Common Eye

Conditions

Below you'll find summaries of common eye and vision conditions. These are just a few of the common eye conditions that can affect almost anyone, but any injury to any part of the eye area or eye-related condition should be checked at our store to prevent any long-term damage.

  • Astigmatism
  • Cataracts
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Diabetes
  • Dry Eye

Cataract
A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope, varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light. Early in the development of age-related cataract, the power of the lens may be increased, causing near-sightedness (myopia), and the gradual yellowing and opacification of the lens may reduce the perception of blue colours. Cataracts typically progress slowly to cause vision loss, and are potentially blinding if untreated. The condition usually affects both eyes, but almost always one eye is affected earlier than the other.

Dry eye
Dry eye is a condition caused by the eyes not producing enough tears, or producing tears of a poor quality, leading to a feeling of gritty uncomfortable eyes. Some eyes produce too many tears to compensate and become watery. Dry eye can be a symptom of underlying health issues, including:

  • The natural aging process, especially during the female menopause.
  • Side effects of using certain medications such as antihistamines and birth control pills.
  • Diseases that affect the ability to make tears, such as Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and collagen vascular diseases.
  • Structural problems with the eyes or a problem with the tear ducts.


Dry eye can usually be treated by artificial tear substitutes, ask your optician which would be best for you.


Macula degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is a medical condition which usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the centre of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina. It occurs in "dry" and "wet" forms. It is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults (>50 years). Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.


Spots and floaters
Most people notice spots or floaters in front of their eyes. They are especially noticeable when looking at a plain white background and appear as greyish specks in our vision.

The vitreous fluid, the jelly inside the eye, contains small particles. These are either present from birth or are formed when the vitreous starts to deteriorate. These cast a shadow onto the retina at the back of the eye, which appear as spots and floaters.

If there is a sudden increase in spots or floaters, especially if these are accompanied by flashing lights, or a curtain effect shadowing your vision, this may indicate a more serious problem such as Retinal detachment which left untreated can cause blindness. Anyone experiencing these sudden symptoms is advised to visit their Optician immediately.


Retinal detachment
Retinal detachment is a disorder of the eye in which the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue. Initial detachment may be localized, but without rapid treatment the entire retina may detach, leading to vision loss and blindness. It is a medical emergency.


Glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye disorder in which the optic nerve suffers damage, permanently damaging vision in the affected eye(s) and progressing to complete blindness if untreated. It is often, but not always, associated with increased pressure of the fluid in the eye (aqueous humour).[1] The term 'ocular hypertension' is used for cases having constantly raised intraocular pressure (IOP) without any associated optic nerve damage. Conversely, the term 'normal' or 'low tension glaucoma' is suggested for the typical visual field defects when associated with a normal or low IOP.


Myopia
Myopia is commonly known as being nearsighted (American) and shortsighted (British). A condition of the eye where the light that comes in does not directly focus on the retina but in front of it. This causes the image that one sees when looking at a distant object to be out of focus but in focus when looking at a close object. Below is the image to be used for Myopia.


Astigmatism
Astigmatism is the optical term for more than one point of focus. It occurs when the surface of the cornea or crystalline lens is not spherical. Light from an object does not focus exactly on the retina but at two separate points. An astigmatic eye has curves that are steeper in one direction than the other. An example of this could be where the cornea is not spherical and shaped more like a Rugby ball than football - of course this is not noticeable by just looking at someone's eyes.

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