Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions in which the main nerve to the eye (the optic nerve) is damaged. This leads to a gradual loss of vision starting in the periphery (edge) of your vision. In most cases patients are unaware of vision loss until it is quite significant. Although any vision which has been lost due to glaucoma cannot be recovered, with early diagnosis, careful monitoring and regular use of treatments, the vast majority of people retain useful sight for life.
There are several risk factors for developing Glaucoma including raised Intraocular pressures, a family history of glaucoma and increasing age, particularly over 40 years.
If you have any risk factors, we would recommend that you have a Full Eye Examination which includes; pupil dilation to aid optic disc assessment, threshold visual field analysis (rather than screening), Retinal photography and OCT scans of the Optic Disc. OCT scanning allows us to monitor subtle changes in the retinal nerves and detect Glaucoma at a much earlier stage. This is vital in preventing irreparable sight loss.
Many patients are referred to Ophthalmology departments unnecessarily and by refining our referrals using these additional procedures, we can help GPs & Ophthalmologists to efficiently prioritise their patients for treatment.
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