Manchester experts launch attack on the ‘silent thief of sight’

Glaucoma is a common eye condition often called “the silent thief of sight”; it has no symptoms in its early stages but is a potentially blinding eye condition.

An estimated 500,000 British adults suffer from the disease1 and yet a further 50 per cent of glaucoma cases are currently undetected2. Local eye health specialist, Optegra Manchester Eye Hospital, is launching a bespoke new monitoring service to help detect and treat the disease.

This comes at a time where research reveals that 41 per cent of Britons are putting their eye health at risk by not even having an annual eye test3.

The new monitoring service will launch in a new Optegra outreach clinic in Macclesfield in March – to coincide with World Glaucoma Week (8 – 14 March 2015). The service is also available at Didsbury-based Optegra Manchester Eye Hospital.

Caroline McHugh, Hospital Director at Optegra Manchester Eye Hospital, explains: “This is a completely new service for the region, as we aim to bring our expertise to more and more people. The new clinic will mean the people of Macclesfield and surrounding areas can access the monitoring service at their convenience.

“Patients can attend the clinic with a referral from their GP or optometrist. We truly believe this is a way of reassuring local people and also helping to treat this terrible condition before it has progressed to a late stage.”

Designed to support patients who are at risk of, or concerned about glaucoma, the service offers regular in-depth assessments with a leading glaucoma specialist, Optegra ophthalmic consultant Mr. Dan Nguyen. The new service includes:

• A 12 month diagnosis and monitoring service to identify and capture conditions early enough to treat
• Continued care with direct access to a leading glaucoma ophthalmic specialist
• Expert examination with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment including optic nerve imaging and detailed visual field assessments
• Two to three assessments during the year which will check:
- Visual acuity
- Intra-ocular pressure
- Visual field examination
- Detailed clinical examination including gonioscopy and, where appropriate, dilated fundoscopy
- Imaging of the optic nerve with OCT
• Peace of mind, comfort and support for patients and their families
• Advice on any necessary treatment

At the end of the 12 months there will be a final review by the consultant and a summary report will be provided. Recommendation will be made as to whether further monitoring is required; if so there will be the opportunity to continue with the monitoring service on a yearly basis.

Optegra offers a range of treatments for the condition, from eye drops or laser, to glaucoma surgery ranging from microstents to trabeculectomy. This is the second glaucoma monitoring service to be offered by the specialist eye hospital group – the first was successfully launched in June 2014 at Optegra Eye Hospital, London.

Mr. Dan Nguyen, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Optegra Manchester Eye Hospital, says:

“Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerves, which connects the eye to the brain. There are different types of glaucoma and usually most of them in the early stages do not cause any symptoms. This is why many people may be unaware that they have it until it is quite advanced. Glaucoma, if left untreated can cause vision loss and blindness, so if we can identify, help and support patients who are at risk of, or concerned about glaucoma, we can then offer treatment to prevent it affecting the vision.”

Optegra’s Glaucoma Monitoring Service will run in Oldbury & Cruickshank, Macclesfield, and also at Optegra Manchester Eye Hospital.




3          Research conducted for Optegra by Online Options, with 1,000 adults aged 18 to 60+ in April 2012

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