Eye Disease Detection and Management
With our advanced technological equipment, here at Prime Vision-Care Centres, we take special care in detecting and managing the treatment of many eye conditions requiring serious forms of treatment for the health of your eyes into the future to keep you seeing well as you get older. We can detect many types of rare eye conditions. Please see the following details of some of the conditions we see and manage commonly
Cataracts refer to a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye. This not a film over the eye as is commonly believed. Almost everyone eventually develops cataract as they get older. Cataracts can be treated surgically with great success in almost all cases. You can find further information on cataract from the Optometry Australia website at the following link: http://www.optometry.org.au/your-eyes/your-eye-health/eye-diseases/cataract.aspx
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve at the back of the eye. This has often been associated with high intraocular pressure within the eye, but current knowledge indicates that this is not necessarily so. There are several different forms of Glaucoma, but they are all generally associated with damage to the optic nerve, and eventual visual field loss. Some types of Glaucoma are slow and gradual in their progression (or “chronic”), and others are sudden and fast in progression (or ”acute”). Most forms of Glaucoma can usually be controlled with medicated eye drops, but sometimes other types of treatment such as lasers or surgery are necessary. You can find further information on Glaucoma from the Optometry Australia website at the following link: http://www.optometry.org.au/your-eyes/your-eye-health/eye-diseases/glaucoma.aspx
Macular Degeneration Assessment
The small central part of the retina is called the Macula. We use this by allowing light to focus there whenever we look at something, so we are really using the Macula constantly. In Macular Degeneration, the fine blood vessels and cells in the Macular region break down, causing a loss of central vision. This most commonly occurs in older age groups. There are two forms of Macular Degeneration, Dry Macular Degeneration is a slow gradual process of visual loss which cannot be reversed, and Wet Macular Degeneration involves a quick loss of vision, and if caught early enough it can be treated with medication injected directly into the eye. It is important to have regular, thorough eye examinations using the latest technology such as Optical Coherence Tomography to detect Macular Degeneration, so as to have a greater chance of having sight saving treatment. You can find further information on Macular Degeneration from the Optometry Australia website at the following link: http://www.optometry.org.au/your-eyes/your-eye-health/eye-diseases/age-related-macular-degeneration.aspx
Diabetes is becoming more common in today’s society. This abnormality of the body’s ability to metabolise sugar in the bloodstream leads to many problems, including Diabetic Eye Disease. The fine blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye and the cells associated with them break down, causing bleeding and ultimately to the cells dying, with the possibility of blindness being the final result. This is called Diabetic Retinopathy. Regular checkups, often recommended yearly, of Diabetic patients using advanced technology, such as Optical Coherence Tomography, are important to detect these changes, and to allow time for treatment to work. Treatment involves laser treatment, injections, and simply controlling the Diabetes more effectively. You can find further information on Diabetic Eye Disease from the Optometry Australia website at the following link: http://www.optometry.org.au/your-eyes/your-eye-health/eye-diseases/diabetic-retinopathy.aspx
The name for the Iris and associated structures is the Uvea. When this becomes inflamed it is called Uveitis. The more anterior or front structures of the Uvea can more commonly become inflamed, causing Anterior Uveitis, also often known as Iritis. This is a painful condition, causing blur and redness of the involved eye. In some cases, Anterior Uveitis can be associated with other systemic autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, sarcoidosis and inflammatory bowel disease. This can usually be treated with medicated eye drops, but it needs to be monitored closely and checked to make sure that the posterior, or back of the eye does not become affected.
The Conjunctiva is the lining tissue on the white of the eye extending underneath to the back of the eyelids. This can become inflamed, causing redness, pain, and blurred vision. It is often associates with discharge in the eye and on the eyelids and eyelashes. There can be several causes, these include Bacterial infection, Viral infection, Allergic reactions, and Autoimmune causes. It is important to be checked thoroughly to determine the exact cause of the inflammation, so as to give the correct treatment to cure the condition. Most often we can prescribe medicated eye drops which will clear up the condition.
The lining of the white of the eye, or the Conjunctiva, sometimes thickens and grows abnormally on the side of the eye. In some cases, this can extend onto the Cornea, over the coloured part of the eye. This is known as Pterygium, and it has been associated with damage from Ultraviolet light (UV) usually from excessive sunlight exposure. They are often confused with Cataracts, but they are quite different, as they are on the outside of the eye, whereas a cataract is on the inside. Generally, it is recommended that people wear good quality sunglasses to protect themselves from UV damage to the eyes. If the Pterygium extends too far across the cornea, it can be removed with surgery, but fortunately this is not often needed. You can find further information on Pterygium from the Optometry Australia website at the following link: http://www.optometry.org.au/your-eyes/your-eye-health/eye-diseases/pterygium.aspx
The centre of the eye is occupied by a clear jelly-like material called the Vitreous Humour. If this breaks down, as happens commonly as we age, and more commonly in shortsighted or “myopic” people, then cells and fibres in and around the Vitreous tend to float around in the middle of the eye. These are known as Floaters, or “Vitreous Floaters”, and they cause the appearance of unusual shadows in strange shapes to move across the field of vision. They are commonly reported to appear as spots, insects, or even spiderwebs in appearance. This can be quite distracting, especially at first, but the effect often lessens with time. If fibres pull away from the retina this is known as Posterior Vitreous Detachment, and it is sometimes confused with the more serious Retinal Detachment, although in some less common circumstances this can be a related complication, particularly if there are accompanying apparent flashes of light, or a sudden increase in the number of Floaters.
Smoking and Your Eyes
Smoking is related to poor general health, and it is not surprising that this also affects the eyes as well. Because the bloodstream is thickened and the vessels are narrowed, this affects the flow of the blood to the sensitive vessels at the back of the eyes. This increases the chance of developing Macular Degeneration by between two to four times compared to the rest of the population. It also increases the chances of developing Cataracts, and exaggerates the effects of Dry Eye Syndrome. We strongly advise our patients not to smoke, or to quit smoking as soon as possible because of these factors.