PATIENTS in Worcestershire have become some of the first in the country to benefit from a new treatment for glaucoma after generous donors raised £30,000 for a new device.

The cash for the Trabectome device at Worcestershire Royal Hospital - which is able to relieve the eye's drainage system through a tiny incision in a surgery that takes only 20 minutes - was raised by members of the Worcestershire Glaucoma Support Group.

The surgery reduces pressure within the eye to restore drainage pathways without external scarring and reduces the need for eye drops.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust's clinical director for ophthamology Tarun Sharma said he was pleased to be able to offer the new treatment to patients in the county.

"The first sign of glaucoma is a loss of peripheral vision that usually goes unnoticed by the patient until it affects the central vision," he said.

“Unfortunately, vision lost to glaucoma can't be restored.

"This treatment aims to reduce eye pressure to prevent any further damage.

“We already pride ourselves on our glaucoma care and support in Worcestershire.

"We have run a successful patient education programme and support group for the last four years.

“It was money raised through this support group from kind patient donations which has helped us purchase this new technology.”

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the UK and causes irreversible damage to the optic nerve as a result of increased pressure within the eye.

An independent survey by Public Health showed that the quality of eye services in Worcestershire is above the national average.