Most commonly amblyopia occurs under the age of 6 years and is characterized as poor vision in one eye no matter what corrective lenses are provided. This poor eye can frequently be improved when treatment is provided early in life. It is typically entrenched by adulthood.
Most cataract occurs over 60 years of age due to opacity or clouded areas in the lens of the eye. The effect may be misty, foggy or dimness of sight. It has become eminently treatable by eye surgeons. When spectacles or contact lenses can no longer provide reasonable vision referral is made for surgical treatment.
Diabetes is a major sight threatening disease and is a leading cause of blindness in the 40+ year group. Regular routine visits to a general medical doctor are recommended. Often signs of diabetes can be detected by a vision examination. If detected early, more serious changes in the retina due to diabetes can be treated and people can consider any changes they can make to help their health. Apart from Optometrists eye examinations, New Zealand runs a series of hospital screening programs for diabetics to provide early action to prevent vision loss.
We use a retinal camera to monitor changes to the retina.
Glaucoma is mostly the loss of sight affecting the peripheral retina before enclosing on the central view. People are unaware of changes in vision until up to 75% of the peripheral vision is gone. Signs can be detected early by a full visual examination.The risk of Glaucoma increases noticeably over 40 years of age. The risk is higher if it is present in close relatives. By the age of 70 years, 7 in 100 people have glaucoma. Checks for glaucoma include the examination of the anterior eye, the optic disc; measuring the pressure of the eye, and checking visual fields. Chronic open angle glaucoma has no symptoms for most of the course of the disease.Acute glaucoma typically causes a sudden extremely painful eye. When the optometrist has concerns for the eye health referral to an Ophthalmologist for treatment will be made with the aim to stabilize the eye. Medication, surgery and laser technology play a role in treating glaucoma.
Hypertension, where treatment is less effective, may drive the blood supply to the eye to break and bleed, and this harms the retina. Routine vision examinations can help provide information to assist your doctor or to warn of early problems developing in the eye.
Macular degeneration describes the deterioration of the central vision. For the last 20 years this has presented as young as 40 years of age.It is a breakdown of the finely connected retinal layers at the back of the eye. It only occurs in the central part of the vision but this can cause distortion or jumbling of the eyesight and lead to extreme loss of ability to see detail. Prevention is difficult but scientific research has indicated that high levels of certain vitamins and minerals plus compounds found in vegetables, red skinned berries and tuna, may be helpful over a life time.
Research shows both cataract and macular degeneration are diseases strongly affected by ultraviolet or UV damage to the eye over the course of one’s life. It is recommended to protect your eyes by wearing UV protective sunglasses, as you do your skin with sun block.