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Ophthalmology

Expert assessment and treatment for a wide range of eye and vision problems

Ophthalmology is the medical speciality concerning eye care. Ophthalmologists are specially trained doctors who help people who have problems with their eyes.

At The Park Hospital in Nottingham, our Consultant Ophthalmologists help people from Nottingham, Grantham and Newark, as well as welcoming patients from further afield.

If you are having problems with your eyes, from blurred vision to increased sensitivity to light, our team is here to help you. We offer treatment from start to finish, beginning with a fast diagnosis of your problem and supporting you through any treatment you may need, from medication to eye surgery. 

The most common condition we see at The Park Hospital’s ophthalmology clinic is cataracts.

Cataracts are very common and very treatable. The majority of patients who visit our eye care clinic in Nottingham come to us because they need cataract surgery. You’ll find lots of information on this below.

However, our specialists cover a wide variety of other ophthalmological concerns. Some of the most common are:

Glaucoma

This eye condition creates a build-up of fluid in the front part of your eye, which leads to increased eye pressure. The optic nerve that connects your eye to your brain also becomes damaged. Glaucoma surgery can prevent further damage to your optic nerve and worsening vision or vision loss.

Glaucoma surgery (a trabeculectomy) reduces pressure in your eye by draining the fluid from your eye. Your eye surgeon will create a small hole in the lining of your sclera (the white of your eye) to drain this fluid.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

There are two forms of macular degeneration: dry and wet.

Dry AMD is caused by a gradual deterioration of your macula (a part of your retina). Dry AMD is the most common and less serious type. It develops gradually when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down. Dry AMD can lead to loss of central vision, but it rarely causes complete blindness.

Wet AMD is the more serious type and affects around 10% of people with AMD. In wet AMD, the macula becomes damaged and new blood vessels start to grow behind the macula. Wet AMD can cause you to lose central vision in weeks. All people with the wet type had the dry type first.

Injections can be used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). These contain drugs that are injected into your eye to prevent or slow the growth of the abnormal blood vessels that cause wet AMD.

Myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) and astigmatism

These eye problems can cause blurred vision. Hyperopia affects your ability to see objects that are close to you, while myopia impacts your ability to see objects at a further distance.

If you have myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism, laser eye surgery can improve your vision by allowing your eyes to focus better. LASIK and LASEK are two common types of laser eye surgery. These use lasers to reshape your cornea (the front surface of your eyes).

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetic eye disease that involves damage to the retina (the light-sensitive area at the back of the eye). High blood sugar levels can damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina, which can break, bleed and leak fluid.

There are various treatment options for diabetic retinopathy. Your Consultant Ophthalmologist will talk you through them, and together you'll decide which is right for you.

If you don’t see your problem listed, do still get in touch. Our eye experts can help with whatever you need.

Cataracts refers to the clouding of the lens inside your eye. Your lens sits behind the coloured part of your eye, also known as your iris. It is responsible for focusing incoming light onto your retina (a thin layer of nerve tissue at the back of your eye). Your retina produces an image transmitted to your brain through your optic nerve (the nerve that connects your eye to your brain).

A cataract (the clouding of your lens) occurs when some of the proteins that form your lens clump together. This can impact your vision by interfering with how light travels through your lens.

What causes cataracts?

As you age, your lens can become clouded and discoloured naturally, causing it to turn a yellow colour. Although a cataract is often caused by ageing, you can also develop cataracts following an injury or trauma to your eye, a chronic condition such as diabetes, exposure to radiation, or from using a steroid medication.

What are the three main types of cataracts?

There are three main types of cataracts. You could develop one or a combination of these different forms of cataracts. These include:

  • Nuclear sclerotic cataracts: This form of cataract can cause clouding and discolouration in the centre of your lens, also known as your nucleus. As your cataract (the clouding in your lens) turns a yellowish colour, it can become sclerotic or hardened. You might notice that your distant vision (ability to see objects at a distance) is affected first. The darkening of your lens can impact your perception of colour.
  • Cortical cataracts: This refers to clouding on the outer part of your lens, which can spread towards your pupil. If you are diabetic, you are at increased risk of developing cortical cataracts. It can lead to blurred vision and a glare that could affect your ability to perceive depth.
  • Posterior subcapsular cataracts: This develops on the posterior (back) part of your lens and can worsen. Diabetes and steroid medication can put you at risk of developing posterior cataracts. It can create halos in your vision and a glare around bright lights.

Why might you be advised to have cataract removal surgery at The Park Hospital?

During the early stages of cataracts, you might be offered new prescription for glasses or contact lenses to help you see more clearly. An eye specialist at The Park Hospital in Nottingham could suggest cataract removal surgery if your symptoms continue to worsen over time, negatively impacting your daily life.

Cataract removal surgery is the only proven method of treating cataracts. At The Park Hospital in Nottingham, your cataract surgery will be performed by an eye doctor, known as an Ophthalmologist. The procedure involves removing and replacing your clouded lens with an artificial lens, also called an intraocular lens implant.

You might not experience any symptoms from a cataract until it has reached a large enough size to affect your vision. Cataracts could impact your vision by causing the following symptoms:

  • Clouded or blurred vision: In addition to blurred or clouded vison, cataracts could cause reduced night vision;
  • Double vision in one eye: Double vision, also called diplopia, can cause you to see two images when looking at a single object. These images might appear side-by-side, one raised above the other, or a mixture of the two;
  • Faded colours: You might notice that certain colours appear faded;
  • A glare: This could cause sunlight or other forms of light, for example streetlights or headlights, to appear glaring, and
  • Halos: You might see halos around lights.

