This is the condition that results from the degeneration of the central part of the retina. There are two principle types: wet and dry. Wet macular degeneration affects vision due to bleeding from abnormal blood vessels and a subsequent scar in the retina. Dry macular degeneration is caused by the aging process, which thins the macular lens causing gradual vision loss. Click here to read more
A macular hole is small break in the macula, located in the centre of the retina. Usually caused in later years, when the aging process causes the vitreous (the gel inside the eyeball) to thicken, which subsequently starts to pull at the retina. If the vitreous is firmly attached to the retina, a hole can result. Symptoms include blurring and the loss of central vision. A vitrectomy is the most common treatment.
See Epiretinal Membrane.
This occurs when fluid and protein deposits collect on or under the macula. This causes it to thicken and swell, distorting central vision. The condition sometimes occurs shortly after cataract surgery or in diabetes and can often be treated with cortisone eye drops. Intravitreal injections of steroids may also be required on occasion.
An uncommon condition where the back of the eye develops a backwards bulge, causing the macula to stretch and split. Symptoms include blurred central vision and distortion. Treatment is usually a vitrectomy.
Involuntary movement of the eye. This can be due to eye muscle problems at an early age. Treatment may include surgery.
This is a condition in which the vitreous humour (the gel in the eye ball) separates from the retina. Over time the vitreous changes, shrinking and developing pockets of liquification, which can eventually peel away from the retina. It can be sudden, but may also occur slowly over months. Consequently, symptoms include flashes of light and an increase of floaters in the vision. Any signs of a retinal detachment are serious and must be treated urgently.
This occurs in all adults, usually aged 45 or older. It’s the natural aging process of the lens inside the eye, which results in near vision becoming blurry, while the long vision is unaffected. Click here to read more.
A wing-like growth across the eye, this is more common in hotter climates where outdoor sports, particularly surfing and swimming are popular. Caused by exposure to wind, sun and sand, symptoms include redness and inflammations. Treatment may be simply to use lubricant drops for comfort, but a pterygium that is growing towards the centre of the cornea requires surgery. Because of a higher likelihood of recurrence, surgery usually involves a conjunctival graft to act as a barrier to re-growth after excision of the pterygium. Even with this precaution, there may still be some chance of recurrence.
See ‘Droopy Eyelid’.
A disorder in which the retina becomes separated from the underlying layer of supportive tissue. The retina can’t function when these layers are detached, so it must be re-attached as soon as possible, to avoid permanent loss of vision. Click here to read more.
See retinal detachment.
The closure of the central retinal artery which blocks the blood flow to the retina, this can result in complete loss of vision in one eye. The most common symptom is an acute loss of vision in one eye. People who suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease are more likely to suffer from an RAO. It is important to seek treatment immediately.
Related to high blood pressure, a retinal macroaneurysm can cause significant vision loss. Formed in a small retinal artery, the macroaneurysm balloons out, which can cause bleeding or leaking of fluid. Vitrectomy surgery will often be performed. If leaking fluid becomes a problem, retinal laser surgery will be performed.
Blockages of the veins to the retina that can lead to tiny spot bleeding of the retina and leaking fluid from the capillaries. Most common in patients 50 plus who suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure and smokers. Treatment can range from laser photocoagulation to injections to vitrectomy surgery.
An eye disease that is characterised by the splitting of the neurosensory layers of the retina. Mostly asymptomatic, occasionally this results in the loss of vision. An ophthalmologist will most likely only monitor the progression is this disease – if secondary problems occur as a result, such as a detached retina, laser retinal surgery may be required.
A condition of the eye where the incoming light doesn’t directly focus on the retina, but in front of it. The result is that distant objects appear out of focus, whereas close objects are in focus. Also referred to as myopia. Click here to read more.
A condition where the eyes are not properly aligned. More commonly known as a ‘squint’, it is caused by a lack of coordination between the muscles around the eye.
This is a condition in which there’s bleeding underneath the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva contains nerves and many small blood vessels which are fragile and can break. While it looks alarming, it is relatively painless and harmless.