Ophthalmology at Mount Stuart Hospital
Ophthalmology is the study and treatment of eye disorders and diseases.
At Mount Stuart Hospital in Devon, we have experienced and skilled ophthalmologists who diagnose and treat common eye problems including cataracts, problems with the cornea, glaucoma, retinal disease and Meibomian cysts and eye cancers. They also care for complex eye conditions such as retinal detachment. We offer the latest treatment techniques including eye laser treatment for refractive error conditions that negates the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Our consultant ophthalmology surgeons are supported by ophthalmology-trained nurses and optometrists. They also work within larger multi-disciplinary teams to treat patients who have other underlying illnesses.
We offer convenient appointments for all our patients and the very best local eye care.
If you have a cataract your lens will become cloudy and cause blurred vision. You can develop a cataract on either or both eyes.
Most often cataracts are due to aging, known as an age-related cataract, which causes hardening of the lens and it becomes cloudy. There are a variety of other cataract types including: congenital that are present at birth, traumatic due to an eye injury and drug induced caused by steroids. People with some diseases such as diabetes may be more likely to develop a cataract.
Not all cataracts require treatment but if your cataract is interfering with your daily activities then cataract surgery will be recommended. It’s a common, quick and straightforward operation that replaces the cataract with a new lens. You may also wish to consider multifocal lens implants, which will provide a wider range of clear vision and reduce the dependency on glasses.
Find out more here.
Blocked tear ducts
A blocked tear duct occurs when the pathway that carries tears from the surface of your eye into your nose becomes partially or completely blocked and your tears can’t drain away. This results in a watery and irritated eye with your tears overflowing onto your face. Other symptoms include: redness of the white part of your eye, recurrent eye infections, swelling and pain near the inside corner of your eye, pus discharge from your eyes and their lids and crusting of your eyelids.
Some babies are born with blocked tear ducts. Adults develop a blocked tear duct from an injury, infection or a tumour.
Your ophthalmologist will treat the cause of your blockage. A long term infection that causes a blocked duct will be treated using antibiotics. Surgery may be required to remove the blockage and restore normal tear drainage. During surgery tiny tubes called stents are used to open the passageway or, a new channel may be created from the tear sac at the inside of your nose.
Excision of Meibomian cysts
Your eyelids have sebaceous glands called Meibomian glands that produce the greasy part of your tears and stops them from evaporating too quickly. A blockage of the Meibomian gland can cause a swelling that forms a firm, round shaped lump on your eyelid, called a Meibomian cyst or chalazion.
If the Meibomian cyst is red and sore it suggests the blocked gland has become infected or inflamed. The cyst may press on your eye and blur your vision too. Sometimes the cyst bursts through the skin or through the lining of your eyelid.
Often a Meibomian cyst gets better on its own. If it hasn’t gone after a few weeks or months a minor operation, known as incision and curettage, may be offered. This procedure is performed under local anaesthetic when a small cut is made on the inside of your eyelid and the contents of the cyst are removed.
Entropion eyelid treatment
Often an entropion is age-related and involves the lower eyelid rolling inwards and causes the lashes to irritate the front of your eye, called the cornea. An entropion results in an uncomfortable watery eye or eyes.
Eye drops are often recommended for a mild entropion. Surgery may be required for a severe entropion which is painful and causing a loss of vision due to cornea damage.
Lid surgery is used to treat entropion. It’s performed under local anaesthetic as a day case procedure. Your eye surgeon will discuss the best course of treatment for your entropion.