Blog

October, 2023

We are thrilled to share the exciting news regarding Gurjeet Jutley’s role at the Catholic University of Murcia (UCAM) as part of the new Veterinary Department at the University.

The introduction of the Veterinary Department signifies a significant expansion in the educational opportunities’ the university has to offer, and it aligns perfectly with Gurjeet’s passion for teaching and his expertise in statistics. Gurjeet is honoured to be one of the teachers chosen to impart statistical knowledge to the enthusiastic and talented students who are embarking on their journey to become veterinarians.

Teaching statistics to students in the veterinary field holds immense potential. Statistics plays a crucial role in research, clinical practice, and decision-making within all medical and veterinary professions. By equipping these future veterinarians with a strong foundation in statistics, Gurjeet is not only enhancing their analytical skills but also empowering them to contribute meaningfully to the field’s advancements.

Starting this semester, Gurjeet Jutley will also have the privilege of teaching Neuropharmacology and Biochemistry at the Psychology Department of the University!

You might wonder, “Why is an ophthalmologist teaching neuropharmacology and biochemistry in psychology?!” The answer lies in the fascinating overlap of these disciplines as of course embryologically the eye is an extension of the brain!

Mr Jutley hopes to bring a fresh perspective that can enhance collective learning. His goal is to ignite student’s curiosity and foster a deep appreciation for the complex relationship between the neuronal pathways and human behaviour. Gurjeet and the team at Clinica Guirao are looking forward to seeing the Veterinary and Psychology Department at Catholic University of Murcia flourish in the years to come.

 

Image Courtesy: Catholic University of Murcia (UCAM) 

September, 2023

Spain is one of the most beautiful holiday destinations and a must visit to enjoy the sun. While these provide plenty of opportunities for relaxation, when the mercury ticks too high, it can create problems. With climate change, summers in Spain are becoming even hotter and longer.

If you’re prone to dry eyes, then this can present significant challenges. The combination of intense heat, glaring sunlight, and increased reliance on air conditioning, can all exacerbate dry eye symptoms.

In this blog, Gurjeet Jutley examines the topic of dry eyes and advises on what preventative measures you can take during the extreme heat.

 

Understanding Dry Eyes 

Dry eye syndrome is caused when either eyes do not produce enough tears or tears evaporate rapidly. This leaves eyes feeling dry and irritated and can potentially lead to blurred vision as well as discomfort. A range of factors can contribute to dry eyes, including heat, age, medications and medical conditions. Lengthy use of screens and contact lenses can also contribute.

 

Intense sunlight and high temperatures can exacerbate evaporation, leaving eyes without the lubrication they need. This can be a particular problem if you spend an extended period outdoors in the heat. Air-conditioned indoor spaces can also be challenging due to their low humidity levels, contributing to dry eyes.

 

Managing Dry Eyes During a Spanish Summer

What can you do to manage the discomfort caused by dry eyes during the hot weather?

 

  • Keep Hydrated

Ensure you remain hydrated by drinking sufficient amounts of water. During hot weather, this is likely to be more than usual. Proper hydration is essential for maintaining tear production.

 

  • Use Eye Drops

Over-the-counter lubricant eye drops can provide relief from the discomfort of dry eyes by helping to lubricate the eye. Always follow the instructions provided on the packaging.

 

  • Remember to Blink

Intentional blinking helps to spread tears evenly across the surface of your eyes. This is particularly important if you’re spending long periods of time focusing on screens, or you’re spending extended periods in air-conditioned environments.

 

  • Protect Your Eyes

Wearing sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays will shield your eyes from harmful sunlight while helping to reduce the rate of tear evaporation. Wrap-around styles can also provide additional protection from wind and dust.

 

  • Manage Screen Time

Extended periods of screen time can reduce blink frequency, contributing to dry eyes. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

 

  • Raise Humidity Levels

Higher humidity helps to counteract the impact of heat on your eyes. If you have air conditioning, consider using a humidifier to help maintain a comfortable level of indoor humidity. This can help prevent rapid evaporation of tears.

 

  • Nutrition

There is evidence that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help promote healthy tear production. These are found in foods such as oily fish, walnuts and flaxseed. They also have a range of other health benefits making omega-3 a popular supplement.

 

  • Stay Indoors

During very hot periods it’s sensible for a range of health reasons, not least avoiding dry eyes, to remain indoors. This is particularly important during the hottest time of the day. This is usually between 10 am and 4 pm.

