Glaucoma is a common eye condition that happens if the nerve connecting the eye to the brain becomes damaged, usually by a build up of pressure within the eyes. It can affect people of all ages but is more common as we age with most adult patients in their 70’s and 80’s. Other risk factors include having a family history of developing glaucoma or having another medical condition such as diabetes, short-sightedness or long-sightedness.
Glaucoma develops gradually, and it changes the edges of your vision, or peripheral vision, so many people don’t really notice it developing and it’s picked up by an optician at their regular eye test. Some people have blurred vision or seeing rainbow coloured circles around bright lights. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the condition developing and your vision getting worse. Patients are recommended to come for regular monitoring, advice and care. Treatments include using eye drops to reduce the pressure in your eyes, laser treatment or occasionally surgery to open blocked drainage tubes. If it goes undetected, glaucoma can result in a patient going blind.
Very occasionally glaucoma can develop suddenly. If you experience signs such as intense eye pain, nausea and vomiting, a red eye, headaches, tenderness around the eyes, see rings around lights or blurred vision, visit your optician immediately to have this checked.
Monnow Eyecare optometrists are trained in using the equipment that monitors the condition and there are regular clinics for people with the condition at the practice, which means they don’t have to go into hospital for regular appointments. Helen Tilley, optometrist at the practice says “Many of our staff have specialist glaucoma qualifications, so patients can be offered assessment and treatment faster – more than 9 out of 10 patients take less than an hour to complete both assessment and treatment. Most people find it more convenient to get an appointment here and the whole experience is less stressful than attending hospital”.
Patients say it’s “a very pleasant experience, the examination at this practice is excellent” and “much better than going to Newport!”. One patient coming for the first time commented “as this was my initial appointment, I was nervous, but was made to feel comfortable and relaxed. The explanation of the procedures and results were extremely comprehensive and very reassuring, there’s a friendly atmosphere, refreshments provided, and I would certainly recommend anyone who needs appointments here to feel confident.”
If you have any concerns about the health of your eyes and would like to book a appointment at the practice, please telephone 01600 715 299, call into the practice or book online . Doctors and optometrists recommend that every adult should have a test at least every 2 years, whilst those with an eye condition come more frequently, as their optometrist advises.