common eye conditions

Common Eye Conditions

Cataracts

What are Cataracts ?
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye which is a common condition in  the aging process usually seen in the 65 years + age group but the condition can develop in younger persons. Cataracts lead to a significant reduction in your vision. Most people with cataracts are otherwise healthy and have no other eye problems.

What are the symptoms ?
The following symptoms may occur as a cataract develops:

  • Your far or near vision may be affected adversely.
  • Hazy vision
  • Reduced vision at night
  • Increased sensitivity to light and glare
  • Your glasses even with the correct script become less effective.

If you notice any of the above symptoms occurring contact us to have a full eye assessment.

What are the risk factors ?
Increased risk of cataracts will occur with prolonged exposure to sunlight. It is very important to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light by wearing quality sunglasses and or UV coated lenses in your everyday glasses as effective preventative measures. Ask us about our ranges of quality sunglasses and UV coated lenses for your everyday glasses.

Other risk factors include; family history/hereditary factors, smoking and diabetes.

How are Cataracts diagnosed and treated ?

If after your comprehensive eye examination our optometrist determines that the cataract is significant you will be referred to a specialist ophthalmologist for surgical removal, a day surgery procedure.

Dry Eye Syndrome

What is Dry Eye Syndrome ?
Dry Eye Syndrome affects most people at some stage and more frequently as we age. It occurs as a result of a decrease in tear production or excessive tear evaporation.

What are the symptoms ?
The following symptoms can range from mild to severe, eyes that are:

  • Sore
  • Gritty
  • Irritated
  • Watering
  • Burning

What are the risk factors ?
There are many potential contributing factors including the environment in which we live and work and lifestyle factors. Heating and cooling exacerbate symptoms. Using screens such as computers, tablets and smart phones    reduces blinking and will also exacerbate symptoms.

How is Dry Eye Syndrome diagnosed and treated ?
Our optometrist can diagnose  dry eye syndrome by careful evaluation of the frontal eye under our slit lamp. We can help with strategies to relieve and manage Dry Eye.

Glaucoma

Video courtesy of Glaucoma Australia: www.glaucoma.org.au

What is Glaucoma ?
Glaucoma is a pressure issue affecting the optic nerve. The visual consequence is gradual loss of peripheral vision often unnoticed by patients in the common form open angle glaucoma.

What are the symptoms ?
Usually none for most. A less common glaucoma, closed angle glaucoma, may be characterised by sudden pain, red eye, headache and nausea.

What are the risk factors ? 

People in the following groups have a higher risk of glaucoma:

  • a family history of glaucoma
  • age
  • diabetes
  • migraine
  • short sightedness (myopia)
  • long sightedness (hyperopia)
  • eye injuries
  • blood pressure
  • past or present use of cortisone drugs (steroids)
  • thin cornea

How is Glaucoma diagnosed and treated ?
Glaucoma is a very complex condition. If after your careful evaluation of the optic nerve, measurement of pressure ,field testing and corneal thickness our optometrist determines that the patient is suspected of having glaucoma, a referral to a specialist ophthalmologist will be arranged. Glaucoma is usually managed with the use of eye drops or to a lesser degree laser or even surgery.

Macular Degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration ?
Macular Degeneration, as the name suggests, is the deterioration of the macula, the central part of the retina. It is an age related condition. It can be the wet or dry form.
When the macula is in decline, the result is partial to total loss of central vision. Central vision facilitates vision detailing such as reading, facial recognition and colour differentiation.

What are the symptoms ?
Difficulty with central vision tasks such as reading and facial recognition.

What are the risk factors ?
Age, family history, smoking.

How is Macular Degeneration diagnosed and treated ?
Early detection is very important. Examination of the macula, by our optometrist, using the most up-to-date optical technology allows us to determine treatment strategies.
There has been considerable success in minimizing the visual loss in wet macular degeneration, the most damaging form. Referral to an ophthalmologist is required.
Significant research continues to be carried out to improve outcomes in both wet and dry macular degeneration.

Red Eye

What is Red Eye ?
Red eye is a common term referring to the redness or inflammation of the frontal eye.

What are the symptoms ?
A red eye !

The following symptoms can range from mild to severe, eyes that are:

  • Red
  • Inflamed
  • Sore
  • Gritty
  • Irritated
  • Watering
  • Burning
  • Light sensitive

Not all these symptoms may be present.

What are the risk factors ?
There are innumerable causes of red eye from ulceration, infection, dry eye, allergy to foreign body and many more.

How is Red Eye diagnosed and treated ?
All inflamed eyes need to be examined because there are some serious eye conditions such as a corneal ulcer that require immediate attention.
Our optometrist will examine the affected eye or eyes under a slit lamp. Medication may be prescribed. Referral to a specialist ophthalmologist in serious cases.

Vitreous Detachment

What is Vitreous Detachment ?
Vitreous gel forms the ‘body’ of the eye between the lens and the retina. It has small attachments to the retina. Vitreous detachment occurs when the gel shrinks away from the retinal tissue. This is a very common age related condition.

What are the symptoms ?
Vitreous detachment occurs in some patients without any symptoms or problems. However, some patients will experience sudden floater like spots in their vision and / or flashing lights. These symptoms occur as the retina is being ‘pulled’ at the attachments.

What are the risk factors ?
Age.

How is Vitreous Detachment diagnosed and treated ?
Dilation of the pupil is essential for these patients in order to detect any tear, hole or detachment of the retina itself, a rare event but very important to detect.
If a hole, tear or detachment has been detected , our optometrist will arrange an immediate referral to a specialist ophthalmologist.

Condition Management Plans

All of these common eye conditions are treatable to a very large degree.
The critical factor is early detection.
At JOYCE Optometrists we carry out comprehensive eye examinations in our fully equipped clinic to detect these and other common eye conditions at an early stage.

We can help with strategies to resolve, relieve and manage these conditions,
implement care management plans and /or refer to a specialist ophthalmologist as the circumstances dictate.

Early detection saves sight!