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Eye Diseases

Conjunctivitis (Click to View)

Pinkeye, the common name for conjunctivitis, is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the outer, normally clear covering of the sclera, and the white part of the eye. Pinkeye is often accompanied by a discharge, but vision is usually normal, and discomfort is mild. Allergies can also cause conjunctivitis too, which will cause itchy, red and teary eyes.

Blepharitis (Click to View)

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. It usually affects the edges (margins) of the eyelids. It is not usually serious, but may become an uncomfortable, irritating problem. The main symptom is sore eyelids. Both eyes are usually affected. The eyelids may look inflamed or greasy. The eyes may become sticky with discharge. In particular, the eyelids may stick together in the morning. Sometimes tiny flakes or scales appear on the eyelids which look like small flakes of dandruff.

Macular Degeneration (Click to View)

AMD is a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. It causes damage to the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina and the part of the eye needed for sharp, central vision, which lets us see objects that are straight ahead. As AMD progresses, a blurred area near the center of vision is a common symptom. Over time, the blurred area may grow larger or you may develop blank spots in your central vision.  Objects also may not appear to be as bright as they used to be.

Diabetic retinopathy (Click to View)

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. If you have diabetic retinopathy, at first you may not notice changes to your vision. But over time, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, nor is there any pain. Don’t wait for symptoms.  Be sure to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.

Dry Eye (Click to View)

One of the more common causes of eye irritation is known as Dry Eye Syndrome. Symptoms of dry eye are typically a sensation of regular eye irritation, burning, tearing, and sometimes-blurry vision. The tear film that covers the surface of the eye is a complex three-layered structure. It is made mostly of water, but also has an inner layer of mucus, which holds the tear film to the eye surface, and an outer layer of lipids (fats) that serves to slow evaporation of tears. This tear film lubricates the eye, smoothing away irregularities for better quality vision; it washes germs and other irritating substances from the eye surface and carries important oxygen to the surface of the eye. Dry eye may also develop as a result of disease in the oil-producing glands within the eyelid.

Cataracts (Click to View)

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Most cataracts are related to ageing and are therefore very common in older people.

The most common symptoms of a cataract are:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision,
  • Colours seem faded,
  • Glare. Headlights, lamps, or sunlight may appear too bright. A halo may appear around lights,
  • Poor night vision,
  • Double vision or multiple images in one eye,
  • Frequent prescription changes in your spectacles or contact lenses

Flashes & Floaters (Click to View)

Floaters can appear as small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision. Most people have them normally, but don’t notice them unless they’re frequent or grow in size. They can look like cobwebs, floating bugs or squiggly lines in the front of the eye. They’re actually floating inside it, in the clear, gel-like substance called vitreous. As we age, the vitreous tends to shrink slightly and detach from the retina, forming clumps within the eye. What you see are the shadows these clumps cast on the retina. Flashes come from the traction of the vitreous gel on the retina and may look like twinkles or lightning streaks. The appearance of flashing lights comes from the traction of the vitreous gel on the retina at the time of vitreous separation, which is called Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD).

Floaters and flashes are sometimes associated with retinal tears. As the vitreous shrinks it can pull on the retina and cause a tear. This is a serious problem and can lead to a retinal detachment and blindness. If new floaters appear suddenly or you see sudden flashes of light, see an ophthalmologist immediately.

Glaucoma (Click to View)

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness. However, with early detection and treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss. In the front of the eye is a space called the anterior chamber. A clear fluid flows continuously in and out of the chamber and nourishes nearby tissues. The fluid leaves the chamber at the open angle where the cornea and iris meet. (See diagram below.)

When the fluid reaches the angle, it flows through a spongy meshwork, like a drain, and leaves the eye. In open-angle glaucoma, even though the drainage angle is “open”, the fluid passes too slowly through the meshwork drain. Since the fluid builds up, the pressure inside the eye rises to a level that may damage the optic nerve. When the optic nerve is damaged from increased pressure, open-angle glaucoma and vision loss may result. Immediate treatment for early-stage, open-angle glaucoma can delay progression of the disease. That’s why early diagnosis is very important.

Pterygium (Click to View)

A pterygium is a non-cancerous growth on the fleshy tissue that grows over the cornea (the clear front window of the eye). It may remain small or grow large enough to interfere with vision. A pterygium usually occurs on the inner corner of the eye, but can appear on the outer corner.

Keratoconus (Click to View)

This disorder is a progressive thinning of the cornea. Keratoconus arises when the middle of the cornea thins and gradually bulges outward, forming a rounded cone shape. This abnormal curvature changes the cornea’s refractive power, producing moderate to severe distortion (astigmatism) and blurriness (nearsightedness) of vision. Keratoconus may also cause swelling and a sight-impairing scarring of the tissue. Keratoconus usually affects both eyes. At first, people can correct their vision with eyeglasses. But as the astigmatism worsens, they must rely on specially fitted contact lenses to reduce the distortion and provide better vision.

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