Tool cuts unneeded glaucoma referrals

A device that detects signs of glaucoma cuts unnecessary referral for eye problems, UK research shows.

The use of Goldmann applanation tonometer (GAT) reduces unneeded referrals for suspected glaucoma by two thirds, according to researchers at the Royal Eye Infirmary in Plymouth.

Referrals for suspected glaucoma have increased substantially, putting strain on hospital eye services and raising costs.

GAT, recommended by NICE as a ‘gold standard’, more accurately records intraocular pressure, a symptom of glaucoma.

But it is often deemed too expensive by community optometrists who use other tonometry devices that can overestimate measurements, leading to inappropriate referrals.

In a pilot study over five months, researchers used GAT to assess people with high intraocular pressures as measured by other tonometers but with no other symptoms of glaucoma.

Out of 3,295 people assessed during this time, 73 (2.2%) had a high intraocular pressure of over 22.

They would normally have been referred to the hospital eye service for further tests.

But when the assessment was repeated using GAT, almost two thirds of this group (46) had intraocular pressures of 21 or below, and so did not need to be referred.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GP dilemma: What should I do if a parent sends their child with COVID-19 symptoms to school?

GP dilemma: What should I do if a parent sends their child with COVID-19 symptoms to school?

Medical Protection's Dr Clare Devlin offers advice on how GPs should respond to parents...

GPs risk missing out on vital COVID-19 risk assessments, BMA warns

GPs risk missing out on vital COVID-19 risk assessments, BMA warns

GPs risk missing out on COVID-19 risk assessments unless practices are guaranteed...

GPs call for partial suspension of network DES amid heavy workload

GPs call for partial suspension of network DES amid heavy workload

GPs leading primary care networks (PCNs) have called for the partial suspension of...

UK COVID-19 alert level raised as GPs prioritised for testing

UK COVID-19 alert level raised as GPs prioritised for testing

The government has raised the UK's COVID-19 alert level to four amid reports that...

UK on course for 50,000 COVID-19 cases a day by mid-October

UK on course for 50,000 COVID-19 cases a day by mid-October

The UK could see 50,000 COVID-19 cases per day by mid-October, with the epidemic...

Stricter short-term COVID-19 measures needed to avoid second national lockdown, BMA warns

Stricter short-term COVID-19 measures needed to avoid second national lockdown, BMA warns

COVID-19 infection rates will ‘soar’ and the NHS will ‘once again be crippled’ if...