Glaucoma is a group of fairly common medical conditions affecting the optic nerve. When this nerve that runs from the eye to the brain gets damaged, this can result in vision loss or even complete blindness. In fact, glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable, irreversible blindness on the planet.
World Glaucoma Week is here to create conversations and increase awareness so that more people can know about, understand, and work toward prevention of this disease of the eyes.
History of World Glaucoma Week
World Glaucoma Week was founded as an initiative by the World Glaucoma Association (WGA) with the purpose of raising public awareness about the risk factors, prevention tools and treatments that are available for glaucoma.
The most common form of glaucoma is caused by increased eye pressure, which can be measured with a puff of air. While glaucoma can have some terrible results, the great news is that, when it is caught early, prompt treatment can mean the difference between a life of sight and life with partial or complete blindness.
The hope is that, by joining forces to get more people educated about glaucoma, it will be possible to improve public awareness, increase glaucoma screenings and help people get tested to prevent the possibly devastating effects of glaucoma.
How to Observe World Glaucoma Week
Show a great deal of support and increase diagnosis and prevention by observing World Glaucoma Week with some of these activities:
Wear Green for Glaucoma
With the theme, “Wear Green to Be SEEN”, the World Glaucoma Association encourages supporters to don their favorite green shirts, jackets, ribbons, hats in celebration of World Glaucoma Week. Fly a green flag from a house or business. Some landmarks in Japan have even committed to a “Light Up in Green” event to show support for World Glaucoma week, and other communities could follow in these footsteps.
Host a World Glaucoma Week Event
Individuals, community groups, schools, medical professionals and other activists can get involved with celebrating World Glaucoma Week by hosting events to raise awareness and educate their community. Events might include free glaucoma screenings by eye doctors, arranging for educational events in schools or other community centers, or hosting walks/runs or different sporting activities to raise awareness and funds.
Those who want to share their schedule of activities in advance for others to see can do so on the World Glaucoma Week website. In 2023, more than 800 different activities from all over the world were placed on the map for people to get involved with. Hopefully, as World Glaucoma Week continues, even more events and activities will find their way onto the calendar!
Share a Glaucoma Story
One of the ways that World Glaucoma Week seeks to build momentum is by encouraging different people who have glaucoma to share their stories. The hope is that these stories will be shared on social media by individuals, and also make their way through the official World Glaucoma Association site so that others will hear!