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We recommend that everyone should have an
eye exam with an optometrist at least once every 2 years.
Here are a list of common eye conditions that can affect anyone.
Your eyes can tell a lot about your general health, such as showing symptoms of diabetes or high blood pressure.
These symptoms are not always obvious, that’s why a regular eye exam is important to maintain your health. If you think you need help or due for a check up, please contact your local Oscar Wylee Canada optometrist.
You may have heard of people having astigmatism, but what does it mean?
It’s actually a very common condition that is experienced by many people, and causes the following symptoms:
Causes of astigmatism
Eye astigmatism occurs when images in the eye are not focused to one point, due to the irregular shape of the cornea, lens or retina. Instead of being perfectly round (spherical), they are more oval shaped (cylindrical).
The good news is that optometrists will test for astigmatism during your eye examination, and it can be corrected by wearing glasses to give you clear and comfortable vision.
If you’ve been experiencing irritated, gritty, watery, red eyes, swollen and sticky eyelids, or even flaky skin around the eyes, chances are, you may be suffering from a type of blepharitis.
Causes of blepharitis
To treat the blepharitis, your optometrist may ask some questions about what could be triggering your condition, such as:
Your optometrist may make one or more of the following recommendations:
It’s estimated that by the age of 65, over 90% of people will have developed a form of cataract – meaning most of us will experience them as we get older. So, why does this happen?
Cataracts form in the eye lens as a result of the clumping of protein, leading to a decline in clear vision. This process happens naturally with advancing age, which is why they are so common.
Sometimes, there are other causes of cataracts, including:
Of course, there’s no need to worry if you have regular eye checks, because your optometrist can let you know how your cataracts are progressing.
Here are the 3 main types of age-related cataracts that your optometrist with look out for:
Make sure you let your optometrist know if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms of cataracts:
Cataract treatment and prevention:
If you’ve ever looked in the mirror to find that your eyelid feels heavy and droopy or lumpy, you may have a chalazion.
How to tell if it’s a chalazion on your eye
Also known as an internal hordeolum, a chalazion is a sign of a blocked oil gland, usually underneath your upper eyelid, resulting in swelling of the affected area. It may feel tender to touch. After a period of time, a harder red lump will start to form.
Causes of a chalazion
How to treat a chalazion
They usually disappear by themselves after a few weeks to a month, but if they are affecting your vision or not improving, have a chat with your optometrist.
In most cases, you’ll want to keep the eye as comfortable as possible while treating the posterior blepharitis (please see section on Blepharitis).
We’ve all experienced times when our vision seems to go hazy all of a sudden, but then it usually clears after we rub our eyes or blink a few times. But what if it keeps happening? Here’s what it could be.
Is it cloudy or blurry?
Most common causes of cloudy vision
Less common causes
Cloudy eye conditions
If you notice that the cornea, the front surface of your eye, appears cloudy around the pupil, this is what could be causing it:
If you notice that your child’s pupil is white/cloudy, this could be a congenital cataract, or retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer. Contact your doctor immediately as urgent treatment is required.
If you’re sitting in front of your computer reading this right now, you may already be familiar with computer eye strain.
Increased screen time causes eye strain
According to the American Optometric Association, you are at the greatest risk of computer-related eye strain if you spend more than 2 hours a day in front of a screen. This includes digital devices such as laptops, computers, mobile phones, tablets and e-readers.
Other symptoms you may experience
Causes of computer eye strain
Managing computer eye strain
Our fully qualified optometrists are here to support you with options to make work and study easier for you:
It’s quite likely that most of us have experienced conjunctivitis at some point, but what is it exactly? And what is pink eye?
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a lining covering the white part of the eye and underneath your eyelids. The small blood vessels within the conjunctiva will dilate and cause the eye to take on a pinkish-red colour (that’s where “pink eye” comes from).
Here are the most common causes of conjunctivitis:
Besides the pink eye, there are other associated symptoms of conjunctivitis:
Worried that you may have pink eye?
There are several pink eye and conjunctivitis treatments and different types of eye drops for conjunctivitis. Before you head to the pharmacy, we recommend seeing your optometrist first for specific advice. This may include:
Having an eye ulcer is just as painful as it sounds, and requires urgent treatment so it doesn’t get worse and damage your eyesight.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a corneal ulcer, it means that you have an open sore on your cornea.
