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Eye Hospital expertise comes to Altrincham

Altrincham exterior 11.03.15Specialists from Manchester Royal Eye Hospital will bring their expertise to Altrincham and offer an expanded eye service when the new hospital opens at the end of April.

This is good news for patients who live in the Altrincham area who currently attend outpatient clinics at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH). Figures show that 20% of current MREH outpatients live closer to Altrincham Hospital than either MREH or Withington Community Hospital where eye clinics are also available.

This will mean a significant increase in the range and number of ophthalmology services available in Altrincham, expanding from one weekly clinic in the current hospital to 8-10 specialist glaucoma clinics and 5 medical retina clinics (for the treatment of macular degeneration) a week once the new hospital opens.

Both glaucoma and macular degeneration are the chronic conditions most commonly treated at outpatient eye clinics and which require further follow-up appointments (see Notes to Editors for more information).

The risk of glaucoma increases with age and people are more likely to develop it if there is a family history.  For most people, glaucoma can be treated with eye drops to halt progression of the disease, if picked up early.  Glaucoma can be detected through routine eye tests with a high street optometrist. To monitor your eyes effectively, it is recommended that anyone over the age of 40 should have a routine eye test every 12-18 months.

Macular degeneration is a condition that requires frequent reviews which may involve having injections to the eye every couple of months.

Another key feature of the expanded service is that patients who are referred by GPs or optometrist with an acute eye problem or condition can be triaged over the phone by specialist nurses and will now be given an appointment and seen with 24 hours at Altrincham Hospital, rather than having to travel to Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.

"We are delighted to bring an expanded range of specialist eye services to people in the Altrincham area,"  said Cecilia Fenerty, consultant ophthalmologist at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.

"We believe that the new clinics will offer a much more convenient and accessible way for local people to get specialist care much closer to home in a pleasant and modern hospital environment.  We look forward to launching our new ophthalmology service in the new Altrincham Hospital."