Specsavers has called on the public to not neglect their sight tests as part of World Glaucoma Week (March 7-13).

Data from Specsavers’ Clinical Outcomes Report has shown a 66% drop in glaucoma referrals at its stores between equivalent time periods in 2019 and 2020.

The company’s clinical services director, Giles Edmonds, called this ‘an extremely worrying statistic’ and added that this ‘underlines the importance of community optometrists in preventing avoidable blindness by early glaucoma detection and management.’

Specsavers has shared its findings with Glaucoma UK and Wilmington Healthcare to help the organisations create an infographic on how the pandemic has impacted glaucoma care.

Karen Osborn, chief executive at Glaucoma UK, added: ‘Two in every 100 people over 40 have glaucoma, and 10% of people over 75 are also affected. Glaucoma is often symptomless, so if people are not having routine eye tests, they may have the disease and not even know it.’