Glaucoma Service

Glaucoma is generally a condition with raised eye pressure causing damage to the optic nerve and subsequent permanent loss of vision. It affects over 2% of the Caucasian population over 40 years old and 4% over 80 years old. It is the second leading cause of blindness in the world.

Northern Devon Healthcare Trust provides a comprehensive service with sub-specialist expertise for the management of all types of adult glaucoma, including complex cases.

We have developed provision of care in a variety of ways, including virtual clinics by senior doctors, as well as New Patient Clinics and Glaucoma Monitoring Clinics for stable patients by specially trained optometrists, orthoptists and nurse specialists who are supported by the medical team.


Care Pathway

Patients suspected of having glaucoma are usually identified by their community optometrist (optician).  They will initiate a referral to us via your GP.

All new patients undergo a thorough assessment, which includes a medical history, examination of the eye and special tests.  Treatment, if necessary, is often started at this first visit and consists of eye drops or laser treatment.

The vast majority of patients respond very well to treatment. Once stable, follow up appointments are usually scheduled at 6-12 month intervals, usually in our Glaucoma Monitoring Clinics.

A minority of patients are seen in our Complex Glaucoma Clinic and may require additional treatments including different types of laser or surgery.



The service has state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, including pachymetry, and imaging of the optic nerve by high-definition stereo-optic disc photography and ocular coherence tomography.



We offer a full range of treatments from medical treatment, to selective laser trabeculoplasty to advanced glaucoma operations.

The service is at the forefront of glaucoma surgery innovation including, trabeculectomy with antimetabolites, glaucoma tube implant surgery, minimally invasive angle surgery and complex angle closure cataract surgery.

Last updated: October 3, 2017