Eyes & Vision 101

How often should you have your vision checked?

You should have your eyes examined every one to two years if you are younger than sixty five, and every 12 months if you are sixty five or older. Your optometrist may recommend that you have your eyes examined more often depending on your eye condition or your general health.

Emergency conditions

If you have a painful eye or you have a sudden change in your vision, you should be seen as an emergency, and if the receptionist cannot fit you in you should present yourself at the practice for urgent attention.

Children’s Vision

It’s never too early to start caring for your eyes. Good vision is imperative to a child’s intellectual and emotional development. If your child is displaying signs of poor vision such as; watery or dry eyes, experiencing headaches, straining to see, squinting or sitting close to the TV, constantly rubbing their eyes, and changes in academic performance could be signs that your child is having difficulty seeing. If you think your child may be experiencing difficulty seeing, book an appointment today.


Conditions which require vision correction

There are a few different types of refractive eye problems, which require corrective lenses.

Myopia (Short sighted or Near sighted)

Myopia is usually due to a lengthening of the eyeball, resulting in blurred distance vision. Myopia is corrected using concave lenses, also known as minus lenses. Myopia usually starts in the early teens to early twenties, and stabilizes after about ten years.

Hypermetropia (Far sighted or long sighted)

Hypermetropia is usually caused by a flattening of the lens in the eye due to growth of the lens, and usually occurs later on in life. Some people however, are born hypermetropic due to the eye being too short. Hypermetropia usually causes blurred near vision or eyestrain when reading. Hypermetropia is corrected using convex lenses, also known as plus lenses.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a condition where the vertical curvature of the eye is not the same as the horizontal curvature resulting in the eye being slightly egg shaped. Astigmatism is corrected using cylindrical lenses. Most people with astigmatism are also short sighted or long sighted, and the correcting lens is a combination of a spherical lens, and a cylindrical lens called a sphero/cylindrical lens or a toric lens.

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is the phenomenon which occurs in the early to mid forties when the eye cannot focus far and near with the same prescription. This is caused by a hardening of the lens in the eye. Presbyopia is corrected using reading glasses or bifocal or multifocal spectacles or contact lenses.

Keratoconus

An abnormality of the cornea causing it to become cone-shaped, resulting in distorted vision. Custom made contact lenses are required to correct this.


Conditions that require special attention

Cataracts

Cause the eye to look cloudy and vision will be similar to looking though a sheet of tissue paper, giving blurred distorted vision.

Diabetes

It is important to monitor any changes in your vision. Early detection of diabetes can greatly minimize vision loss caused by diabetes. If you notice any of these symptoms : blurred or weak vision, black spots, blind spots, double vision, loss of night vision, light sensitivity. Book an appointment immediately.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is condition where the pressure of the eyeball increases, this is called intraocular pressure “IOP”and can damage the optic nerve. A gradual loss of vision, or sudden and somewhat painful loss of vision may occur.
Having regular eye tests can help detect glaucoma early.

Macular Degeneration

There are two types of MD, Wet or Dry and they are the major cause of vision loss. New treatments are available for the treatment and prevention of wet MD.

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