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Ophthalmology in Reading

Ophthalmology is the specialty concerned with the diagnosis, management and treatment of medical conditions which affect the eyes and visual system.

Circle Reading Hospital's Ophthalmology services are dedicated to the diagnosis and management of all eye conditions and we offer exceptional patient care, service and comfort, using use the latest technology and techniques available to offer our patients the best possible outcomes.

We treat a comprehensive range of eye conditions, with a particular expertise in cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange. Our consultants are hugely experienced, having collectively performed in excess of one hundred thousand cataract procedures.

There are now fourteen consultant ophthalmic surgeons working in our units, and each is amongst the most experienced and highly-qualified in their field. They are committed to providing our patients with first-class eye treatment. All of our consultants are NHS trained and fellows of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

About ophthalmology

Ophthalmology is the specialty concerned with the diagnosis, management and treatment of medical conditions which affect the eyes and visual system. Due to the nature of many eye conditions, a large part of this specialty is also dedicated to the prevention of eye conditions as well.

Consultant ophthalmologists work closely with other members of the team, including specialist ophthalmology nurses, and may refer on to opticians to provide specialist lenses when required.

There are many underlying causes of eye problems but the commonest surgical procedure is cataract removal with insertion of a replacement intraocular lens. This surgery is now so successful that lens exchange is also offered at an earlier age to reduce the need for spectacles, even when no cataract is present.

Other sub-specialties include:

  • Retinal Diseases

Eye conditions which affect the light-sensitive area at the back of the eye, known as the retina or macula. Retinal problems may occur due to trauma, age-related processes or to poorly-controlled diabetes, which can damage the blood vessels and retina. These are often treated with retinal surgery or injections.

  • Optic nerve disorders

The optic nerve carries the light signals from the retina to the brain to be processed. Glaucoma is the most common of these conditions and is also caused by an abnormal pressure build up in the eye. Autoimmune neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis may cause inflammation and damage to the optic nerve.

  • Squint and lid surgery

To improve the cosmetic appearance of eyes and lids

Initial consultation

Your initial consultation will be carried out by one of our expert consultant ophthalmologists who will aim to get a better understanding of your symptoms and which diagnostic tests may need to be requested. During this consultation, you will be asked various questions regarding the specific timeframe of your symptoms and whether there was any trigger which appeared to start the symptoms.

Following this discussion, our consultants will conduct an in-depth assessment of the eye via a specialised microscope called a slit lamp. This microscope enables our consultants to be able to visualise the eye under light. This often requires use of dilating eye drops.

State-of-the-art diagnostics available for you

Unlike the majority of specialist medical areas, standard imaging techniques such as X-ray, MRI and CT scans are not routinely requested. However, based on the findings of the clinical interview and visual examination of the eye, consultant ophthalmologists may request a number of specialist tests:

Specialist visual tests involving covering one eye and specifically testing for certain types of visual field loss (peripheral or central). A huge range of specialist imaging may be requested. Many of these are forms of highly specialised laser scans, which have the ability to 3D map the anatomy of different parts of the eye to enhance diagnostic accuracy.

The right treatment for you, always

The type of treatment for eye disorders varies significantly depending on the specific diagnosis. Treatment may involve eye drops and certain types of oral medication for many diagnoses.

Laser surgery is a relatively modern advance and can now replace open surgery in many cases, or provide new forms of treatment for other problems. An example is retinal repair through photocoagulation.

Other surgical procedures commonly conducted by ophthalmic surgeons include cataract removal surgery, artificial lens implants, corneal transplants, macular hole surgery, squint corrections and a procedure known as trabeculectomy for treating glaucoma.

Our ophthalmology unit draws on the experience of many leading doctors in this field. Each of our consultants bring their own unique expertise and as a team we are able to provide a comprehensive range of non-surgical and surgical treatment options for our patients.

Ongoing investment ensures modern capabilities

The pace of technology change within medical diagnostics and treatment equipment has gathered momentum in recent years and no specialism has felt this benefit more than ophthalmology. Circle Health is proud that we always invest in the latest technologies, enabling us to offer our patients these services.

For our ophthalmology unit these include specialist microscopes and scanning equipment which allow far greater clarity of vision for our experts when assessing the deeper layers of the eye. Furthermore, our investment in the latest surgical instrumentation and laser now allow our patients the option of safer non-surgical and surgical eye care. All of our screening, diagnostic procedures and treatments may be booked immediately following a consultation, with no waiting lists.

Additional expert support when required

In some cases, our expert ophthalmology consultants may require a further expert opinion from other specialties (examples may be a specialist neurological assessment in cases of optic nerve problems or an endocrinology review in cases of pressure problems within the eye). We are able to provide a seamless transition of care to other units with immediate access to other in-house specialists.

Peace of mind for you

Undergoing ophthalmic procedures can be a stressful experience which requires the very best in planning, procedural expertise, as well as post-operative support when required for the patient. We provide all of these values through our experienced clinical and administration staff in a modern, clean hospital to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved with the least amount of stress for our patients.

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