New NICE glaucoma treatment guidelines
Glaucoma affects about 480 000 people in the UK. If left untreated it can lead to severe visual loss and blindness.
There are various treatments available to manage glaucoma and prevent visual loss. These treatments include a wide range of eye drops and surgical intervention. With the use of eye drops for the management of glaucoma it is of utmost importance that the drops be administered at the same time everyday to maintain a lower intra ocular pressure and prevent any pressure spike through the day.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published updated guidelines for the treatment for newly diagnosed glaucoma cases. This includes the use of Selective Laser Therapy (SLT) for the management of Glaucoma and ocular hypertension. NICE guidelines recommend SLT as the first line of treatment for Open Angle Glaucoma.
SLT will make the management of glaucoma less complicated and more cost-effective. Patient compliance with eye drops will no longer be such a big factor in the management of the otherwise sight threatening disease.
There are only 27 UK Optometrist that are accredited to perform SLT for the treatment of Glaucoma. 26 of which qualified in December 2022. Andrew Matheson of Matheson Optometrists has been acredited in this line of treatment since 2019.
Andrew Matheson performing SLT.
As yet accredited optometrists are only performing SLT in a hospital setting. Hopefully soon this procedure will be available in practice, which will make SLT available to many more people
At Matheson Optometrists we make use of state of the art equipment to ensure early diagnoses of glaucoma. It is advised that adult have a regular eye exam on a bi-annual basis and those with a family history of glaucoma be seen on an annual basis.
Andrew currently performs laser eye surgery at St Marys Treatment Centre in Portsmouth