Glaucoma & COVID – 19

What is Glaucoma?

​Glaucoma is a disease of the eye where the pressures of fluid inside the eye is too high.  Over time this causes damage to the nerves inside the eye which in turn leads to loss of your peripheral vision and finally tunnel vision.  This process usually takes many years and is very difficult for individuals to detect as it is slow and painless.

How is Glaucoma treated?

If you have glaucoma you will have been prescribed eye drops to keep the pressure down to protect the nerves inside the eye.  The normal protocol is for you to have periodic checks of the eye pressure, peripheral vision (field test) and the health of the nerves inside the eye (OCT scan), usually once or twice a year.

What do I do if I have Glaucoma during the Coronavirus pandemic?

During the coronavirus outbreak we are unable to perform face to face consultations.  It is therefore vital that you continue any treatment that we have prescribed for you during this time.  You will be able to get repeat prescriptions from your GP or pharmacist and often these can be delivered directly to you.

We will be calling you if you have a scheduled appointment with us to try to do as much as we can for your glaucoma care over the phone.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to measure the eye pressure or perform other tests without you attending the hospital to do so.  In most cases a delay of a short period until we reopen is probably manageable and each person’s glaucoma will be treated individually depending on their own circumstances.  This will be kept under continuous assessment as the virus outbreak progresses and if there any changes in this guidance, we will be contacting you.

What happens if I have Glaucoma and get ill with Coronavirus?

At the current time there is no evidence that the Coronavirus itself has any impact on glaucoma.  If you contract Coronavirus it is important that you continue taking your eye drops whilst you are unwell.  If you are unable to put your drops in yourself, please inform a relative or carer to do it for you.

If your eyes become red and sore you need to seek advice from either ourselves or NHS 111.

What happens if my eyes become uncomfortable whilst using drops?

Discomfort in your eyes can be caused by a variety of different reasons.  It could be dry eyes, blepharitis, intolerance to the drops or a combination of these.  You should continue using your glaucoma drops unless advised not to by your medical practitioner.  Try using lubricant drops or other treatments for dry eye/blepharitis.  For further advice see here: (link to the dry eyes blepharitis page).

Further information about glaucoma can be found here:  https://www.glaucoma-association.com

Contact us today

If you would like more information or wish to book an appointment please contact us.