Symptoms of corneal ulcers:
Corneal ulcers are caused by infections
Contact lens related infections
Non contact lens related infections
Rest assured though, that there are plenty of corneal ulcer treatments available, for both minor and serious infections, including:
Diabetes is one of the fastest growing cardiovascular diseases, but did you know that it can affect the eyes as well?
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a complication of diabetes where the small blood vessels in the back of the eye are damaged.
It is classified into different categories:
How to prevent vision loss/blindness from diabetic retinopathy
If you have been diagnosed with background diabetic retinopathy, it doesn’t mean you will go blind. Through early detection and treatment, it’s possible to maintain a reasonable level of vision.
Treatments available from your ophthalmologist
If you’re finding yourself seeing double vision all of a sudden, it could be a sign of something serious. So what is double vision, what causes it and how can it be fixed?
What is double vision?
When looking at 1 object, you will see 2 images. Sometimes the images overlap, other times they are completely separate. You may constantly be blinking to refocus. It can lead to fatigue, headaches, eye strain and difficulty concentrating.
What causes double vision?
Double vision in 1 eye
Double vision with 2 eyes open is more serious
Treatment options for double vision from your optometrist
Your optometrist can assist with some muscle misalignment issues:
Double vision that needs urgent medical attention
If you notice any of the following signs along with your double vision, you must see your doctor ASAP:
Many of us have experienced the feeling of dry eyes at some point, and it is thought to be more common in women. Understanding more about it can help us to manage it better.
What is dry eye?
Dry eye syndrome is caused by either:
Symptoms of dry eye
Causes of dry eye
See your optometrist to discuss management options, including:
This is a very common condition that usually occurs naturally with age.
How floaters appear
They are dark or translucent looking, and will move together with your eye. If you try to look at them directly, they will eventually disappear off to the side. Floaters tend to be more noticeable against bright lights or white wall, and take on different shapes, such as:
What is a floater
The inside of the eye is normally filled with a jelly-like substance known as the vitreous humour. Normal age-related changes can cause the proteins within the vitreous humour to clump together, which we see as floaters.
Causes of floaters
When should I worry about floaters?
Floaters that have been noticeable for more than 6 weeks
Can be monitored by yourself and your optometrist at routine intervals, if there aren’t any other associated symptoms.
If you notice a black spot that seems fixed in your vision for any period of time, you should see your optometrist promptly.
Floaters that have been noticeable for less than 6 weeks with combined symptoms
You must see your optometrist or ophthalmologist urgently due to the possibility of a retinal detachment, particularly if you notice the following associated symptoms combined with eye floaters:
Glaucoma causes a loss of peripheral vision (visual field loss) through damage to the optic nerve, resulting from issues with the eye’s intraocular fluid drainage system.
Symptoms of glaucoma
Types of glaucoma
Have regular eye exams
It’s thought that 50% of people with glaucoma don’t know that they have it, so having regular eye examinations is important for early detection. Your optometrist can perform these following tests to assess for glaucoma:
If your optometrist suspects that you have glaucoma, you will be referred to an ophthalmologist for treatment
Treatment options for glaucoma
Allergies are becoming increasingly common, and 1/5 people will experience hay fever at some point.
It’s no surprise that it usually peaks in spring, triggered by the large amount of pollen released in the air. Hay fever normally causes nasal issues such as a runny nose, coughing or sneezing, but can affect your eyes as well.
Hay fever allergy symptoms in the eyes
Signs of hay fever
Your optometrist can check underneath your eyelids for hay fever by looking for bumps called papillae.
Hay fever treatment for your eyes
When you have hyperopia, objects far away at a distance are clear, but you have to focus harder to see clearly when objects are near.
What is Hyperopia?
Causes of Hyperopia
If you suspect that you, or your child has hyperopia, see your optometrist to discuss the most suitable option to correct it, including:
In some children, uncorrected hyperopia can lead to learning difficulties, and may not be detected at a school vision screening, so it’s a good idea to have your child’s eyes checked before they start school
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision impairment in people over 40 years old.
It causes a painless loss of central vision affecting the macula, which is the part of the eye that we use when we look straight ahead to focus on something.
There are 2 types:
Symptoms of AMD
See your optometrist for regular follow ups to check for any changes or new symptoms.
It’s estimated that by 2050, 50% of the world’s population will have myopia. Since so many people are developing myopia, there is currently a lot of ongoing research to help us understand it better.
What is myopia?
