Common Eye Conditions
The below information is an overview of some common eye conditions. Early detection for most conditions is crucial.
Myopia commonly known as short-sightedness is a condition of the eye where the light that comes in does not directly focus on the retina but in front of it, causing 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. Myopia is corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
Hyperopia a condition commonly known as being longsighted is a defect of vision caused by an imperfection in the eye , causing difficulty focusing on near objects, and in extreme cases causing a sufferer to be unable to focus on objects at any distance . Hyperopia is corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
Astigmatism is an eye condition that can occur in conjunction with myopia or hyperopia or on its own. The front of the eye is not perfectly spherical causing the image of the object to be focuses at two different points and so is blurred. Astigmatism can be often corrected by glasses or contact lenses.
Diabetic retinopathy, also known as diabetic eye disease, is when damage occurs to the retina due to diabetes. It can eventually lead to blindness. It affects up to 80 percent of all patients who have had diabetes for 10 years or more. Research indicates that at least 90% of these new cases could be reduced if there were proper and vigilant treatment and monitoring of the eyes. The longer a person has diabetes, the higher his or her chances of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Dry Eye syndrome is caused by eye dryness which, in turn, is caused by either decreased tear production or increased tear film evaporation. The eyes feel uncomfortable, gritty, and sometimes may appear very red. Dry eye can affect anyone at any time, although it is more common as we get older.
Cataracts is a clouding of the lens in the eye leading to a loss in vision. They may affect one or both eyes. Often they develop slowly. Symptoms may include faded colours, blurry vision, halos around light, trouble with bright lights, and trouble seeing at night. This may result in trouble driving, reading, or recognizing faces. Cataracts are most commonly due to ageing, but may also occur due to trauma, radiation exposure, be present from birth, or occur following eye surgery for other problems. Risk factors include diabetes, smoking tobacco, prolonged exposure to sunlight and alcohol. A short surgical procedure replaces the opaque natural lens with a clear artificial lens.
Glaucoma is a term describing a group of ocular (eye) disorders that result in optic nerve damage, often associated with increased fluid pressure in the eye. Open-angle chronic glaucoma is painless, tends to develop slowly over time and often has no symptoms until the disease has progressed significantly. Closed-angle glaucoma, however, is characterized by sudden eye pain, redness, nausea and vomiting, and other symptoms resulting from a sudden spike in intraocular pressure, and is treated as a medical emergency.
Macular degeneration, is a medical condition that usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field 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), afflicting 30-50 million people globally. 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.
Floaters are deposits of various size, shape, consistency, refractive index, and motility within the eye’s vitreous humour, which is normally transparent. The common type of floater, which is present in most person’s eyes, is due to degenerative changes of the vitreous humour. They are more noticeable on bright days or when looking at light coloured objects, for example a page of a book. Most people notice floaters in their vision at some point in their lives. Myopic people often notice them more, and they are more common with age. Most of the time, these floaters are perfectly normal. But if you suddenly notice a large increase in floaters, or notice any flashes of light, or even a shadow across your vision, you should have your eyes checked.