A look at eye disease management
Many eye diseases do not have symptoms, until the disease is well progressed. We recommend that you have regular eye check-ups to make sure that we can commence preventative care as early as possible. However, if you do experience a sudden change in your vision, a dimming of your vision or flashes and lights, it is important you seek an optometrist. Other symptoms that need addressing as soon as possible include, pain in the eye, fluid or inflammation of the eye or double vision.
Early treatment from a diagnosis can prevent vision loss.
Types of Eye Diseases
What is Macular Degeneration?
The macula is the central section of the retina at the back of your eye. It provides the “fine detail” vision which allows you to work, read and watch TV with clarity.
Macular Degeneration causes a loss of central vision and is the leading cause of blindness in the western world.
Diagnosis of Macular Degeneration
We use Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) [link to technology page] which gives a three-dimensional view of the macula, so that our optometrist can tell early if you are at risk of Macular Degeneration.
Treatment for Macular Degeneration
The earlier treatment is implemented, the better the chances of preserving your central sight. Treatments may include dietary supplements initially and eye injections or laser surgery if the condition deteriorates.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a slow, progressive disease which causes irreversible damage to the nerve fibres in the retina. This damage affects your peripheral vision first. If left untreated, glaucoma will ultimately affect your central vision as well. As the loss of vision occurs gradually, it often goes unnoticed until it is well advanced.
Diagnosis of Glaucoma
There are several tests that can diagnose glaucoma. The most important of these tests is the Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) [link to technology page] which gives us the ability to measure the thickness of your retinal nerve fibres and compares this with normal values for your age.
Treatment for Glaucoma
Early diagnosis means that treatment can be initiated to preserve your sight when minimal loss of vision has occurred. In most cases, prescription eye drops are all that is required. However, surgery may be required if the drops are not effective enough.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetes affects the blood vessels (arteries and veins) in our body. If the blood sugar levels are too high, then this could result in your blood vessels leaking blood contents into your retina which causes diabetic retinopathy.
Diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy
Haemorrhages and micro-aneurysms (tiny bulges of the walls of blood vessels) can be detected by a full-colour scan with our retinal imaging system. Our OCT can detect swelling in the retina caused by blood plasma leaks which are not visible with retinal scanning or conventional ophthalmoscopy.
Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy
Early detection of diabetes allows earlier treatment which will reduce the potentially blinding effects of diabetic retinopathy. Control of blood sugar levels with medication is important to reduce the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. If this is not possible then eye injections or laser surgery may be required in the more advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy.
If you are concerned about your eyes, do not hesitate to call us to book an appointment. We are only too happy to advise you on eye disease symptoms.