A recent set of quality standards recently introduced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will help to maintain high levels of eye care.
This is according to David Wright, chief executive of the International Glaucoma Association, who said both eye care professionals and patients will benefit from the new standards.
The Glaucoma Quality Standard consists of 12 statements, one of which declares that clinical judgement should return to optometrists, which could help to reduce the number of patients who are referred to hospital eye services.
Mr Wright said the standard will allow "optometrists to return to the situation where they would monitor moderately raised intraocular pressure without the need for a referral".
He went on to say that the most important part of the new standards is the development of a register of glaucoma patients.
Also recently, consultant ophthalmologist Tim Fulcher, from Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, said that the number of people who are losing their sight after developing glaucoma is beginning to fall.
by Adrian Galbreth