 

  • Review Your Medication

In some instances, certain medications may be exacerbating dry eye problems. If you are taking medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist to ask about possible side-effects such as dry eye. If necessary, it may be possible to change medications for one that is less likely to cause a problem with your eyes.

 

  • Consult an Ophthalmologist

If you are experiencing persistent, severe and painful dry eye symptoms, then it’s important to consult an ophthalmologist. They can recommend appropriate treatments, including prescription eye drops or other therapies. They can also check your overall eye health.

 

Gurjeet Jutley at Clinic Guirao

You can now receive eye care from Dr. Gurjeet Jutley at the Clinica Guirao in Murcia. He’s looking forward to building on his extensive within the UK.

If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment please contact the clinic.

May, 2023

Eye drops are practical, simple-to-use medical treatment for a range of eye conditions, as well as alleviating symptoms such as itchiness, burning, and discomfort in the eye. Eye drops are prescribed by an ophthalmologist to prevent eye infections or to aid recovery from surgery.

Prescribed eye drops should be used as directed. This is important because eye drops are formulated in a particular way for maximum safety and effectiveness. If they’re used improperly, at best they will be ineffective, at worse they could lead to adverse effects.

In this article, Gurjeet Jutley looks at some of the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ to keep in mind when using eye drops.

 

The Do’s of Using Eye Drops 

When using eye drops, there are certain things you should do to ensure that they work effectively and to minimise the risk of complications. These include:

  • Store In A Cool Dry Place

It’s important to store eyedrops in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Exposure to sunlight can degrade the quality of the medication over time.

  • Check Your Drops Before Use

Contaminated eye drops can introduce harmful bacteria or other pathogens into the eyes, potentially leading to infections or other complications. Do not use eye drops that have expired or appear cloudy, discoloured, or contain particles.

  • Wash Your Hands Thoroughly

Firstly, always wash your hands thoroughly before administering the drops. This helps to prevent introducing harmful bacteria to your eyes, which could cause infections.

  • Follow The Instructions

Always follow the instructions provided by the ophthalmologist or as stated on the packaging carefully. This includes the correct dosage, the frequency of administration, and the duration of use. Overusing eye drops could lead to unwanted side effects or even damage to the eye. Always check the expiration date on the packaging.

  • Wait Between Using Different Drops

If you’re using more than one type of eye drop, ensure that you wait for at least five minutes between administering each drop. This prevents the first drop from being washed away before it has had a chance to work.

 

The Don’ts Of Using Eye Drops

There are some important things to remember not to do when using eye drops. These include: 

  • Don’t Share Eye Drops

It’s important that you only use eye drops that have been prescribed to you. Eye drops are medication and sharing them can lead to allergic reactions or the spreading of infections.

  • Don’t Touch The Dropper Tip

The dropper tip of the eye drop bottle should never come into contact with your fingers or any other surface, as this can introduce harmful bacteria into the bottle and potentially cause an infection.

  • Don’t Use Expired Eye Drops

Expired eye drops can lose their effectiveness or even become contaminated, so it’s important to check the expiration date and dispose of any old drops.

  • Don’t Rub Your Eyes After Using Eye Drops

Rubbing your eyes after applying eye drops can cause the medication to be rubbed away or even spread to other parts of your face, such as your nose or mouth. It’s best to wait a few minutes before touching your eyes or using any other products around your eyes.

  • Don’t use multiple types of eye drops simultaneously

Different types of eye drops can interact with each other, leading to side effects or decreased effectiveness. If you have been prescribed multiple types of eye drops, make sure you understand how and when to use each one and in what order.

 

Effective treatment for a range of conditions

Eye drops are an effective, simple and easy to use medication for a wide range of eye conditions including dry eyes, glaucoma, allergies and infections. They are easy to use and can provide quick relief without the need for more invasive treatments.

However, it is important to use eye drops as directed and to follow the do’s and don’ts of eye drop use to ensure that they are effective and safe. If you have any questions or concerns about using eye drops, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional or eye care specialist.

Contact Gurjeet Jutley for advice about all aspects of eye health and treatment.

March, 2023

Lens replacement surgery, also known as lens exchange or lens replacement, is a surgical procedure in which the natural lens inside the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. It can be a very valid option instead of wearing contact lenses or glasses.

In this blog, Gurjeet Jutley provides a quick guide to lens replacement surgery and outlines what you can expect.

 

Is lens replacement surgery the same as cataract surgery?

