If you believe that your ophthalmologist or optometrist was negligent in diagnosing your glaucoma, your glaucoma was diagnosed late or there was significant delays in obtaining glaucoma treatment, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim. The delay in diagnosing and treating glaucoma could lead to an irreversible loss of vision and even blindness.
Because the symptoms of chronic glaucoma develop gradually, the condition may not be diagnosed for some time. The first noticeable symptoms are often a loss of peripheral vision, blurred vision, or seeing rainbow colours around bright lights. Therefore regular eye check-ups are recommended and these should include tests for intraocular eye pressure, optic disc changes and visual field abnormalities.
Devonshires Claims’ medical negligence solicitors are experts in securing compensation for victims of eye injuries resulting from:
- Negligent eye surgery or treatment eg. mistakes made in cataract surgery and laser surgery
- Lack of consent for a medical procedure or the failure to advise a client of the risks of the eye treatment or surgery
- The misdiagnosis or the late diagnosis of an eye condition eg. glaucoma, retinal detachment, retinal tears, macular degeneration, cancer or malignancy
- Failure to identify or diagnose eye conditions in children or babies
- Complications or infections resulting from eye surgery or treatment
- The insertion of a faulty intraocular eye lens ( to improve eye sight or as part of cataract surgery)
If you believe that your glaucoma was misdiagnosed, diagnosed late and / or your treatment was delayed, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim. For more information or to start your free case evaluation contact Devonshires Claims today on 0333 577 9444, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online form.
Glaucoma is a serious eye condition in which the tubes that drain fluid from the eye become partially blocked. This blockage leads to an increase in pressure within the eye which often results in damage to the optic nerve. This increase in pressure is called Optical Hypertension. Because the optic nerve connects the eye to the brain, the damage may lead to permanent vision loss and even blindness.
There are two types of glaucoma:
Open angle: This refers to a slowly evolving chronic condition in which symptoms may not be apparent for some time.
Closed angle: This is an acute situation, and the glaucoma can develop quickly and suddenly, resulting in:
- intense eye pain
- sensitivity around the eye
- nausea and vomiting
What factors can increase the risk of developing glaucoma
The factors commonly associated with a higher risk of glaucoma include:
- Age – the older you are the greater the risk
- Ethnicity – if you are of African, Caribbean or Asian origin you may have a higher risk
- Family history – if you have a family history of the condition, you are at a higher risk of developing the condition
- Other medical conditions – having other eye conditions or diabetes may increase your risk of developing glaucoma.
The Diagnosis of Glaucoma
In order to diagnose glaucoma an Optometrist would carry out a variety of different tests. These would include:
- Tonometry (Eye Pressure Test): In this test, an instrument called a tonometer is used to measure the pressure in the eye. A drop of anaesthetic and dye is added to the front of the eye. A light is directed to the eye and the surface is gently touched by a tonometer in order to measure pressure.Some eye specialists use another instrument to measure eye pressure and in this situation eye pressure is measured by blowing air on to the surface of the eye.
- A Gonioscopy: In this test, the fluid filled space between the iris (the coloured part of the eye) and the cornea (the clear window of the front of the eye) is examined to determine how fluid is draining from the eye and the nature of the glaucoma.
- Visual Field Test: This test checks for areas of missing or damaged vision.
- Optic Nerve Assessment: Because the optic nerve is often damaged in glaucoma, this test looks at how the nerve is functioning. Eye drops are used to enlarge the pupils, and the eyes are then examined using either a slit lamp (microscope) or via optical coherence tomography (OCT). In OCT special light rays are used to scan the back of the eye and produce an image.
Glaucoma treatment could involve:
- Eye drops
Because glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss or blindness, early diagnosis and treatment is very important. Glaucoma treatment cannot reverse the damage, but it can manage the condition and reduce the risk of further damage to the optic nerve.
Because glaucoma could result in permanent vision damage or even blindness it is important that your condition is diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible.
If your glaucoma is diagnosed late or there are delays in a patient obtaining treatment, this could result in permanent and irreversible damage to eyesight.
Because the symptoms of glaucoma often develop over sometime, they may be overlooked or confused with other eye conditions. Therefore the failure to carry out the appropriate tests could mean that your glaucoma would remain undetected for some time.
If it can be shown that a delay in diagnosing your glaucoma and / or delays in treating the condition have resulted in permanent vision loss or even blindness, you could be entitled to make a glaucoma compensation claim.
Contact Devonshires Claims eye injury specialists today for advice on making a claim.
A Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) investigation revealed that an estimated 22 people a month suffered severe or permanent loss of sight due to delays in follow up eye appointments. The HSIB report revealed that a 34 year old woman received £3.2 Million in compensation as result of delays in treating her eye condition. An 11 month delay in receiving glaucoma treatment resulted in the woman going blind.
Keith Conradi, the HSIB’s chief investigator, said: “Glaucoma is the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness. We know that delay to appointments once patients are diagnosed exacerbates the risk of sight loss in patients across England”.
Conradi criticised the NHS inaction over the problem and the delays in obtaining eye appointments for Glaucoma patients:
“Despite some national recommendations being made 10 years ago this continues to happen and will only worsen as the population ages. A 44% increase in the number of people with glaucoma is predicted by the year 2035.
There is inadequate services in an eye care setting in hospital capacity to meet the demand for glaucoma services. A shortage of ophthalmologists is a particular problem.”
Helen Lee, policy and campaigns manager at the sight loss charity RNIB, said the HSIB findings had shown “a serious and dangerous lack of specialist staff and space in NHS ophthalmology services across the country”.
Why Choose us to Support Your Glaucoma Compensation Claim?
If you believe that the late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of your glaucoma and / or delays in obtaining glaucoma treatment has resulted in permanent sight damage or even blindness, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim.
Devonshires Claims’ medical negligence solicitors have experience in handling eye injury claims including those related to:
- Misdiagnosis of eye conditions such as glaucoma, retinal detachment, retinal tears, cancer
- Cataract surgery negligence claims
- Faulty eye lenses claims
- Laser eye surgery claims
- Negligent eye surgery or treatment
- Paediatric ophthalmology claims
For advice on how to make a glaucoma compensation claim, please contact our eye injury experts today. We provide a free initial consultation as well as a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement. This means that that you will not pay any upfront costs to start your claim and will not be charged any costs if your case is not successful*. Call us today on 0333 577 9444, email email@example.com or complete our online form.