Ophthalmology is the medical and surgical management of conditions of the eye.
Our department offers general ophthalmic services treating all common conditions and also runs a number specialist services. These include:
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Diabetic eye disease
- Lid, oculoplastic and ophthalmic reconstructive surgery
- Paediatric ophthalmology
- Vitreo-retinal surgery
- Corneal service
- Low vision service
- Full complement of Optometry and Orthoptic services to complement
- 24-hour ophthalmic accident and emergency (booked appointment).
Patients attending for an outpatient appointment can undergo a number of diagnostic tests within one visit. This may result in a delay during their visit to the eye clinic.
Orthoptists diagnose and manage binocular vision and eye movement disorders in patients of all ages. We detect squints, amblyopia (lazy eye), as well as other visual and eye muscle defects (which can sometimes cause symptoms of double vision, eye strain and headaches). We work closely with the optometrists and ophthalmologists in the management of these conditions.
Our team of orthoptists are based and run clinics at Arrowe Park Hospital but also hold a number of clinics in the community at the following locations:
- St Catherine’s Health Centre, Church Road, Birkenhead
- Victoria Central Health Centre, Mill Lane, Wallasey
- New Ferry Health Centre, Sefton Road
- Eastham Clinic, Eastham Rake
- Moreton Health Centre, Pasture Road
- West Kirby Health Centre, The Concourse
- Townfield Health Centre, Townfield Close, Noctorum
- Heswall Clinic, Telegraph Road
Orthoptic screening and review clinics are also held at Stanley, Elleray Park, Lyndale and Hayfield Special Schools.
We work with other departments within our hospitals, including the stroke service and maxillofacial department, providing orthoptic investigation and management of patients.
We welcome referrals directly to Arrowe Park Hospital or to our community clinics from GPs, opticians, health visitors, school vision screeners as well as other health care professionals.
Ophthalmic Technical Services
Our team of ophthalmic technicians provide the following services:
- Visual field testing for a range of eye conditions including glaucoma which assists the ophthalmologist in diagnosis and management
- Retinal imaging (photographing the back of the eye) which is also used by the ophthalmologist in diagnosis and management of various eye conditions including glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration
- Biometry which provides accurate measurements for pre-operative cataract patients.
Optometrists are health care specialists trained to examine the eyes to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, ocular diseases or abnormality and problems with general health.
The Optometry Department undertakes a range of services for patients including:
- Refraction (sight testing)
- Prescription and provision of medical and therapeutic contact lenses (i.e. where contact lenses are medically required)
- Low vision rehabilitation for adults and children (including provision of magnifiers)
- Provide support in consultant clinics i.e. AMD, Glaucoma, Cataract etc
- Paediatric co-management including clinics delivered in community settings in conjunction with orthoptic service.
- Complex biometry (i.e. the measurement of the length of the eye, a procedure usually required before cataract surgery)
- Visual electro diagnostic assessment
- Ophthalmic services including provision of services for children with special needs, for example, eye examinations at special schools undertaken in conjunction with community orthoptic services.
Eye Clinic Liaison officer
Our Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) complements the low vision service by providing support and information to visually impaired patients. They are located within the Ophthalmology Department at Arrowe Park Hospital.
Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (DESP)
When diabetes affects the small blood vessels in the part of your eye called the retina, this is known as diabetic retinopathy. In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy will not affect your sight. However, if the changes get worse, your sight will be affected.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most commonly described complication of diabetes and it is the leading cause of blindness in the working age population in the western world. Screening for diabetic retinopathy has been shown to be effective in preventing significant visual impairment as well as being cost-effective.