In General There Are Two Categories of Eye Conditions:
The first category is what we call refractive (focusing) errors. They are not diseases of the eye, but rather conditions that reduce the eye's ability to focus clearly. They are correctable with glasses or contact lenses. There are four main conditions in this category:
Myopia is when the eye is able to see short distances well, eg. reading, but can not see long distances eg. watching TV, or driving.
If myopia starts at a young age and particularly if there is family history of myopia, it can deteriorate quite fast. This can have major implications later in life, such as retinal detachment which is potentially sight-threatening.
At Precise Vision we can prevent or control myopia progression in children and adolescents through the Orthokeratology technique.
Also for adults who have myopia we can eliminate their need to wear glasses or daytime contact lenses using the Ortho K technique.
Hyperopia is when the eye is able to see long distances, but has difficulty seeing short distances.
Astigmatism in simple terms is a mixture of short and longsightedness, though there are variations of it. so it affects both short and long distance vision. Usually the eye ball is spherical in shape (like a soccer ball), in astimatism the eyeball becomes eliptical (like a football). It is not abnormal or anything bad, it is just the way the eye is shaped. It can be corrected with lenses. In some rare cases, special contact lenses are required to correct it.
For people who have a high degree of myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism, we at Precise Vision can prescribe the scleral contact lenses which provide very good clear vision and are very comfortable to wear.
Presbyopia is when the eye's ability to see short distance eg. reading is reduced. it generally starts in early to mid 40's and affects most people at or after that that age. All of these conditions are treatable with glasses and/or contact lenses.
Keratoconus is a thinning of the central zone of the cornea, the front surface of the eye. As a result of this thinning, the normally round shape of the cornea is distorted and a cone-like bulge develops, resulting in significant visual impairment.
In many cases it can be treated with special contact lenses. Some people find the lenses a little uncomfortable to wear, but thanks to modern technology, there are some newer lenses which are much more comfortable, and also provide better vision. Please contact us for more information about these lenses.
The next category of eye conditions are those that are not refractive
These require prevention, monitoring and sometimes medical attention. some examples are:
Cataract is when the crystaline lens inside the eye becomes opaque, and prevents the light reaching the retina, so the vision gradually becomes blurred. It usually happens with age, typically in 60's and onwards. It is treatable with surgery which with modern technology is usually quite simple.
This is a condition that can happen without any obvious sign or symptom. That is why it has been dubbed the "Thief of Sight". It damages the periphral vision; in extreme cases the patient ends up with tunnel vision or even complete blindness. So one could have perfectly fine central vision, i.e when looking straight ahead, but slowly be losing peripheral vision. A major risk factor in this condition is family history of Glaucoma, so again regular eye examinations are vital particularly if one has family history of the condition. For more information see www.glaucoma.org.au
There is currently a lot of emphasis in the media about this condition. With the aging population it is unfortunately on the increase. One in every 7 Australians over the age of 50 has some sign of macular degeneration, this increases to 1 in every 3 people over the age af 75. It happens when metabolic waste material called Drusen builds up on the macula over many years and this damages the light sensitive cells on the retina. As a result most of the useful central vision of the eye is lost. Fortunately with modern technology we are able to detect it's signs at very early stages and if diagnosed early, there are effective treatments available. It's risk factors include: age, family history, smoking, blood pressure, obesity, and sunlight. Regular eye examinations are vital to detect it's signs. For more information see www.mdfoundation.com.au
This condition happens when the fine blood vessels on the retina become weak so there are haemorhages in the retina which cause damage to vision. Regular eye examinations are vital to monitor the retina for any such damage and timely treatment. Fluctuations in blood glucose level can sometimes cause fluctuations in vision. So controlling the blood sugar level is the best way to minimse the damage to the eyes. For more information see http://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/en/Living-with-Diabetes/Mind--Body/Diabetes--Your-Eyes/
Hypertensive (blood pressure) retinopathy
This condition causes similar damage to the retina as diabetes does, though fortunately it is not as common as diabetic retinopathy. but again regular eye examinations are important. people with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease have a higher risk of sight threatening complications in the eye.
Pterygium is a lump of tissue that grows on the white part of the eye usually near the edge of the iris or the coloured part. It sometimes grows over the cornea and even the pupil. It can be removed surgically.
Inflamatory Conditions such as conjunctivitis, Iritis, etc.
This is a fairly common condition in which the eyes feel dry and irritable. There are various causes for it such as deficient tear film, environmental causes eg. airconditioning, or other medical conditions such as arthritis. They can be trated with eye drops or occasionally with simple surgery.
Tumors of the eye
These are usually benign though they can sometimes be malignant. They can occur on the eyelids or inside the eye.
At Precise Vision we are able to manage all these conditions using the latest technology, either by treating them, monitoring them, or referring you to the most appropriate ophthalmologists. Different ophthalmologists specialise in different parts of the eye, eg. retinal specialist, or glaucoma specialist. We can advise you on this so you go through the right channels. We will also advise you of ways to protect your eyes and the precautions you can take to avoid or delay some of these conditions.