Glaucoma is the leading cause of sight-loss in the UK, affecting one in 50 people over 40. Sometimes called the “silent thief of sight” due to its gradual onset, it causes damage to the optic nerve, but often begins with no symptoms at all. And men are at greater risk of losing their sight than women, simply because they are more likely to ignore warning signs and do not seek medical attention. Unfortunately once sight is lost, it cannot be recovered.

Luckily, glaucoma is a problem which can be picked up at a routine eye test. It’s important to have regular eye tests so problems such as glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Early treatment can help stop your vision becoming severely affected.

“You should have a routine eye test at least every year,” advises Melanie Chak, Consultant Opthalmic Surgeon at Swindon’s private healthcare provider Shalbourne, “If you’re at a higher risk of glaucoma – for example, if you have a close relative with it – you may be advised to have more frequent tests.”

If glaucoma is picked up during an eye test, you should be referred to a specialist eye doctor (ophthalmologist) for further tests. For less serious types of glaucoma, you may be referred back to the opticians. However, in some cases, you will need to be treated by a specialist ophthalmologist.

There are several different treatments for glaucoma, including eye drops, laser treatment and surgery. The best treatment for you will depend on your circumstances. While treatment can’t reverse any loss of vision that has already occurred, it can help stop your vision getting any worse.

Shalbourne, which offers a wide range of treatments with no waiting times, is conveniently located on the same site as Swindon’s Great Western Hospital.

You don’t have to have medical insurance to access Shalbourne. Its fixed price packages are surprisingly affordable and allow patients who don’t wish to join a waiting list to fund their own treatment privately.

Adam Busby, Associate Director of Private Patient Services at private healthcare provider Shalbourne, says:

“Shalbourne offers modern diagnostic, medical treatments and surgery for common and complicated eye disorders. A highly competent team of nurses support all our consultants, as well as ensuring our patients receive the best possible care in a friendly and professional environment.

“While some patients do have private medical insurance that will meet the cost of treatment, we find that many others who aren’t privately insured choose to meet the cost themselves.

“Many people also like the fact that Shalbourne profits are invested back into the NHS, at a time that our healthcare system needs it most, benefiting the health and wellbeing of everyone in nearby local communities. It’s a win-win for everyone concerned.”

For more information on treatments and facilities at Shalbourne, contact

Call reception on 01793 646060 or 01793 646061.

To find out more about financing treatment, email


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