Glaucoma sufferer eyesight improves with new treatment


Glaucoma affects 800,000 adults across the UK. Traditionally managed by daily eye drops, Glaucoma can lead to blindness if untreated.

For one Romsey woman, new innovative medical technology has meant that for the first time in two decades, she has 20:20 vision. Rosie Marchant, 78, has used daily drops to control the pressure in her eye for the last six years, up to nine times every day.

Rosie, a former nurse, said: “My optician first noticed my eye pressure had gone up at a routine eye test, which I attended every two years. It wasn’t massively high, but had gone up dramatically compared to my previous appointment which indicated a problem.

“I had no symptoms, so realised that if I had not been going for eye tests, we would not have known. I was referred to a specialist who prescribed various drops. While they reduced the pressure over past six years, I then went to see her and suddenly the pressure had risen and I was referred for surgery. It had to be done urgently so I cancelled a holiday.”

“The next day, I could see better than I imagined I ever could. I feel like it is a bit of a miracle.”

A new gel implant, the width of a human hair, has resulted in Rosie being able to see for the first time in 20 years and no longer needs her drops.

The gel, provided by specialist eye hospital group Optegra Eye Health Care, is designed for people with primary open-angle glaucoma.

The condition forms when the eye’s optic nerve is damaged by the pressure of fluid inside the eye. Most types have no symptoms, though treatment with drops can usually prevent sight loss.

Nishani Amerasinghe, of Optegra, said: “The treatment works by creating a small channel with the long-lasting implant in the eye to drain fluid and help lower eye pressure.

“The tube is tiny, just about the length of an eyelash, and is injected with a fine needle to sit under the conjunctiva, the membrane that covers the front of the eye and eyelid.

“For Rosie, the glaucoma had caused her eye pressure to be high for her, in the mid-20s. Now it is stable and at a safer level.”

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