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Archive for the ‘Glaucoma’ Category

6 Common Eye Problems

Monday, October 13th, 2014

At some point throughout your lifetime, its very possible that you will experience some sort of vision loss. While it can happen in your youth, as you age certain types of eye disorders become more common. Eyesight is one of the most valued senses, allowing us to capture the  world around us. Maintaining eyesight is very important; here are a list of some common disorders and how to spot them!

1. Cataracts:

Cataracts are referred to as a clouding of the lens, often causing problems with your vision. While they are more common in people 40 or over, they can develop at any age. Cataracts are caused by injury as well as protein deterioration which occurs over time. This causes the protein fluid in the eye’s lens to build up. Risk Factors include: UV radiation, diabetes, obesity, and smoking. Cataracts start out small, having little effect on your vision but as they grow you may notice that your vision becomes cloudier, colors appear more dull, and lights have more of a glare. Good news is, cataracts are easily treated, and cataract surgery usually restores your vision to normal!Cataract photo

2.Macular Degeneration:

Macular Degeneration, commonly affecting those over age 60, occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, begins to deteriorate. While it doesn’t usually result in blindness, macular degeneration is a leading cause of severe vision loss and disability. There are two forms of the disease: wet AMD and dry AMD. The “dry” form refers to the presence of yellow deposits, called drusen, in the macula leading to dimming or distortion of vision. The “wet” form, which is less common, is characterized by the growth of abnormal blood vessels from the choroid underneath the macula. The blood vessels leak blood and fluid into the retina, causing a distortion in your vision as well as loss of central vision. While there is no cure for macular degeneration there are treatments to help prevent severe vision loss.Eye disease photo


Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve, often due to a buildup of pressure. Glaucoma gets worse over time and can cause total blindness within a few years. Most people have little to no symptoms at the early stages of glaucoma, making it very important to see your optometrist or ophthalmologist every 1-2 years.  Glaucoma most often occurs in people over the age of 40, but anyone can get it. Symptoms include red eyes, blurred vision, tunnel vision and frequent headaches. Glaucoma may be treated with prescription eye drops, laser surgery or microsurgery, however  vision that has been lost can not be restored.Visual field photo

4.Diabetic Retinopathy:

Diabetic Retinopathy is an eye disorder often related to people with diabetes. It’s caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive part of the eye, known as the retina. Diabetic retinopathy can occur in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and the longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to acquire diabetic retinopathy. There are little symptoms as the early stages of diabetic retinopathy but it can result in blindness. Its very important to see your ophthalmologist or optometrist annually to catch diabetic retinopathy early in order to prevent blindness.Diabetic Retinopathy vision photo

5. Refractive Errors:

Refractive errors occur when the shape of the eye prevents light from focusing on the retina. These can be caused by the length of the eyeball, changes in the shape of the cornea, or aging of the lens. Types of refractive errors are myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia. While presbyopia affects most people 35 and older, the other refractive disorders can appear in people at any age. Symptoms include: headaches, blurred vision, double vision, halos, and eyestrain. Refractive errors can be treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery.Winged liner glasses photo

6. Keratoconus:

Keratoconus occurs when your cornea, the clear dome-shaped front surface of the eye, thins and gradually bulges outward into a cone shape. This causes blurred vision and sensitivity to light. Keratoconus generally affects both eyes and occurs in people ages 10-25. This condition may progress slowly for 10 years or longer. Treatment depends on the severity of the disease. Mild to moderate keratoconus can be treated with eyeglasses and/or contact lenses. If the cornea becomes scarred surgery may be necessary.Keratoconus photo


Bad Eyesight? Here Are Symptoms You Should Never Ignore.

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

While many eye related problems start to appear with age, there are many symptoms that point to a more serious problem and should never be ignored. If you experience any of these you should immediately contact your optometrist or ophthalmologist.


1. Tunnel Vision:  Tunnel vision is the common term used to describe the loss of peripheral vision- vision that is outside of the centre of ones gaze. This is usually a sign of glaucoma and should be immediately treated. Glaucoma is caused by pressure due to the build of fluid in the eye, causing damage to the optic nerve. Loss of vision typically starts as an arc above or below the centre of your vision while looking straight ahead. If left untreated the blank area expands. Although damage cannot be repaired, eye drops as well as beta-blockers help to prevent further loss of sight.

Eye glaucoma photo






2. Eyelid Bumps: Swelling, lumps or  waxy red lesions are often symptoms of a common skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma. This typically occurs on the lower and inner corners of your eyelids. Basal cell carcinoma is caused by overexposure to UV radiation caused by the sunlight, therefore it is important to wear sunglasses. There are many treatments available, so contact your eye doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.

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3. Seeing Halos: Seeing halos or rainbows around light is a sign that your eye is not filtering light correctly, causing it to scatter on the cornea or lens. This is often caused by cataracts, a clouding on the lens. Cataracts eventually require surgery and  if left untreated, can lead to blindness. Contact your optician immediately.

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4. Wavy Lines: If you are experiencing distorted central vision, such as seeing wavy lines instead of straight lines, you should see your optician. Distorted vision can indicate macular degeneration, a common disease in people over 60. This condition is caused by damaged blood vessels. Macular Degeneration can cause vision loss very quickly, see an expert immediately.

Macular degeneration photo










5. Flashes of Light: Flashes of light in the corner of the eye indicate the possibility of vitreous detachment. Vitreous refers to the gel-like fluid the fills the eye, connecting to the retina and optic nerve. As people age the vitreous becomes more watery and flexible as it begins to pull away from the retina, causing a disruption to vision. While this is normal, it’s important to call your doctor if you experience a continued pulling sensation. This could be caused by the retina becoming detached, which may lead to vision loss if left untreated.

Retinal tear photo








6. Light Sensitivity: While squinting in the sun is normal, persistent pain in the eye while looking at light should assessed by your optometrist. This could be a sign of an infection such as conjunctivitis which usually clears up on its own. Light sensitivity could also be a sign of oculomotor damage, which also heals on its own in about 6 weeks.

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7. Struggling to See at Night: The inability to see well in dim lighting is often a sign of retinitis pigmentosa. Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited disorder which causes the photoreceptors, cells that detect light, to die off. Sight loss progresses slowly over many years. There is currently no treatment.

Pale optic disc photo


Perimetry Test for Diagnosing Glaucoma

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Understanding the Perimetry Test for Diagnosing Glaucoma

There are a few ways your eye care professional can determine if you are showing symptoms of developing glaucoma. One of the most common things your doctor will perform is a perimetry test, which measures all the areas of your eyesight, especially your peripheral vision.

To perform the test, your eye care professional will have you look inside a bowl-shaped device, the perimeter, at stare straight ahead. While staring, lights will begin to flash in different parts of the “bowl,” with you prompted to press a button every time you see a flash. A computer records when the light appeared and when you saw the flash.

The results of the test help determine if there are areas of your vision where you did not see the flashes of light. These areas are where vision has been lost. Many times, loss of peripheral vision is an early sign of glaucoma.

According to eye expert, Dr. Robert McCulloch, Vision loss happens first at the outer edge of your sight, farthest from the center of the eye, most often on the nose side. The amount of peripheral vision that is lost is linked to the amount of optic nerve damage from glaucoma. As glaucoma worsens, larger areas of vision loss are picked up by the perimetry test.

Even if you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, the perimetry test is often regularly used by your eye doctor to see if your current treatment for the eye disease is preventing further vision loss.

The test, which checks both eyes, is typically done in under an hour. If you feel like you’re are noticing some peripheral vision loss, contact your eye care professional to schedule a perimetry test.