Lens replacement surgery is sometimes confused with cataract surgery, and while there are similarities there are also differences. Cataract surgery involves removing a cloudy lens to improve vision. In lens replacement surgery, the lens is fairly clear and the object of removal is to improve the refraction, i.e. the ability to see without using glasses.

 

What artificial lenses are available?

There are a number of different types of artificial lenses that can be used depending on the particular needs of the patient. Multifocal lenses can help you see clearly at all distances. If someone also has astigmatism as well, toric multifocal lenses can be used to correct it.

Recently, extended depth of focus implants (EDOF) has been introduced. These feature a different design from traditional multifocal lenses and can provide an enhanced depth of focus. They can also reduce a range of visual disturbances, such as starbursts, halos and glare, all of which may occur when traditional multifocal lenses are used.

The key thing is the right choice for each individual patient, i.e. an informed decision.

 

What does the procedure involve?

The procedure for lens replacement surgery is performed in a similar way to cataract surgery.  The patient is awake during the surgery and can be given a sedative to help them relax if required.

The procedure will usually only take around 15-30 minutes and the patient is able to return home on the same day as their surgery. Each eye is operated on separately usually with a gap of one or two weeks between each procedure. It’s easier for the brain to adjust to the new information it is receiving if the second eye is operated on as soon as the first eye has recovered.

 

Recovering from lens replacement surgery

After the surgery is completed your eye will be covered with a protective pad and shield that you will need to keep in place for the first 24 hours. This will limit your vision, so you will need someone to escort you home safely. You will then need to wear it at night for the following week. This is to limit the risk of your eye being rubbed while you’re sleeping which can damage the site where the cut was made.

Blurred vision for a few days after surgery is common but should gradually clear up. Vision will eventually stabilise between two to four weeks. Eye drops will usually be required for about four weeks. These reduce the risk of an infection occurring and can aid the healing process.

It’s important to avoid vigorous exercise and swimming for at least two weeks following surgery. The use of computers and other screens should also be limited or avoided. It’s possible to begin driving as soon as you are able to meet the DVLA requirement to read a licence plate number from 20 metres away.

 

For confidential and professional advice about your lens replacement surgery or to book a consultation contact Gurjeet Jutley today.

February, 2023

Astigmatism is a common visual finding that most commonly affects the shape of the cornea and can cause distorted or blurry vision. It is essential to properly diagnose and treat astigmatism to maintain good vision and eye health.

 

In this article, Gurjeet Jutley discussed the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for astigmatism.

 

What is astigmatism and how is it caused?

 

The eye has two structures, the cornea and the lens, that have curved surfaces. These bend, or refract, light onto the retina to make images. The cornea is the clear front surface of the eye alongside the tear film, and the lens is a clear structure inside the eye that changes shape to help the eye focus on near objects.

 

When an eye is perfectly spherical in shape each of these elements will have a round curvature. This allows the cornea or lens to refract all incoming light equally to create a sharply focused image directly on the retina at the back of the eye.

 

Astigmatism is caused when there is an irregularity in the shape of the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye, or the curvature of the lens inside the eye. This irregular curvature causes multiple focus points, causing blurred vision.

 

One can have either corneal astigmatism, lenticular astigmatism or both. Hence astigmatism can occur in combination with other vision conditions such as nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia), cataract, etc.

 

 

What are the common symptoms of astigmatism?

 

Some of the common symptoms of uncorrected astigmatism are:

 

  • Distorted or blurred vision
  • Discomfort or eyestrain
  • Headaches

 

A refraction can help identify and correct astigmatism by implementing treatment. Hence the importance of regular eye tests, encompassing:

 

  • Visual acuity test

 

This measures how clearly you can make out letters or symbols from a distance.

 

  • Retinoscopy

 

This involves shining a light into the eye to measure the reflection.

 

  • Keratometry

 

This is a test that’s used to measure the curvature of the cornea to determine the presence and degree of astigmatism.

 

  • Corneal topography

 

This creates a detailed map of the front surface of the eye and can help to identify corneal abnormalities including astigmatism.

 

 

How is astigmatism treated?

 

Astigmatism is treated either by wearing corrective lenses or through refractive surgery.

 

  • Corrective lenses

 

Corrective lenses in the form of glasses or contact lenses help to compensate for the uneven shape of the eye. Lenses corrects the light to bend into one focal point.

 

  • Refractive surgery

 

Refractive surgery can improve correct astigmatism, improve vision overall and reduce the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. The surgery can be at the level of the cornea or lens, such as toric lenses.