Prior to your cataract removal operation, your Ophthalmologist at The Park Hospital in Nottingham will perform a biometry (a series of scans) to take different measurements of your eye, including the length of your eye, the thickness of your lens and the curvature of your cornea (the outer layer of your eye). These measurements will be used to determine the strength of the lens implant that you will need.

This lens implant could consist of a monofocal lens, which allow you to see objects that are either near or distant, or an accommodating lens, which means you will be able to see both near and distant objects.

What happens during your cataract removal operation at The Park Hospital in Nottingham?

On the day of your cataract removal treatment at The Park Hospital in Nottingham, you will be taken to an operating theatre, where you will be greeted by your Ophthalmologist. After you are seated and comfortable, your Ophthalmologist will add local anaesthetic eye drops, or a combination of local anaesthetic eye drops and an injection into the skin, around your eye to prevent any feeling.

During your cataract removal operation, your Ophthalmologist will make a small incision in your eye and remove your clouded lens or cataract through a process referred to as phacoemulsification. This will involve using an ultrasound probe to break up your cataract into small pieces, which are then removed from your eye. Your artificial lens, also called an intraocular lens implant, is carefully inserted into your eye. A stitch might be used to close the incision is your eye.

A plastic eye shield or pad could be placed over your operated eye to protect the area and help prevent infection following surgery. You will also be given eye drops to prevent further infection.

How long does a cataract operation take?

Your cataract operation will typically take around 30 minutes to perform. 

After your cataract removal treatment at The Park Hospital in Nottingham, you will be taken to a recovery room where one of our Nurses will offer you something to eat and drink.  

You should be able to go home the same day of your operation. It is important that you avoid driving after cataract surgery until your vision meets the legal standards for driving and your Consultant Ophthalmologist has informed you that is safe for you to start driving again.

Your cataract surgery recovery timeline

Before you go home following your cataract surgery at The Park Hospital in Nottingham, your Consultant will provide you with eye drops to encourage the healing of your operated area and minimise the risk of infection. They will explain how to apply these.

During the first four to six weeks after your cataract removal operation, you could experience symptoms such as blurred vision and watery, or bloodshot, eyes. It could take up to six weeks for these symptoms to completely resolve.

After around one to six weeks, your Ophthalmologist, or an Optometrist, at The Park Hospital in Nottingham will invite you for a follow-up appointment to remove any stitches and discuss whether you require glasses to help you fulfil certain activities, such as reading.

The do’s and don'ts after cataract surgery

The do’s: 

  • Apply your eye drops until your Consultant informs that you no longer need to do so (this will often be at your follow-up appointment); 
  • Wear your eye shield at night and when showering, and  
  • Wear sunglasses or your eye shield when spending time outdoors.

The don’ts include:  

  • Do not go swimming for at least four to six weeks; 
  • Do not rub or allow soap or shampoo to enter your operated area, and 
  • Do not wear any make up on your eyes for the first four weeks after your cataract removal treatment.  

As with any operation, there are risks associated with cataract removal surgery. These risks will be discussed at your initial consultation and pre-operative assessment at The Park Hospital in Nottingham. They can include the following: 

  • Bruising: You could experience bruising, which should resolve with time.
  • Posterior capsular opacification (PCO): PCO refers to a clouding of the back wall of your cataract, which can trigger blurred vision. Your Ophthalmologist can treat this through laser treatment.
  • Elevated eye pressure: During the first few days after your operation, you could experience increased pressure in your eye. This can be treated with additional eye drops.
  • Endophthalmitis: If you develop endophthalmitis (an eye infection), your Consultant will give you antibiotics to clear the infection and a steroid to lower inflammation and swelling.
  • Cystoid macular oedema: This condition refers to the presence of inflammatory fluid in your macula (an area in middle of your retina or the back part of your eye). This is usually mild and does not require treatment. 

There are many benefits when you choose private eye treatment with The Park Hospital in Nottingham, including: 

  • Fast access to your first appointment: usually just 48 hours from getting in touch
  • Consultant-led care from start to finish by a team of leading experts
  • Support from a multidisciplinary team of experts
  • Continuity of care, so you'll see the same friendly faces from start to finish
  • Onsite diagnostic and support services, including pharmacy
  • Free parking
  • Convenient transport links to Nottingham, Grantham, Newark and beyond

Specialists offering Ophthalmology

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Mrs Dalia Said

Consultant Ophthalmologist

MB BCh, MD (Ophth), MSc (Ophth), FRCS (Glasgow)

The Park Hospital

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Mr Srinivasan Subramaniam

Consultant Ophthalmologist

Dip Ophth, MS (Ophth), FRCS, Cert. LRS, FRCOphth

The Park Hospital

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Mr Shery Thomas

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MBBS, MS, DNB, FRCS, FRCOphth, PhD

The Park Hospital

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Mr Amar Alwitry

Consultant Ophthalmologist

BM BS BMedSci MRCS MRCOphth FRCOphth MMedLaw PgD Cataract and Refractive Surgery

The Park Hospital

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Prof Stephen A Vernon

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MB ChB, FRCS, FRCOphth, DM, FCOptom (hon), DO, FISGS

The Park Hospital

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Mr Richard Stead

Consultant Ophthalmologist

MBChB, BSc(Hons), FRCOphth

The Park Hospital

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