See your optometrist to discuss the following management options:
Health conditions associated with myopia
Myopia in children
Research has shown that there is a greater likelihood of developing of myopia in children who:
Treatment options to slow the progression of myopia in children include using orthokeratology (wearing hard contact lenses to sleep) and atropine eye drops. Have a chat with your optometrist about these options.
People with ocular hypertension have eye pressure that is higher than normal (>21mmHg), but do not show any other signs of glaucoma, such as visual field loss or optic nerve damage.
They would be considered as having a higher risk of developing glaucoma in the future, and are monitored regularly.
Ocular hypertension symptoms
There are no symptoms, so having an eye pressure test when you see your optometrist is the only way to find out. The normal range of eye pressure is 10-21mmHg.
Risk factors for ocular hypertension
In most cases, no treatment is required. Regular monitoring of your eye pressure and optic nerve appearance, as well as visual field testing, is adequate.
If your ocular hypertension is assessed as being of high risk of developing glaucoma, your ophthalmologist may prescribe anti-glaucoma treatment as a preventative measure. This includes eye drops or laser treatment.
Did you know that some migraines can affect the eyes only, and don’t cause headaches?
Ocular migraines begin with changes to vision, and may or may not cause a headache afterwards. They normally last for up to 20 minutes.
They’re also known as:
Symptoms you will see during an ocular migraine episode
Ocular migraine causes
…..and many more, so it’s best to see your GP
Are you finding that reading up close is getting more difficult? You’re holding things further away to read, making the text size larger on your phone and computer screen, squinting and straining to see small print, getting headaches or tired eyes? These are some of the most common symptoms that we hear from people who have presbyopia.
What is presbyopia?
How can it be corrected?
Speak to your optometrist to see which of the following options are most suitable for you:
· For some people, contact lenses or laser eye surgery can also help
We’ve all experienced red eyes before, and tried to figure out how they came about. Red eyes occur when the tiny blood vessels on the white part of the eye dilate, making the eye look more red than usual.
There are many causes of red eyes, and we’ve listed them here for you.
Acute angle closure glaucoma
A sudden buildup of eye pressure within the eye can cause painful, red eyes that requires urgent treatment by an ophthalmologist (please see section on Glaucoma).
This causes a painless bloodshot eye, caused by bleeding from a burst blood vessel, which usually resolves by itself within 1-2 weeks. Often there is no obvious cause, but it can happen due to eye rubbing, intense vomiting, coughing, sneezing and weight lifting.
Treatment for red eyes
It’s best to see your optometrist to diagnose the cause of the red eye, and they will also recommend the best way to manage it. This may include:
This is a serious condition that optometrists consider an emergency due to the high risk of vision loss. It requires immediate assessment and treatment by a retinal surgeon. Retinal detachment treatment involves surgery. The sooner it is treated, the better the chance of recovery.
What is a retinal detachment?
The retina is a light sensitive layer attached to the back surface of the eye. We rely on the retina in our eyes to see. In some people, it pulls away, or detaches, from the back surface.
Causes of a retinal detachment
Retinal detachment symptoms
If you see any of the following symptoms, please notify your optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately:
Is it a retinal or posterior vitreous detachment (PVD)?
A posterior vitreous detachment presents with similar symptoms to a retinal detachment, however, it usually does not require treatment, just monitoring.
We’ll refer to an external hordeolum as a stye in this section.
There are 2 types of styes:
A stye on the eye is a painful red lump that appears on the upper or lower eyelids – otherwise known as a pimple on the eyelid.
What causes a stye on the eye?
An infection by Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria causes anterior blepharitis, which then leads to the formation of an external hordeolum.
Avoid squeezing a stye
Although this is very tempting, especially after the white tip appears, it could lead to an infection of the entire eyelid – a serious condition called preseptal cellulitis.
An external hordeolum usually resolves by itself, not long after the white tip appears on the lump. It may take approximately 1 month. They normally don’t require any treatment, but if they are affecting vision or not improving, your optometrist or doctor may recommend:
How to prevent a stye
Wondering why your eyes are watery? Are you finding yourself blotting at constantly watering eyes, which give you a glassy look and blurry vision?
There are plenty of options to manage watery eyes, so it’s best to book in for an appointment with your optometrist to discuss the best steps to take.
What are the causes of watery eyes?
How can watery eyes be managed?
We recommend that everyone should have an
eye exam with an optometrist at least once every 2 years.
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