 

 

If you are having difficulties with your vision or have any of the possible symptoms of astigmatism outlined above it’s important to seek an examination as soon as possible. For further advice regarding astigmatism or to book a consultation contact Gurjeet Jutley today.

September, 2022

Although each case is different, your vision should begin to get back to normal within a few days of having the procedure.

 

Whilst cataract surgery is common, a reasonable period of recovery time is still needed, and when you get home you will want to rest and recuperate for a while.

 

In this article, Gurjeet Jutley explains what you can expect after cataract surgery, and how long it will take until you can get back to your normal activities.

 

Going Home

 In most cases, you should be able to go home on the same day as your surgery. You will usually have a pad and plastic shield across your treated eye, and this can normally be removed the day after surgery. Feeling should begin to return to your eye within a few hours of the procedure, but it may take several days for your vision to return to normal.

 

Initially, you may experience a number of different side effects including grittiness, watering, blurred vision, and a red or bloodshot eye. These should begin to ease within a few days, but in some cases, some side effects may linger for a few weeks. If you have any concerns, always seek help.

 

Driving

As cataract surgery involves anaesthesia you will not be able to drive yourself home after the procedure. It’s therefore important to ensure that you have alternative travel arrangements in place. You will be able to drive again within days of surgery providing you don’t experience any blurriness or other side effects that restrict your vision.

 

It can be prudent to err on the side of caution and wait a little longer if possible before resuming activities such as driving to give your eye more time to heal.

 

Daily Activities

Ordinary daily activities can be carried out the same or the following day after your procedure as long as due caution is exercised. This can include activities such as preparing food and domestic tasks.

 

Returning to work

Normally, you should be able to return to work within a few days of your surgery. However, if your work involves heavy lifting, takes place in a dusty environment or is physically demanding, then you should remain off work for a longer period to allow for a full recovery.

 

Avoid Strenuous Activity

 Recovery for most people is straightforward, but it’s important to avoid any strenuous activities in the days immediately following your surgery. What counts as strenuous will differ from person to person but after a week of recovery following your surgery you may be able to restart light aerobic exercises.  This might include walking or jogging on a treadmill, but you should avoid any high-intensity activities. You shouldn’t carry out any exercises which involve putting your head below your waist, as bending down places strain and pressure on your eyes.

 

Any intense exercise will cause the pressure in your eye to rise so keeping this pressure at a low level will assist with faster healing. When your eye is recovering it’s very important that it remains sterilised and clean in order to help it heal without an adverse reaction.

 

Avoid swimming for at least two weeks

It’s recommended that you do not swim underwater for at least two weeks post-surgery to reduce the risk of developing an infection. Water can carry a range of bacteria that may be harmful to your eyes as they heal.

 

It’s also important to remember this when showering, taking a bath or washing your hair immediately after your surgery. It’s always recommended that you try to wash your hair with your head tilted backwards to reduce the risk of shampoo getting in your eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

September, 2022

What happens after glaucoma surgery?

Unlike cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery very rarely improves vision. Rather, it’s intended to stabilise vision and reduce the risk of future sight loss by reducing the pressure within the eye. This can be done in many different ways: essentially either reducing fluid into the eye or increasing fluid leaving the eye.

 

In this brief article, Gurjeet Jutley takes a look at what you can expect after your surgery has been completed

 

What to expect after your glaucoma surgery

The length of time it can take for you to recover will depend a great deal on the type of surgery that you have and your overall health.

Quicker recovery periods may last as little as around 3 weeks, but a slower recovery could take months.

 

Your sight

 The vision may become blurred and this can last for a few days or in some cases, a few weeks. It’s important to monitor this as you should see a steady improvement until you reach the point that your sight is stabilised.

 

If you experience any sudden loss of eyesight during this period it’s important that you report this immediately as it can be a sign of an infection or a bleed. Whilst rare, it is grave and needs management rapidly.

 

Physical symptoms

Any surgical procedure may leave you with some mild pain and discomfort immediately afterwards. Over-the-counter pain medications may be required and it should ease up within a few days. Any extreme pain should be reported immediately.

 

You may also experience a degree of irritation and discomfort in the eye for a few days, as well as itching. You may find that your eyes water or tear up more than normal during the recovery period. This will be most noticeable during the early stages of your recovery, easing off over time. It’s also common for swelling and redness to develop around your eyes for a few days following the procedure.

 

Getting back to normal

Post procedure, it’s important to pace yourself and to remember that you will need some time to recover. This means taking more time to relax and recuperate.

 

Avoid any vigorous exercise and slowly reintroduce physical activity over a number of days. Going for a short gentle walk is more advisable than a workout in the gym.

 

You may also want to take some time off from activities that place a strain on your eyes such as reading and writing. Your vision may be blurry for a few days making tasks like these more difficult

 

Driving should be avoided for a week or so, but this will depend on how quickly your vision returns to normal and the underlying health of the eye. It may be helpful to stock up on groceries and other household essentials before surgery. Although it’s possible to return to work within days of glaucoma surgery, it’s usually sensible to take a week or longer off work to recover fully.

 

Taking care of your eyes

 

You shouldn’t touch or rub your eyes if you feel any discomfort after surgery. Doing so can result in your eye taking longer to heal and in some cases may even cause damage. Make sure you wash your hands with soap and warm water before using eye drops.

 

It’s important to take particular care of your eyes during summertime and to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s rays hat irritate sensitive eyes.

 

While recovering you should also refrain from swimming pools and hot tubs, which can carry bacteria that could enter your eye and cause infection.

 

 

 

August, 2022

What does seeing halos around lights mean?

If you notice that you are seeing bright circles or rings, like halos, around light sources when you look at them, it requires urgent assessment. It has several potential causes and consequences, some of which have serious implications.

 

The phenomena can be a particular problem when it happens at night, or in a dimly lit space where they can interfere with your vision. It might just be a normal response to bright lights, such as overly bright headlights on an oncoming car, or they might have an underlying cause that requires further investigation.

 

In this article, Gurjeet Jutley looks at the topic of seeing halos and how and when you should seek help.

 

How do you know if halos are caused by a serious condition?

 

If halos appear suddenly, or if you sometimes or always see rainbow patterned halos, have blurred vision, pain or feel any other discomfort, they might indicate a serious condition.

 

If you have never experienced halos previously, or their frequency or regularity has suddenly increased, then please seek medical attention. The correct treatment plan can then be implemented.

 

 

What are the causes of seeing halos around lights?

 

Halos appearing when you look at light sources are usually caused by diffraction. This is the bending of light as it enters your eye and there are a number of different eye conditions that might cause this to happen. These include:

 

  • Dry eye syndrome

 

When your eyes are chronically dry this is known as dry eye syndrome (DES). It can alter the shape of the cornea, causing halos to appear from the scattering of light when it enters the eye.

 

  • Cataracts

 

Seeing halos around lights can be seen with cataract. A cataract develops when the transparent lens of the eye gradually becomes cloudy or opaque. As the lens becomes cloudy light will be bent in an unusual way. The scattering of light can cause the appearance of halos.

 

Halos are also sometimes a side-effect of surgery, where a cloudy lens has been replaced with a plastic intraocular lens and its effects should decrease over time.

 

  • Astigmatism

 

When a cornea is irregularly shaped this is known as astigmatism. This irregularity can bend any light that enters the eye in unexpected ways, distorting vision and causing the appearance of halos.

 

  • Corneal dystrophies, such as Fuch’s

 

Fuch’s dystrophy is a progressive genetic eye disorder that can cause the cornea to swell. When this happens, the shape of the cornea is altered and light is no longer able to enter the eye at the correct angle leading to the appearance of halos around lights. Symptoms of the disorder will usually begin to appear between the ages of 50 and 60.

 

  • Glaucoma

 

Glaucoma is an eye condition caused when the optic nerve becomes damaged, usually in the context of elevated pressure within the eye. It is a common condition and one that is the leading cause of blindness worldwide.

 

Seeing halos around light can be an early sign of acute-angle glaucoma and this should be treated as a medical emergency.

 

  • LASIK surgery

 

Laser in-situ keratomileusis or LASIK surgery can cause temporary halos immediately after surgery.

 

 If you notice halos appearing when you look at lights it can be a cause for concern. Seek professional advice by contacting Gurjeet Jutley as soon as possible to allow for further investigation and treatment if necessary.

June, 2022

Cataract surgery has evolved to become a day case surgery, ensuring same day discharge back home.

Cataract surgery involves the removal of a clouded lens, with the replacement artificial lens being implanted. This is not an absolute as on occasions the cataract may be removed without implanting an artificial lens. The aim is always to improve the vision and improve the quality of life of our patients.

In this article, Gurjeet Jutley explains what happens after cataract surgery and what the post-operative management entails.

 

After the surgery

 After your surgery, your vision should begin to improve. This will usually happen within a few days. It is important to bear in mind that the improvement is not immediate and may take some to time to see appreciable change. Healing is variable and as such an exact timeframe for improvement can never be given.

To note the full impact of surgery, it may take some weeks. It’s normal to feel some mild discomfort and itching after surgery, considering that metallic objects were placed inside the eye, the healing time being so short is rather remarkable. This discomfort should ease within a few days. If it continues for any length of time, seeking medical help is important.

Normally, patients are discharged with a patch or a clear shield to discourage you from rubbing it. Eye drops are imperative to reduce the risk of inflammation and infection, hence it is critical that these are used exactly as directed. Pressure reducing drops or tablets may be administered at the same time.

A follow up is usually arranged with the same team for optimal safety, within a few weeks from surgery. Until then, swimming and heavy lifting should be discontinued. Activities such as reading or watching TV may be challenging, but not harmful. A pair of readers over the counter may be sensible, until a full refraction is undertaken after the second eye has been operated on.

Complete healing from cataract surgery should take place within eight weeks. Some people may recover quicker, others may take slightly longer.

 

 Activity after surgery

 Any medical procedure will have an impact on your energy levels for a few days and you may feel more tired so resting is usually a good idea.

Initially, you may have some trouble judging distances which could impact your spatial awareness. While it’s possible to begin driving again after around 24 hours, it can be prudent to wait for a few days. Shortly after surgery, you should also take extra care going up and downstairs and pouring hot liquids.

Activities such as running or cycling should be avoided for a couple of weeks while your eyesight has a chance to adjust. Equally, you should avoid other strenuous activities such as weightlifting or aerobic exercise. Swimming, hot tubs, gardening and dusting should also be avoided for 1 to 2 weeks.

If you have cataracts in both eyes, your second surgery will be scheduled after careful assessment that the first eye has settled.

 

When to contact for help

 After surgery, you will be assessed regularly to monitor recovery. You should contact a professional immediately if you experience any of the following;

 

  • Pain that persists despite using painkillers
  • Swelling to your eyelid.
  • Vision loss.
  • Multiple new spots or light flashes in front of your eye.
  • Increased eye redness.

If you have any questions or concerns about your cataract surgery contact Dr Jutley today.

 

 

 

 

March, 2022

What are the risk factors associated with glaucoma patient falls?

Glaucoma impacts the visual fields of patients, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that it can increase a patient’s risk of falling. It has been described, that patients can have up to three to four times greater risk of falling, with ensuing risks of injuries.

The most significant factor associated with glaucoma patients is their decreased visual field, particularly inferiorly. This means they can be particularly vulnerable in environments with which they are unfamiliar, as well as their own home. Furthermore there is a huge economic impact on the nation as a whole, with a study in 2018 extrapolating costs from a regional Hospital to nationwide level suggesting £29 million over six years attributed to patients admitted with falls and glaucoma.

In this article, Gurjeet Jutley discusses falls/accidents in patients with glaucoma.

Decreased Visual Field

The visual field is the complete area of what one can perceive around oneself. Visual field loss occurs when an individual experiences damage to any part of their visual pathway, from the eye to the brain.

For all kinds of reasons, people can experience a reduction in their visual field. The causes are varied, and the type of visual field loss will depend on the exact part of the pathway that was damaged. Regardless of the causes of visual field loss, the most common symptoms are blurriness or a blind spot. However, in many cases, the sufferer may not be aware that they are experiencing visual field loss until it is advanced. This increases the risk of falls because the individual isn’t aware that they need to take extra precautions.

This lack of awareness, particularly in the early stages, can increase the risk of falls and accidents. Glaucoma is a disease that initially impacts your peripheral vision, and its insiduous nature ensures that can be difficult to recognise its evolution. The changes can initially be subtle, with one eye compensating for the other.

Symptoms of visual field deficit can include bumping into objects on the affected side, trouble reading, falls and trips and even car accidents. As glaucoma progresses, more of the peripheral vision will be lost and can even impact central vision. Early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma are essential if some of the potential risks of a reduced field of vision are to be avoided. Hence, visual field testing and nerve assessment is important diagnostically and prognostically at the early stages of glaucoma.

The importance of visual field testing

As glaucoma develops, VF enables clinicians to evaluate stability versus progression of disease, with the speed of deterioration of the latter influencing the treatment merited. If the VF defect is more suggestive of a neurological cause, neuro-imaging such as a MRI may be necessary.

Early treatment for glaucoma reduces the risk

Glaucoma treatment aims to control the pressure in the eye, through medicine, conventional surgery or minimally invasive surgery. Early diagnosis, awareness and management is key to prevent the vicious cycle.