AN EAST Lancashire woman whose type 1 diabetes was discovered after a routine test found she had high pressure behind the eyes has featured in a video urging others to visit the opticians regularly.

In the Youtube video Francesca Di Giorgio, from Nelson, talks about even though she was diagnosed with diabetes 23 years ago, she still has regular eye tests to prevent glaucoma

Encouraging others to make sure they look after their eyes, Ms Di Giorgio said: “I attended a routine eye appointment at the opticians and the optician referred me to the hospital. This was due to me having high pressure behind my eyes.

"The consultant who saw me at the hospital prescribed ‘Latanoprost’ eye drops for me.

"I use these eye drops regularly as prescribed and they have really helped with reducing the pressure behind my eyes.

“Every six months I attend a glaucoma clinic at Burnley General Hospital, this is to keep a check on my eyes and help prevent glaucoma.”

Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged.

It is usually caused by fluid building up in the front part of the eye, which increases pressure inside the eye. It can lead to reduced vision and even blindness.

Both eyes are usually affected, although it may be worse in one eye.

Very occasionally, glaucoma can develop suddenly and cause intense eye pain; nausea and vomiting; a red eye; a headache; tenderness around the eyes; seeing rings around lights; and/or blurred vision

Ms Di Giorgio said: “I was very fortunate that my high pressures behind my eyes were picked up quite quickly at a routine eye appointment and I was prescribed Latanoprost eye drops.

"I would strongly recommend that people should continue with their prescribed medication to maintain good eye health which will help save their eyesight.”

To see the video in which Ms Di Giorgio speaks further about her experience, visit

You are entitled to a free NHS eye test if you have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma; if you are 40 or over and your mother, father, sibling or child has been diagnosed with glaucoma; or if you have been advised by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) that you're at risk of glaucoma

Dr Rahul Thakur, a local GP and clinical lead at the CCGs, said: “Glaucoma can cause serious damage to your eyes and in worst case scenarios it can even lead to blindness. This is why it is important to diagnose the problem during the early stages of the illness and the best way to do this is have regular eye tests, at least once every two years.

“I would strongly encourage all patients to take part in their routine eye tests at least once every two years so if anyone does develop glaucoma it can be diagnosed early to prevent any long terms problems. If you are 40 or over and your mother, father, sibling or child has been diagnosed with glaucoma you are entitled to a free eye test.”

For more information about free NHS eye tests visit:

For more information about Glaucoma visit: