Short Sight – Myopia
A myopic eye can see near objects clearly but cannot see distant objects clearly. Myopia can be corrected with spectacles or contact lenses.
Long Sight – Hypermetropia
A hypermetropic eye needs to focus to see distant objects clearly. It will need to focus even more to see near objects clearly. Hypermetropia can be corrected with spectacles or contact lenses.
Presbyopia is a normal condition which is related to age. A presbyopic eye is one that can no longer focus sufficiently to see near objects. Presbyopia can be corrected with spectacles or contact lenses.
An astigmatic eye is not only myopic (short sighted) or hypermetropic (long sighted). It has an uneven distribution of power. A correcting lens with different powers in different alignments is necessary to provide a good focus. Astigmatism can be corrected with spectacles or contact lenses.
Diabetes can cause changes in the eye (diabetic retinopathy) which can lead to blindness. Diabetics should have their eyes examined regularly so that changes can be detected early and the necessary steps be taken to protect their eyes.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye. Most people develop some cataract as they get older. We can give you help and guidance regarding its management. It is not necessary for everyone with cataracts to have surgery however for some people the vision may become so difficult that they are happy to have their cloudy lens removed and replaced with a clear implanted one. The operation is not usually uncomfortable and it can provide a remarkable improvement in vision and quality of life.
Glaucoma is a condition that affects the health and function of the retinal nerve fibres and the optic nerve. If untreated it can lead to visual field loss (tunnel vision) and eventually blindness. It is often, but not always, associated with a raised pressure in the eye. Sophisticated glaucoma checks are an important part of an eye examination for everyone over the age of 40. If glaucoma is detected early it is much easier to treat effectively. If you do not have these checks glaucoma can progress to an advanced stage before you are even aware that you have a problem. If you have a close relative who has glaucoma you have a greater risk of developing the condition yourself.
‘Floaters’ may appear like black spots or pieces of cobweb floating in front of your eyes. They are very common and usually harmless. They are caused by shadows on your retina of particles floating between the lens in your eye and the retina. A sudden increase of floaters, particularly if associated with flashes of light, needs to to be checked urgently because it may be a sign of a more serious condition such as retinal detachment.
Macular Degeneration (MD)
Macular degeneration causes distortions and loss of central vision. It is more common in older people when it is known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is the leading cause of blindness in the UK. Most people with MD retain their peripheral (side) vision, so they can get around, but their ability to see what they look directly at can become very difficult or impossible.
There are two types of MD, dry and wet. Dry MD usually causes a gradual deterioration in vision. There is currently no treatment available for dry MD but magnifying glasses and other magnifying aids can be helpful. Wet MD is caused by leaky abnormal blood vessels at the back of the eye. It can start suddenly and progress rapidly. Treatment for wet MD is available but it must be commenced very soon after the onset of symptoms.