Thousands of eye ops thanks to new Queen Alexandra Hospital facility

SIGHT OF SUCCESS Helen Hunter has her eyes checked     Picture: Sarah Standing (113600-481)
SIGHT OF SUCCESS Helen Hunter has her eyes checked Picture: Sarah Standing (113600-481)

Reminder from Portsmouth GP to get prescriptions before bank holiday

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MORE patients are being treated for an age-related eye condition thanks to a brand new suite.

Last year 2,000 people went to Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, to be treated for ‘wet age-related macular degeneration’ (AMD), which is a progressive form of sight loss that usually affects elderly people.

The condition causes distorted vision and if left untreated can lead to partial loss of sight.

QA was one of the first hospitals in the country to provide treatment, which involves injecting medicine into the back of the eye.

In April the hospital opened the Macular Treatment Suite which is expected to treat 5,000 people in 12 months.

Clinical nurse manager in the eye department Keith Malcolm said he was delighted with the facility.

‘With the new treatment it takes two minutes to treat an AMD person,’ he said.

‘With its own dedicated area we can see, treat, and advise more people.

‘I had forecast we would see 5,000 people in 12 months, and figures so far show we will hit that mark.

‘We have an ageing population – the average age of an eye patient is 79 – so we anticipate the service getting busier.’

In the past five years, there has been a 50 per cent increase of people visiting the eye department.

Today is World Sight Day which aims to raise awareness of vision problem and give people more information on how they should be looking after their eyes.

For more information visit the Vision 2020 website

EYE HEALTH

THERE are steps you can take to help look after your eyes:

· Have regular eye checks – if you haven’t had an eye examination in the past two years, then you should make an appointment with your GP or optician to get them checked.

· Eat well – ensure you have a balanced diet and eat five pieces of fruit and vegetable each day.

· Stop smoking – stopping smoking and drinking alcohol can help keep eyes in good condition.

· Report changes – if there are any changes to central or peripheral vision, if you’re squinting or notice any discharge, then make an appointment to see your GP or optician.