Muslims cease using their eye drops during Ramadan, believing that using the eye drops will break their fast.

Subhash Suthar, IGA development manager, said: ‘We suggest that patients close the tear duct when taking eye drops (known as punctual occlusion) as this means that fluid stays in the eye and does not drain into the throat and so cannot be tasted.’