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1. MYOPIA (short sighted)
Shortsightedness simply means you are able to see things clearly that are close to you, but not so well in the distance. This is a result of the eye being slightly too big and so the image we see falls short of our retina focus point. In order for the eye to be able to focus correctly on the image, it needs to reach the retina. This is done by using a concave lens with either spectacle or contact lenses - a minus powered lens.
2. HYPEROPIA (long sighted)
Farsightedness means that you are able to see well in the distance but not so good close up - for example when reading. This is due to the eye being slightly too small and causing the image to be blurry close up, meaning its falling slightly behind the retina's focus point. This is simply corrected with convex lenses in either spectacle or contact lens form - positive powered lenses.
When we reach the age of 40 and above our eye muscles will become less efficient at doing the job they have always done. The muscles move the lens in our eye in order to be able to focus on objects. As we age, presbyopia causes us to struggle focusing close up as the muscles aren't as effective as they were. This is simply treated by prescribing what is known as a 'reading add'. This addition to your prescription (whether you be myopic or hyperopic) enables the eye to focus on objects close up. This is easily corrected with various advanced varifocal lenses, bifocal lenses or contact lenses.
Astigmatism will occur when the shape of the cornea isn't perfectly spherical. This causes a break in the light entering the eye, creating not one but two focus points on the retina. This consequently makes the image appear blurry when interpreted by our brain. This can occur with myopia, hyperopia or on its own. It simply is corrected with lenses just like short or longsightedness can be too.
5. DRY EYES
Dry eyes occur when our tear film evaporates, or when our eyelids aren't lubricating the eye sufficiently. It can be a result of a variety of circumstances but generally is found commonly in older patients or contact lens wearers. It is best to book an appointment with one of our professionals to determine the cause of your dry eye in order to get appropriate care.
Glaucoma results in a loss of the peripheral (side) vision and in most cases is a result of increased intra-ocular pressure. Pressure builds up as the eye's fluid can't drain as efficiently as it used to. This increased pressure causes damage to the optic nerve at the back of the eye, slowly causing damage to the visual field. The condition will begin with damaging the peripheral vision first due to the structure of the eye's optic nerve fibers. It will eventually damage the entire optic nerve and result in blindness if left untreated - it is therefore vital to discover this condition as early as possible.
Open acute glaucoma (as discussed above) is the progressive form and takes many years before it becomes noticeable. This is a common form in relation to age and family history. We therefore request a visual field screening on all patients with family history to assess for any visual defects that could be a result from nerve fibre damage.
7. MACULAR DEGENERATION
Macular degeneration is a condition that causes central visual loss, meaning the faces of friends or family become increasingly difficult to see. This condition can be broken down into two forms; wet and dry. The wet form is a result of blood vessels forming behind the macular. This is generally a very quick onset and if left untreated can get worse within days.
Age-related Macular Degeneration is the dry form of the condition as it's a result of the macular becoming less effective. This means that the macular can't get nutrients it requires effectively, or get rid of waste as efficiently as it used to. This causes a build up of deposits on the central retina (macular). This then causes damage to the light sensitive cells of the central part of the retina, resulting in a loss of central vision.
Cataracts appear when the crystilline lens on the eye becomes 'cloudy'. Throughout younger life this lens is clear and we are able to see through it perfectly. As we age the lens becomes less flexible at being able to do it's job and it struggles to let light through it as proteins build up on the surface. This makes it a lot hazier to see through but is simply corrected with surgery.
9. DIABETIC RETINOPATHY
Our retina consists of millions of light-sensitive cells that send the image that we see to our brain via the optic nerve. The retina requires a good blood supply through our vessels for these cells to be able to do this. If something limits or affects that blood supply then the consequence will be the light sensitive cells of the retina not being able to see the image as it should be. Diabetes can cause an increase in blood sugar levels if uncontrolled - causing blood vessel to leak or getting blocked; creating this lack of blood supply through the retina. Over time this will damage the retina if untreated and potentially lead to loss of vision.