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An important update on Covid-19 and our stores

An update on the Covid-19 virus and our stores

Given the unprecedented situation in the UK regarding the COVID-19 virus we feel that it is important to reassure you that we are continuing to keep our practice clean and safe for both you and our team. We intend to keep the practices open for as long as possible to provide the service that is needed for our patients.

You will appreciate that as an optical practice we work in an environment where the prevention of the spread of a whole range of infections is woven into everything that we do. Nevertheless, we are paying particular attention the latest government guidance on the transmission of coronavirus.

All of the frames on display, the equipment we use and all surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly to keep the practice as sterile as needed and as often as needed.

Know the guidance

Before attending the practice for your next appointment, we would be grateful if you would review the most up to date government guidance – just click this link https://www/nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covd19/

Keep us in the loop

Please remember that we are open, as normal, and to call us on the practice telephone number or email us to let us know if you wish to reschedule any of your booked appointments. We would be happy to schedule an alternative date for you. 

At your next appointment

Please forgive us if we don’t shake hands – but we are however happy to do the elbow bump – just ask! 

You’ll notice that we’ve removed some non-essential items in the reception area including the magazines. They will return once this is all over!

As a team, we are doing everything we possibly can to remain fit, well and able to work so that we can continue to provide our usual high standard of dental care for you.

Thank you for your support in keeping everyone safe.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases that gradually steal sight – usually without warning. In the early stages of the disease, there may be no symptoms. Experts estimate that half of the people affected by glaucoma may not know they have it. Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. This nerve acts like an electric cable with over a million wires transmitting information that is revived from the retina when it is stimulated by light or direct mechanical action (such as injury or pulling by the gel inside the eye). In short, It is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain. There is no cure for glaucoma – yet. However, medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. The appropriate treatment depends upon the type of glaucoma among other factors. Early detection is vital to stopping or slowing the rate of progress of the disease. It was once thought that high pressure within the eye, also known as IntraOcular Pressure or IOP, was the main cause of this optic nerve damage. Although IOP is clearly a risk factor, we now know that other factors must also be involved because even people with “normal” levels of eye pressure can experience vision loss from glaucoma.

Further information

Glaucoma causes progressive damage of the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye to carry visual information to the brain. If left untreated, most types of glaucoma progress (without warning nor obvious symptoms to the patient) towards gradually worsening visual damage and may lead to blindness. Once incurred, visual damage is mostly irreversible, and this has led to glaucoma being described as the “silent blinding disease” or the “sneak thief of sight”. Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide. It is estimated that 4.5 million persons globally are blind due to glaucoma and that this number will rise to 11.2 million by 2020. It is noteworthy that due to the silent progression of the disease – at least in its early stages – up to 50% of affected persons in the developed countries are not even aware of having glaucoma. This number may rise to 90% in underdeveloped parts of the world. There are several types of glaucoma. Some may occur as a complication of other visual disorders (the so-called “secondary” glaucomas) but the vast majority is “primary”, i.e. they occur without a known cause. It was once believed that the cause of most or all glaucomas was high pressure within the eye (known as intraocular pressure – sometimes abbreviated as IOP). It is now established however, that even people without an abnormally high IOP may suffer from glaucoma. Intraocular pressure is considered therefore today as a “Risk Factor” for glaucoma, together with other factors such as racial ancestry, family history, high myopia and age. Some forms of glaucoma may occur at birth (“congenital”) or during infancy and childhood (“juvenile”); in most cases however, glaucoma appears after the 4th decade of life, and its frequency increases with age. There is no clearly established difference in glaucoma incidence between men and women. The most common types of adult-onset glaucoma are Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) – a form most frequently encountered in patients of Caucasian and African ancestry – and Angle-Closure Glaucoma (ACG), which is the more common in patients of Asian ancestry. Angle-Closure Glaucoma is often chronic, like POAG, but can sometimes be acute, in which case it usually presents as a very painful ocular condition leading to rapid vision loss. There is no cure for glaucoma as yet, and vision loss is irreversible. However medication or surgery (traditional or laser) can halt or slow-down any further vision loss. Therefore early detection is essential to limiting visual impairment and preventing the progression towards severe visual handicap or blindness. At Ashleigh Sight Care, our Experts can detect glaucoma in its early stages and advise you on the best course of action.

References

  • World Health Organization data from www.who.int/blindness/causes/priority/en/
  • Quigley et al.Br J Ophthalmol 2006; 90:262-267
  • Sommer et al.Arch Ophthalmol 1991; 1090-1095

Further information is available at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Glaucoma/Pages/Introduction.aspx and at http://www.glaucoma-association.com/

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