What to ask your GP
Coping with your diagnosis
What is glaucoma?
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If you've been diagnosed with glaucoma, as well as the treatments explained in this website, your condition will be closely monitored to check for any further damage to your vision. You may find help from a number of healthcare professionals.
Meet the team whose help will be on offer:
Either your GP or your optometrist is likely to be your first port of call if you've noticed problems with your eyesight, for example, if your eyes are hurting or your sight is affected. Your GP will refer you to a specialist if your symptoms suggest that you have glaucoma.
An optometrist examines eyes, tests your sight and provides glasses and contact lenses. They generally work in high street opticians. Optometrists are also trained to recognise eye diseases and vision defects and may pick up glaucoma during a routine eye test.
The eye specialist, or ophthalmologist, is a hospital-based doctor who has undergone specialist training in eye diseases such as glaucoma, and their treatment and surgery. The ophthalmologist will examine your eyes to assess your glaucoma and decide on the best treatment for you depending on how severe your condition is and what may be causing it. He or she may then oversee your treatment follow up, or may refer you back to your optometrist.
An ophthalmic nurse is a nurse who has skills in eye care. Ophthalmic nurses work in hospital eye departments.
If you need to take medication for your glaucoma, your Pharmacist can be a very useful source of information for you when it comes to wanting to know how best to take your medicine. See more on the role of the Pharmacist.
NHS Direct is a 24-hour helpline which gives you access to confidential healthcare advice and information, provided by a nurse. You can contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647. If you prefer, you can get health information online at the NHS Choiceswebsite.
If you see your GP with eye symptoms and he or she suspects from your symptoms that you may have glaucoma, he or she will refer you to an ophthalmologist for further tests.Seeing the optometristIf your optometrist finds, after doing an eye test, that you have glaucoma, he or she will advise you to see your GP so you can be referred to an ophthalmologist for further tests.At the hospitalDepending on local guidelines, you may be referred directly to a consultant specialist glaucoma clinic or to a nurse-led glaucoma assessment clinic to confirm that you have glaucoma and decide on your treatment. This depends on:
See where medicines fit in for more information on the type of treatment you're likely to be prescribed.In some cases, your ophthalmologist will continue to treat you. But, you may be referred back to your optometrist who will continue your treatment.
CA/SS/NON/0097 Date of preparation May 2013
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Pfizer life is brought to you by Pfizer limited. SHS077 Date of preparation May 2013.
The information provided on this site is intended for general information and education and is not intended to be a substitute for advice provided by a doctor or other qualified healthcare professional
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