Community Glaucoma Network (CGN)


Spencer Private Hospitals Ashford offers a Glaucoma Clinic as part of the Community Glaucoma Network (CGN). This clinic is for patients who have suspected Glaucoma, or who have already been diagnosed with Glaucoma.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a sight-affecting condition that typically arises from increased pressure within the eye due to improper fluid drainage. The buildup of pressure can harm the optic nerve and the nerve fibers connected to the retina. To address glaucoma, various treatment options are available, such as eye drops, laser treatment, or surgery, with the primary goal being to manage the condition and reduce the risk of future damage. Timely diagnosis and treatment are very important as untreated glaucoma can lead to visual impairment. However, if detected and addressed early, it is possible to prevent further damage to vision.

The Appointment

You have been recommended via your optometrist to be referred in to the Community Glaucoma Network due to some slightly abnormal results from routine tests. The optometrist at your Glaucoma appointment will conduct a few quick and painless checks specifically aimed at assessing for glaucoma. It's important to note that this appointment is not a substitute for your regular eye examination with your usual optometrist, as its sole focus is on evaluating glaucoma.

During your appointment, the optometrist will administer eye drops into your eyes, which may result in temporary vision blurring. As a precaution, after the appointment, it's essential not to drive for at least 2 hours, and you may also experience difficulty reading during this period.

Please allocate up to an hour for the duration of the appointment to ensure all necessary assessments are conducted thoroughly.

An optometrist may perform any of these types of testing:

  • Ophthalmoscopy: This involves examining the inside of your eye to assess the appearance of the optic disc, where the optic nerve connects to the eye. The optometrist uses an ophthalmoscope, a specialized torch-like device designed for inspecting the eyes.
  • Tonometry: This test measures the pressure inside your eye. It can be done in two ways:
  1. Non-contact tonometry: The optometrist uses an instrument that emits a small puff of air onto the surface of your eye. While the puff of air might cause a slight jump reflex, it is not painful.
  2. Direct contact tonometry: In this method, the optometrist gently places an instrument called a direct contact tonometer against your eye.

Before conducting the direct contact tonometry test, the optometrist will use eye drops to numb your eyes, ensuring that the procedure is comfortable and painless.

These tests are of utmost importance for evaluating eye health and identifying potential issues such as glaucoma. By conducting these examinations, the optometrist can detect early signs of eye conditions and provide appropriate care.

In addition to the mentioned tests, the optometrist may also check your visual fields to ensure there are no abnormal blind spots, which can be indicative of certain eye conditions.

You will receive a letter of your results within a month following your appointment.

Contacting us

If for any reason you cannot make your appointment, or if you have any queries following an appointment, please contact our Ophthalmology Engagement Officers on 01843 235179.

Whilst you are under the care of the Glaucoma Clinic, please ensure that you inform us of any change to your address or telephone number.

Clinic Day, Time and Location

Clinics are held fortnightly at our Ashford site and run from 9am to 5pm on a Thursday. Your appointment time and date will be specified in your appointment confirmation letter or text.

Spencer Private Hospitals Ashford

William Harvey Hospital

Kennington Road

Ashford Kent

TN24 0LZ


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