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Common Eye Conditions

AMBLYOPIA

 

  • The brain and the eye work together to produce vision. Light enters the eye and is changed into nerve signals that travel along the optic nerve to the brain. Amblyopia is the medical term used when the vision in one of the eyes is reduced because the eye and the brain are not working together properly. The eye itself looks normal, but it is not being used normally because the brain is favoring the other eye. This condition is also sometimes called lazy eye.

CATARACTS

 

  • Despite effective and readily available cataract surgery, cataract is still a leading cause of vision impairment. The rate of cataract doubles with each decade after 40 years. The lens inside the eye enables a focussed image to be positioned onto the retina at the back of the eye. A cataract is the clouding or opacity of the lens that creates blurred vision. Cataracts affect both distance and near vision and are usually a result of the aging process. They can also develop for other reasons which include congenital causes (from birth) and trauma to the eye. Cataracts that occur as a result of aging usually develop slowly and affect both eyes at different rates. Surgery to remove the cataract, including the insertion of intraocular lenses, is generally successful.

DIABETIC RETINOPATHY

  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • 20-74 years

 

  • Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes and is the leading cause of blindness in working age Australians. It causes damage to the blood vessels nourishing the retina located at the back of the eye leading to a progressive blurring of vision. Severe vision loss due to Diabetic Retinopathy is sometimes preventable if detected and treated early and appropriately. Treatment may maintain, but not usually restore, vision. Having diabetes also increases the chances of acquiring other vision conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts. It is highly advisable that a person with diabetes should have their eyes examined regularly.

GLAUCOMA

  • Glaucoma is an eye disease that slowly damages the fine nerves connecting the eye to the brain. The damage generally occurs when pressure within the eye rises. If untreated, glaucoma causes a loss of peripheral vision resulting in tunnel vision and can even result in total blindness. Whilst Glaucoma doesn’t usually develop before the age of 50 years, it affects one in 15 people over the age of 70. Due to its strong hereditary nature, relatives of people with glaucoma should have regular eye examinations.

MACULAR DEGENERATION

  • Macular Degeneration
  • Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative condition affecting the macula, a small area at the centre of the retina. The macula is responsible for fine detailed vision needed for activities such as driving, reading and distinguishing colour. AMD blurs central vision, which affects both distance and near vision. It can lead to partial loss of vision or blind spots appearing in central vision. Fortunately, a person’s side (peripheral) vision remains intact.
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