Sometimes called ‘lazy eye’, Amblyopia is a vision deficiency in an otherwise physically normal eye. This occurs when the part of the brain responsible for vision in that eye does not develop properly during childhood. Treatment must be undertaken early in life and an eye examination is recommended prior to school entry age. This is especially important if there’s a family history of “lazy eye”, or “turned eye”.
This is when the refractive power in each eye differs by a large margin – so one eye might be, say, myopia (short sighted) and the other is hyperopic (long sighted). This condition can aversely affect the development of binocular vision in infants and children.
This is a type of refractive error of the eye, which can cause blurred vision due to the inability of the eye to focus clearly on a point. It is a refractive error (not a health problem) caused by an assymetrical curvature of the cornea. (Ask your optometrist about the different types of astigmatism). Click here to read more.
Chronic inflammation of the eyelid. The onset can be acute and can occur at any age. Careful cleaning of the eyelids is vital, and treatment can include hot compresses and antibiotic ophthalmic ointment.
A blockage in the pathway that carries the tears to the surface of the eyes, this can causes symptoms that include a watery eye with pus, tears running down the face, mucus along the eyelashes and increased eye infections. Treatment includes carefully cleaning the eyelids with a warm cloth, eye drops or ointments. In adults, surgery may be required to reopen the block ducts.
This is a clouding of the lens inside the front of the eye, which can cause blurred vision and limit clarity of both near and far vision. It can also cause sensitivity to bright lights causing glare. Although typically age-related, cataracts can occur in babies, children or younger adults. Click here to read more.
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 CRAO. It is important to seek treatment immediately.
Often temporary, this disorder can cause leakage of fluid under the retina, with a propensity to occur under the central macula. This can cause blurred or distorted vision. Treatment can include laser photocoagulation.
The name given to a spot, freckle or mole that appears inside the eye or on the surface of the eye. They are common and rarely harmful, however must be looked at by a ophthalmologist.
Also referred to a ‘colour blindness’, this is a deficiency that decreases the ability to perceive colour or colour differences. May be caused by a fault in the development of either or both sets of retinal cones that perceive colour in light and transmit the information to the optic nerve. It is commoner in males and the term “blindness” is often inappropriate – this condition is really a difference in colour interpretation and rarely interferes with education, employment or lifestyle choices. Click here to read more.
An inflammation of the conjunctive – the ‘skin’ that covers the white part of the eyes and inside the eyelids. Usually caused by an allergy, virus or bacteria.. Symptoms include red, itchy and watery eyes. It can pass without treatment, however antihistamine, anti-inflammatory or antibiotic drops may be prescribed. Click here to read more.
The loss of the surface layer of the cornea, this is commonly caused by an accident such as walking into a tree branch or rubbing the eyes when a foreign body is present. Often painful, symptoms include sensitivity to light and watery eyes. Most likely, antibiotics will be prescribed to prevent infection and a short term use of topical anaesthetic will help to reduce the pain.
Often a recurrent disorder, this is caused by the failure of the cornea’s outermost layer of cells to attach to underlying membrane. This results in exposure of the sensitive cornea nerves. This can be recurrent and take months or years to resolve with episodes of pain, often accompanied by the eyes watering. Fortunately, Laser PTK has a 90% success rate in treating this condition.
An eye disease in which there is a swelling in the central part of the retina (the macula), causing vision impairment and even blindness. Most frequently caused by high blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
A serious complication of diabetes that damages the blood vessels inside the retina. High blood sugar levels and blood pressure cause these vessels (capillaries) to leak or be blocked. Often hard to detect and can cause blindness unless treated. Click here to read more.
Also known as Ptosis, in childhood this may be a cause of amblyopia if the eyelid covers the pupil. Can be resolved by surgery. In an older person, it can occur with weakening of the eyelid muscles and the lid can be surgically lifted as a day procedure under local anaesthesia. Ptosis needs to be separated from excess eyelid skin, which is often a cosmetic issue, addressed by skin reduction procedures. These are more effective for upper eyelids. If the excess skin interferes with vision a Medicare and health fund rebate may be obtained.
A disease caused as a response to changes in the vitreous humor (the gel inside the eyeball). A thin sheet of fibrous tissue can develop on the macula area of the retina. Symptoms include distorted vision. Treatment ranges from a vitrectomy to laser retinal surgery. Click here to read more.
A form of strabismus, or ‘squint’, in which both eyes turn inward – a condition that can be constant or intermittent. This misalignment can limit the brain’s ability to see three-dimensional objects. There are several forms of esotropia, and all typically affect infants and young children.
This is when the eyes are deviated outward – the opposite of esotropia. However, it causes similar issues in that misalignment of the eyes can affect signals to the brain and prevent clear vision of a single image. Usually occurs in infants or children, however, it can also develop in adults who have poor vision in one eye.
These are specks that people commonly detect in front of their eyes. They are tiny specs of debris floating through the vitreous fluid of the eyeball. If new and especially if associated with flashing lights, urgent review by an ophthalmologist is recommended as these may be a sign of retinal detachment. To find out more about floaters, click here.