Frequently asked questions
The natural lens in ones eye becomes less and less clear over time. As the natural lens opacifies it becomes cloudy which causes blurred vision, increased glare and halos in bright light especially at night. If left to to progress it can cause complete blindness. Fortunately with surgery the natural diseased lens can be removed and a modern artificial intraocular lens can be implanted to restore clear vision.
Glaucoma results from pressure inside the eye being higher than normal. This higher pressure causes damage to the optic nerve causing irreversible blindness. With this disease the key is prevention. Because it is a silent disease patients normally do not know they have it until it is too late. Having your intraocular pressure checked and optic discs assessed is critical to make the diagnosis in order to institute the appropriate treatment to prevent this blinding condition.
Diabetes causes a variety of serious and blinding eye diseases. Patients are often unaware of the severity of their diabetic eye disease meaning regular check ups and screening eye exams are critical to initiate the appropriate treatment. Management includes, laser therapy, intravitreal injections and surgery. The most dreaded complication is a tractional retinal detachment which can lead to total blindness.
A retinal detachment is an urgent condition where a thin layer of tissue at the back of your eye (the retina) pulls away from its normal position. The longer the retinal detachment goes untreated, the greater the risk of permanent visual loss. Warning signs may include the sudden onset of flashes or floaters as well as reduced vision or a shadow in a portion of your visual field. Seeking help from your ophthalmologist as soon as possible may help to save your vision.
Eye allergies or allergic conjunctivitis is a common condition where the eyes react to something that irritates them (an allergen). This can be perfumes, cosmetics or medications but is frequently allergens that don’t directly come into contact with the eyes such as pollen. Itching, burning and redness of the eyes are common. Allergic conjunctivits is often associated with nasal allergies, asthma or eczema. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent changes in the eyes. Fortunately, most allergic conjunctivitis can be effectively treated in consultation with your eye specialist.
As one ages waste products called drusen accumulate under the retina. Over time this drusen can cause vision loss leading to the condition “Age related macular degeneration”. There are two main forms, wet and dry. The wet form is often more severe but can be treated with intravitreal anti-VEGF agent such as Avastin/Lucentis/Aflibercept.
Blepharitis is chronic inflammation of the eyelid that affects the eyelashes and the glands that produce tears. Burning, itching as well as redness of the eyelid edges are common. Sometimes white scales may be seen sticking to the eyelash roots. If left untreated it may lead to dry eyes, styes as well as meibomian cysts. Blepharitis may be effectively controlled by cleaning the edges of the eyelids and lashes.
There are a variety of products to treat dry eye, but before deciding on a treatment plan it’s important to determine exacerbating causes, and to asses which component of the tear film is deficient. The tear film is made up of three layers (an aqueous layer, a mucous layer and a lipid layer) which work together to keep the ocular surface pristine, comfortable and clear. It can be severely debilitating and in some instances can even be blinding. Determining the cause can help target the correct therapy.
Avastin is a medication that is used to treat many eye conditions such as wet age-related macula degeneration (AMD) as well as swelling of the macula due to diabetic eye disease or retinal vein occlusions. Without effective treatment, visual loss may worsen or become permanent. Avastin is also called Bavacizumab and is injected into the eye under local anaesthetic to block the growth of abnormal blood vessels that can lead to bleeding and swelling.
A Pterygium is a growth of pink, fleshy tissue that grows from the conjunctiva (the membrane that covers the white part of the eye) and can extend onto the cornea (the clear front portion of the eye). This benign or non-cancerous growth is often wedge-shaped and frequently begins on the conjunctiva near the nose. It is common in people who spend time outdoors. Ultraviolet light from the sun is the main cause and exposure to wind and dust are also implicated. Treatment depends on the size and nature of the pterygium. Surgery may be recommended when symptoms are particularly problematic or when vision is affected. During surgery, the pterygium is carefully removed and a section of the conjunctiva is taken from under the eyelid and is grafted onto the area where the pterygium was.