Whitstable Medical Practice offers a Glaucoma Clinic as part of the Community Glaucoma Network (CGN). This clinic is for patients who have suspected Glaucoma, or who have already been diagnosed with Glaucoma.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition which can affect sight, usually due to build-up of pressure within the eye. Glaucoma develops when the fluid cannot drain properly and pressure builds up. This can damage the optic nerve and the nerves fibres from the retina. Glaucoma can be treated with the eye drops, laser treatment or surgery. Treatment aims to control the condition and minimise future damage. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause visual impairment, so it is important it is caught and treated early. However, if it is diagnosed and treated early enough, further damage to vision can be prevented.
You may be referred to see the optometrist because your results from some of the routine tests were not completely normal. A few checks will be undertaken by the optometrist. These checks are quick and painless. This appointment does not replace your regular eye examination with your usual optometrist, as this appointment is specifically for a glaucoma assessment.
During your appointment you will need eye drops to be inserted into your eyes, this may temporarily blur your vision; therefore following your appointment you will be unable to drive for at least 2 hours and you may not be able to read. Your appointment may last for up to an hour.
There are three main types of testing that may be carried out by an optometrist:
- Ophthalmoscopy – looking inside your eye to check what the optic disc looks like, (this is where the optic nerve joins the eye). This is done using an ophthalmoscope, a special torch for looking into the eyes.
- Measuring the pressure inside your eye (tonometry). This may be done with an instrument that sends a small puff of air onto the surface of the eye (non-contact tonometry) – the puff of air may make you jump a bit, but it will not hurt.
- The optometrist may place an instrument (called a direct contact tonometer) gently against the eye – if they do this test, they will use drops to numb your eyes first, so you will not feel anything.
Visual fields may be also checked to make sure you don’t have any abnormal blind spots.
You will be unable to drive following your appointment for at least 2 hours, as you may suffer from blurred vision from the eye drops that will be inserted during your appointment. You will receive a letter of your results within a month following your appointment.
If for any reason you cannot make your appointment, or if you have any queries following an appointment, please contact our Clinical Services Patient Coordinators on 01227 284314 or 01227 284315 (Monday-Friday 8am-5pm).
Whilst you are under the care of the Glaucoma Clinic, please ensure that you inform us of any change to your address or telephone number.
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