A patient journey ...
Having your eyes checked regularly is very important, many causes of sight loss are preventable if caught early enough and a regular eye check is the best way to do this.
In many cases glaucoma can show no symptoms so it can be a bit of a shock when you visit your optometrist and they say they suspect you may have glaucoma. Here one of our patients Mrs Peters shares her journey of being diagnosed with glaucoma.
“I just went along to my opticians for a routine check to see if my glasses needed changing. I did need stronger glasses to read fine print but they also found that the pressure was slightly raised in both eyes. My gran had glaucoma so this worried me. I was referred to the local NHS eye clinic. For a long while I didn't hear anything, then my hospital appointment letter arrived saying I would have to wait a further 12 weeks to be seen. That seemed a long wait so I decided to go private. After a bit of research I went to see Mr Doherty, a glaucoma specialist who sees private patients at My Health Clinic in Gosforth.
My appointment was early evening, fitting in around my work schedule and avoiding the busy traffic. Upon arriving at the clinic, I was welcomed by Pauline who gave me a lovely frothy coffee and sat and chatted with me, she was great at calming my nerves. Mr Doherty called me in for my glaucoma assessment. It started with reading down the chart, having my eyes examined with a bright light and having my eye pressures checked with a blue light (no puff of air, thank goodness!), but both were a little high. He looked at the front of my eye using a lens with mirrors. The thickness of the front part of my eye was measured with a little beeping pen machine. Next came the field of vision test, I had to put on a patch and look into a machine that made little flashes of light. Each time I saw a flash I had to press a little button that made a beep. It was quite difficult to concentrate and keep looking straight ahead. My field test was nearly normal, but I had missed some flashes with each eye. Mr Doherty explained that I had early glaucoma that I can treat with just one drop to each eye before bedtime. I was very worried coming into this appointment, but my mind is now at rest. Mr Doherty was lovely, taking the time to fully explain the tests, condition and treatment to me and also taking the time to listen to and respond to my concerns. I will see Mr Doherty again in 2 months at My Health Clinic to recheck my pressures.”
The earlier glaucoma is diagnosed, the less damage will be done and the more vision will be saved! It is recommended you visit your optometrist for a regular eye check:
Every 2 – 4 years for those aged under 40 years
Every 2 – 3 years for those between 40 and 60 years
Every 1 – 2 years for those aged 60 years plus