Mr Raj has started 'Glaucoma Support Group' for the people of Dudley and the Black Country after taking over as the 'Glaucoma Lead' at Russells Hall Hospital.
This is aimed at increasing awareness and providing information about glaucoma to all our glaucoma patients; in informal settings and gatherings away from a busy clinic.
The 1st ever meeting of the group (supported by Julia Phillips, advanced glaucoma nurse practioner at Russells Hall Hospital and the International Glaucoma Association(IGA) took place at Russells Hall Hospital in October 2013. The second meeting took place in April 2014 at Merry Hill.The 3rd meeting took place recently on 30th September with the attendance of a very well informed and motivated group of glaucoma patients and their families. This was held at the Sainsbury's at Merry Hill.The 4th meeting took place at the Insight house on 3rd March 2015.
The Glaucoma team announce the next Glaucoma Support Group will be held at -
Specsavers, Castle Street, Dudley Town Centre
Tuesday 12th July, 2016 at 10am – 12noon
Refreshments available – free of charge
There is a small flight of stairs at this venue, no lift is available.
Due to limited seating, please confirm your attendance with
Julia Phillips – Advanced Glaucoma Practitioner
Or by telephone - Eye clinic 01384 456111 ext. 3620 / 3621
You may also email your intention to attend: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are always trying to improve the quality of glaucoma services and the range of glaucoma services at Dudley. This means that all our patients receive world class service close to home without referral to a distant hospital. To maintain and further improve the service, your donations and help in anyway possible would go a logn way and will be much appreciated.
Please contact at the above telephone/Email regarding this.
Please feel free look at the following information regarding Glaucoma:
Dudley & Black Country Glaucoma Support Group
Ten things you must know about your Glaucoma
(By Mr Akash Raj, Consultant Ophthalmologist & Glaucoma Lead)
1. What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of conditions where the optic nerve structure and function (visual field and vision) are affected. This is usually a progressive condition and is usually associated with raised pressure in the eye.
2. What is the normal pressure in the eye?
This is usually between 10-21mm of Mercury (Hg). Patients with just raised eye pressure (but no damage to the optic nerve structure and function) are known as ‘Ocular Hypertensives’ (No relation to your blood pressure!). Higher the level of eye pressure greater is the risk of conversion to Glaucoma.
3. Can I have Glaucoma if my eye pressure is in the normal range (10-21 mmHg)?
It is possible to have a type of glaucoma called ‘Normal Tension (pressure) Glaucoma’ even though your eye pressure may be normal.
4. Who can get Glaucoma?
We are all at risk of Glaucoma! But about 50% of people with Glaucoma may not be diagnosed in time. In other words, 50% of Glaucoma patients may not know that they have Glaucoma because there are no striking symptoms. Glaucoma may therefore be called “Silent Blinder”. It is therefore very important to get regular eye check up. The risk of glaucoma goes up with age. The prevalence of glaucoma is 2% after 40 years of age and this increase to 10% over 75 years of age. Someone wisely pointed out “We might all develop glaucoma if we all lived long enough!".
5. What are the risk factors for Glaucoma?
Raised pressure in eye, Age (Risk increases with age), Sex (Women are at higher risk), Race (Afro-Caribbeans are at a higher risk), Trauma to the head or eye, Significant blood loss, Migraine and Raynaud’s phenomenon, Family history of Glaucoma, Short sightedness or long sightedness, Long term use of steroid based medications and Diabetes.
6. A family member has glaucoma, should I be worried?
Studies show that family history (close blood relative: father, mother, brother, sister or child) increases risk of glaucoma four to ten times. This is mainly for the most common type of glaucoma 'open angle glaucoma' which is deemed to be hereditary. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, don’t forget to tell your relatives about the condition and the need for them to be examined by an experienced glaucoma specialist.
7. How is glaucoma treated?
Every treatment for every type of glaucoma is aimed at reducing the intraocular pressure (pressure in the eye) and thereby better managing glaucoma and not to improve or restore sight. Glaucoma is an incurable and chronic eye disease, the aim of the treatment is to slow down the rate of progression of glaucoma so that vision could be preserved and risk of blindness could be cut down. Glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, tablets, laser treatment (Selective/Micropulse Laser Trabeculoplasty, Cyclodiode Laser Treatment), glaucoma drainage surgery (Trabeculectomy, Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (iStents), Glaucoma Tube Implant Surgery) or a combination of these methods depending on the stage and type of your glaucoma.
8. Can Glaucoma cause blindness?
Yes, glaucoma is potentially blinding. Glaucoma is the 2nd commonest cause for registration for blindness in the UK. Glaucoma is a serious eye disease and is usually not curable. It can however, be treated very well so as to reduce the risk of visual loss. Once diagnosed, people with glaucoma need lifelong monitoring so that any progression of visual damage can be detected. Sight loss due to glaucoma is irreversible and cannot be restored. The risk of blindness in one eye in treated glaucoma is about 15% and 6% for both eyes at 15 years from diagnosis of glaucoma. The risk of blindness is much higher in untreated cases, much higher where patients do not use their glaucoma medications regularly and where they keep missing glaucoma clinic appointments. The more advanced the glaucoma is at the time of diagnosis, the more likely that it will lead to blindness during a patient's lifetime. It therefore, requires prompt treatment and close monitoring.
9. Can I drive if I have Glaucoma?
One needs to have a certain level of visual acuity and visual field to be able to be driving safely on the road. Glaucoma affects both, field of vision and vision. It is advisable that you inform the DVLA if you have Glaucoma. It is your personal and legal responsibility. If you have glaucoma in only one eye and your other eye is fine you may not have to inform the DVLA if you drive a private car. Please discuss this with DVLA in case of any doubt.
10. Where can I find further information on Glaucoma?
For private patients & referrals
Mr Akash Raj
Consultant Ophthalmologist, Glaucoma specialist & Cataract surgeon
(Alternate Thursday AM)
01384 632 640
Private Secretary: Liz Carter : 01384 632 636
Fax: 01384 632702
FAO Liz Carter
Mr Akash Raj
Consultant Ophthalmologist, Glaucoma & Cataract specialist
For NHS Referrals through GP/Opticians
Mr Akash Raj
Consultant Ophthalmologist (Glaucoma Lead)
Extn. 5815 (NHS Secretary: Lyn Eaton)
FAO Lyn Eaton