A cataract is a natural clouding of the lens in the eye, and becomes more common with age. In the early stages, it feels like your vision is a little bit dirty and maybe driving on a wet night feels slightly more difficult. Glare also becomes an issue with cataract. Because the cataract is the lens of the eye turning cloudy, this change in lens results in a change in power of your eyes and glasses. So, often with cataract development close optometrical supervision is needed to monitor the cataract and maximise your vision as much as possible. We are also comfortable in talking about cataract surgery if and when required.
Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina (retinopathy), specifically blood vessels in the retina, caused by complications of diabetes mellitus. Diabetic retinopathy can eventually lead to blindness if left untreated. Approximately 80% of all patients who have had diabetes for at least ten years suffer from some degree of diabetic retinopathy. The retina is the light-sensitive membrane that covers the back of the eye.
If diagnosed and treated early; blindness is usually preventable. Diabetic retinopathy generally starts without any noticeable change in vision. Hence, it is important for diabetes patients to have an eye examination at least once or twice annually.
Glaucoma isn't one disease. Instead, it's a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve. In most cases, this damage is the result of increased pressure within your eye. As the optic nerve deteriorates, the patient gradually loses the ability to see to the side (peripheral vision). With time your central vision may begin to decrease as well. If Glaucoma isn't treated, it eventually may lead to total blindness.
In fact, Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness. That's because Glaucoma often gives no warning sign until permanent damage has already occurred. In most cases the onset is so gradual you're not aware you've lost some of your peripheral vision.
Age-related macular degeneration, often called AMD, is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people who are age 65 and older. Because people in this group are an increasingly larger percentage of the general population, vision loss from macular degeneration is a growing problem. AMD is degeneration of the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for the sharp, central vision needed to read or drive. Diet, supplements and sunglass use is important to try and prevent the development of macular degeneration. We are up to date with the latest treatments for macular degeneration, and as always, our message is early intervention can save sight.