Common Eye Conditions
Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve in your eye. It usually happens when fluid builds up in the front part of your eye. That extra fluid increases the pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness for people over 60 years old. But blindness from glaucoma can often be prevented with early detection and management. Glaucoma is usually managed with medicated eye drops, however, laser and surgical treatment options are available.
There are often no warning signs or symptoms in the early stages of glaucoma. Having regular eye exams can help find the disease before you lose vision. Some people are more at risk at developing glaucoma than others. Talk to your optometrist for advice for how often you should be having eye tests.
Several eye problems can result from diabetes, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes where the blood vessels in the eye are damaged. This leads to bleeding and fluid accumulation which can damage your vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in people of working age in Australia.
There may be few or no symptoms in early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Having regular eye exams for early detection and controlling blood-sugar levels can greatly reduce the risk of any vision impairment. Your optometrist may use special pupil-dilating eye drops during examination in order to better assess your retina.
Cataracts are cloudy areas that form on the crystalline lens in the eye. These cloudy areas can cause any light entering the eye to scatter. This results in hazy or blurry vision similar to looking through a dirty window. Some patients may also notice an increase in glare sensitivity or experience double vision.
Cataracts are most commonly caused by normal ageing, but can also be induced by certain medications, eye injury, and other eye pathologies. Your optometrist will be able to detect any cataracts during an eye exam and recommend management options.
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people aged over 40 years in Australia. It commonly results in gradual loss of central vision, but can also suddenly and significantly change vision.
There are some treatment options available for certain types of macular degeneration. A healthy balanced diet with antioxidants is also important in reducing the risk of macular degeneration and in slowing its progression. See your optometrist regularly for timely detection and monitoring.