15 January 2014
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) launches its 40th Anniversary Appeal to raise further funds for the diagnosis, management and treatment of glaucoma. In 1974 Ronald Pitts Crick set up the IGA in order to prevent the loss of sight from glaucoma. Over 40 years on, and the organisation has the same mission:
“To raise awareness of glaucoma, promote research related to early diagnosis and treatment and to provide support to patients and all those that care for them.”
The work of the IGA is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago. At that time, doctors at King’s College Hospital, where the IGA was first based, were keen to improve patient care and find out more about the practical issues associated with living with glaucoma. The response from patients was enthusiastic, with many wanting more information and research into glaucoma. So, the IGA was formed.
Forty years later, the IGA has spent around £2.5million researching the causes of glaucoma and finding better ways of detection. The IGA was the patient representative in the development of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines for glaucoma and works closely with all of the professional bodies involved in diagnosing and treating people with glaucoma, including Ophthalmologists, Opticians, General Practitioners and Pharmacists.
The IGA helpline is a valuable source of information to both newly diagnosed patients and people living with glaucoma. It has over 20 leaflets covering the different types of glaucoma and lifestyle issues such as glaucoma and driving, glaucoma and pregnancy. The IGA website provides information and news for professionals and patients.
The IGA’s annual awareness campaign has previously focused on raising awareness of eye health, particularly in the over 40s, and this year’s campaign will focus on the African-Caribbean population who are four times at risk of being diagnosed with glaucoma.
True to its founding principles, the IGA service is provided free of charge. The organisation does not receive any funding from Government and relies on donations, legacies and fundraising.
Despite greater professional and public awareness, it is widely recognised that there are over 300,000 people in the UK with undiagnosed glaucoma. It is vital that glaucoma is detected early in order to protect sight. The 40th Anniversary Appeal seeks to raise further awareness of glaucoma amongst at risk groups.
To find out more about the IGA, the 40th Anniversary appeal, the research that has been funded or how to become involved in our work visit the website: www.iga.org.uk; like us on Facebook or join us on Twitter.
For more information about IGA contact: Karen Brewer on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01233 64 81 69.