CONSULTANT OPHTHALMIC SURGEON
CATARACT AND GLAUCOMA SPECIALIST

In The Press...

Beware the silent thief of the night

Pavi Agrawal Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Queen's Medical Centre, urges readers not to lose sight of their eye health in the Covid-19 crisis

In March 2020, the UK went into lockdown, suspending all non essential services including routine sight tests and eye examinations by high-street optometrists.

As many conditions do not initially display symptoms, these routine sight tests are pivotal in detecting potentially sight-threatening conditions.

One such condition is glaucoma often coined the silent thief of the night, as symptoms often develop much later in the course of the disease.

This pandemic has meant routine sight checks being cancelled for thousands of people nationwide, with the collateral damage being hundreds if not thousands of cases of glaucoma lying undetected and untreated in the community.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and as we get older, our risk of developing the disease significantly increases.

In the uK it is estimated that 700,000 people have glaucoma, with this number set to reach one million over the next 10 years.

Glaucoma is an eye disease affecting the optic nerve, the part of the eye that transmits light signals from the retina to the brain. It is often associated with raised pressure within the eye. The high pressure damages the optic nerve and cells that carry important information to the brain.

As a result, patients begin to lose their peripheral or side vision and as the disease progresses, their central vision can begin to deteriorate, eventually leading to loss of sight. people with glaucoma may rarely experience a red eye, pain blurred vision and night time halos. In such cases, they should seek urgent attention.

But there is hope! by lowering the pressure in the eye, we can slow down the progression of the disease and, in some cases, halt it altogether. This is done by using regular eye drops or even laser treatments, Should the glaucoma progress, surgical options are available to lower eye pressure.

Over the next few weeks, many opticians will begin to re-open with social distancing, thorough disinfection and full use of screening and PPE being enforced. Higher risk groups include those over the age of 65, those with a family history of glaucoma and the African-Caribbean population.

I would encourage everyone to begin to visit their local optometrist. A simple 20-minute eye test will be able to pick up even the earliest signs of glaucoma.

Early detection and and management of glaucoma can be key to saving your sight.

From an article in the Nottingham Post. 12/06/2020

Glaucoma

Pavi Agrawal appears on BBC East Midlands Today to highlight the importance of being screened for glaucoma by your optician.

With thanks to BBC East Midlands Today


West Bridgford opthalmologist says, ‘Don’t let Glaucoma darken your life’

National Glaucoma Week 2018 runs between the 4th-10th of June. Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and as we get older our risk of developing the disease significantly increases.

Pavi Agrawal, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at QMC writes.

In the U.K it is estimated that 600,00 people have glaucoma, with this number set to reach 1 million over the next 10 years.

So what is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease affecting the optic nerve, the part of the eye that transmits light signals from the retina to the brain. It is often associated with raised pressure within the eye. The high pressure damages the optic nerve and the cells that carry important information to the brain. As a result, patients being to lose their peripheral or side vision and as the disease progresses their central vision can begin to deteriorate; eventually leading to loss of sight. People with glaucoma may experience lighting appearing dimmer and parts of their vision becoming blurred. Glaucoma is often termed ‘the silent thief of the night’, as often patients have no symptoms, similar to having high blood pressure. This is why the condition can be dangerous, often not presenting itself until much later in the disease process.

But there is hope! By lowering the pressure in the eye we can slow down the progression of the disease and in some cases halt it altogether. This is done in the first instance by using regular eye drops or even laser treatments. Should the glaucoma progress despite medical therapy, surgical options are available to lower the eye pressure.

Due to the silent nature of this condition I would encourage everyone to use National Glaucoma Week to visit their local optician. A simple 20-minute eye test will be able to pick up even the earliest signs of glaucoma. Should the optician have any concerns, they will refer your local glaucoma consultant ophthalmologist for a more detailed examination. Early detection and management of glaucoma, can be key to saving your sight by slowing down disease progression.

Pavi Agrawal
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham

Courtesy of West Bridgford Wire June 2018