By Emily Tait
Dame Maggie Smith, winner of two Academy Awards and much-loved star of Downtown Abbey, has become the patron of the International Glaucoma Association (IGA), the charity for people with glaucoma.
The charity funds research and provides free support and advice for patients suffering from the disease.
Free information advice and support is provided through Sightline – a telephone service available to patients and their families.
A plethora of leaflets and newsletters are also distributed by the charity and all information is regularly updated and approved by specialists.
The charity also funds a range of research projects to advance the knowledge of the causes of glaucoma and to develop more effective methods of diagnosis and treatment.
On accepting the role, Dame Maggie said: "I am delighted to support the work of the IGA. Glaucoma is a condition of which people are generally unaware - it is important that its profile should be raised.
"Then the general public would have a greater understanding and appreciate the risks involved, so that, if necessary, they can seek treatment quickly."
by Emily Tait