The eye is an incredible organ – it has many intricate structures, each with its own function to help you see clearly. Some of the more common conditions which may affect vision or eye health are described below.
Clear vision generally refers to the ability to see clearly at any distance without the need for glasses or contact lenses. It is common to have some level of prescription however it may be low enough for you to function well without any assistance.
Myopia, or short-sightedness as it is commonly known, is an eye condition where you do not see distant objects clearly. Glasses or contact lenses can be used to correct Myopia. This condition usually begins in school-age children and can continue to progress into adulthood. In children and teenagers with progressive myopia there are many treatments available to slow the progression. Click here for more information on Myopia and click here for more information about treatments to slow the progression of Myopia in children and teenagers.
Hyperopia may also be called long-sightedness or far-sightedness. In most cases it causes blurry vision or eye strain when focusing on anything nearby, however, those with significant longsightedness will find all distances blurry. In children it may cause a lazy or turned eye. Hence it is important to have children’s eyes tested. Click here for more information on Hyperopia.
Astigmatism is a common eye condition which causes fine detail, at any distance, to appear smudged, ghosting or doubling. People who are long-sighted or short-sighted often also have astigmatism, or astigmatism can occur by itself. Some symptoms of astigmatism may be eyestrain, headaches or feeling tired at the end of the day. In most cases glasses or contact lenses can correct Astigmatism. Rarely if astigmatism is caused by an eye disease, surgery may be necessary. Click here for more information on Astigmatism.
Presbyopia causes difficulty with near vision. It is the gradual reduction in flexibility of the lens of the eye with age. A normal part of aging, presbyopia usually becomes noticeable between the ages of 40 and 50. People who first experience presbyopia often find they have to hold things further away to be able to see them clearly. Presbyopia can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Click here for more information on Presbyopia.
Visual Fatigue generally refers to the symptoms caused by focussing disorders. These can be due to screen use, eye muscle abnormalities or not wearing prescription glasses or contact lenses when they’re needed. In some cases focussing disorders can be managed with an updated pair of glasses or contact lenses and some guidance to best setting up your working environment. For more information on visual fatigue from digital eye strain, Laura, one of our Optometrists, has written articles you can access here and here.
Your Eye Health
As part of a comprehensive consultation we examine and assess your eye health. Some eye conditions may be hereditary or vision affecting, some may not. Additionally some conditions are age-related or caused by systemic diseases or medications.
Cataracts occur when the normally clear lens inside your eye becomes cloudy. Having a cataract, or cataracts, causes blurred and reduced vision. While most cataracts are found in people aged over 50, cataracts can also occur at younger ages. Cataracts can be removed with surgery and clear replacement lenses are inserted in their place. Click here for more information on Cataracts.
Macular degeneration, also known as age related macular degeneration (AMD), is the leading cause of legal blindness in Australia, responsible for 50% of all cases of blindness. It is possible to reduce the risk of losing sight from AMD by adopting a healthy lifestyle and regularly having your eyes tested. Click here for more information on Macular Degeneration.
Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve at the back of the eye is slowly damaged, causing a loss of peripheral vision. Glaucoma Australia reports that the disease affects 300,000 Australians, however due to glaucoma having little to no symptoms, half are not aware that they have the disease. Glaucoma is often nicknamed the ‘silent thief of sight’ because peripheral (side) vision loss occurs at such a gradual pace, it often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. Glaucoma detected early and treated reduces damage and loss of vision. Click here for more information on Glaucoma.
Floaters are small, dark, shadowy shapes that float within the eye and are seen in the field of vision. They occur when the clear jelly inside the eye, known as the vitreous, breaks down. Floaters are very common and after some time are easily adapted to. Flashes of light in your vision may happen alone, or with floaters, and are a warning sign of possible retinal issues. If you notice flashes or floaters for the first time, or a change in the number or size of the floaters you normally see, you should have an eye exam urgently, contact us or book an appointment online.
Most people have experienced the feeling of dry eyes at some time. The condition can range from a mild irritation to a long-term condition associated with great discomfort or pain, and can affect your vision. Dry eye is very common but people who suffer from it shouldn’t think they just have to live with it, as there are several treatment options. Click here for more information about Dry Eye Treatment.
A red, sore, watery, painful and light sensitive eye, or eyes may indicate an eye infection or inflammatory event. Infections and inflammatory events may be caused by contact lens wear, a systemic condition or without a known cause. If you have an acute episode of any of the above symptoms please contact us to book an eye examination urgently.
Diabetes may have an effect on the eyes, in particular in the form of Diabetic Retinopathy. It’s caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye. All people with diabetes are at risk of vision loss and blindness, especially those with uncontrolled blood sugar levels. With timely detection and treatment, 98 per cent of vision loss from diabetes is preventable. Click here for more information on Diabetic eye disease.
Colour Vision Deficiency is a condition where some colours appear duller or a different tone entirely, making it sometimes difficult to identify particular colours correctly. It is commonly hereditary and occurs mostly in males. It is usually diagnosed in childhood so particular career advice can be given, hence it is important for children to have regular eye tests.