Eye Care

You are only born with one set of eyes in your life time so it is important to take care of them. Here is some information to help you along the way.

Have a regular eye examination

You may feel your vision is fine but there is more to an eye examination than just checking your vision. It is also checking the health of your eyes. You can find out many different things with an eye examination e.g. Cataracts, AMD (Age Related Macular Degeneration ), Diabetes the list goes on. It is recommended to have an eye examination every two years unless you are advised otherwise.

Family History

Ask a family Member about any eye diseases or conditions that may have as they may be hereditary and this will be helpful for your optician to have on your file.

Eating Right

It is so simple to eat for your eye health by maintaining a healthy well balanced diet; limit your intake of fats, eat fish two to three times a week, dark green leafy vegetables and fresh fruit daily plus a handful of nuts weekly. Preferred ingredients for eye health include salmon, which is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and lutein rich spinach. Both omega 3 fatty acids and lutein are important for good eye health. But less about the big words and more about the cooking.

Hygiene

Clean your hands regular to stop the spread of infections .

What is Cataracts

The lens of the eye is usually clear but through the natural aging process the lens becomes cloudy. When this happens this is called a cataract.

Usually the light passes through the lens and is focused on the retina (Back of the Eye). However when a cataract develops it blocks light trying to pass through the lens and causes blurred vision.

A Cataract can occur in one or both eyes.

Treatment

Cataract can be treated by removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. This is a simple painless procedure. Cataracts must mature before they are removed so you will need to be monitored by your optician for a period of time.

If you have any concerns about cataracts you can contact Munnelly Opticians on 0906496001.

What is AMD?

AMD affects the back of the eye which is responsible for central vision and allows you to see detail. People living with the condition will often notice a blank patch or dark spot in the center of their sight. This makes activities like reading, writing, and recognizing small objects or faces very difficult. AMD usually starts in one eye and is likely to affect the other eye at any other stage. There are two types of AMD Dry and Wet. There are currently no proven treatments for dry AMD which is the most common form and in many cases people with Wet AMD do not seek medical attention early enough for the treatment to be effective.

Slightly Blurred Vision is the most common symptom of AMD. Wavy lines or blind spot in the center of the field of vision are other symptoms. Although you might not notice any changes in your vision an eye exam will assess not only your need for spectacles but also what is going on at the back of your eye.

While Wet AMD cannot necessarily be prevented there is treatment available and its onset can be delayed by making some lifestyle changes and having a regular eye exam.

  • Stop Smoking Straight away to lessen your chances of developing AMD
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables
  • See your optician Immediately if you notice any changes in your vision
  • Have a thorough eye exam every two years.

Glaucoma

what is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma affects a large percentage of the population.

There are two types of Glaucoma

Chronic and Acute

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which result in damage to the optic nerve and vision loss.[1] The most common type is open-angle glaucoma with less common types including closed-angle glaucoma and normal-tension glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma develops slowly over time and there is no pain. Side vision may begin to decrease followed by central vision resulting in blindness if not treated.[1] Closed-angle glaucoma can present gradually or suddenly.[2] The sudden presentation may involve severe eye pain, blurred vision, mid-dilated pupil, redness of the eye, and nausea.[1][2] Vision loss from glaucoma, once it has occurred, is permanent.[1]

Chronic Glaucoma

In most cases the pressure in the eye builds up gradually over time so often there are no symptoms. However on routine eye examination the pressures will read high. The back of the eye will only be affected if left untreated so after a few measurements of the eye pressures the patient is put on eye drops (For Life) to prevent any further problems. In some cases the pressures can be normal but signs will be visible to your optometrist at the back of the eye. Therefore you should have your eyes checked regular.

Acute Glaucoma

The pressure in the eye suddenly builds up and can often be associated with underlying conditions including long standing diabetes. As a result the patient experiences “Severe pain and Redness in one or both eyes” . As the name suggests this type of glaucoma has a sudden onset and needs to be treated within a few hours of symptoms.

Flashers and Floaters

What are Floaters?

Floaters are little “cobwebs” or specks that float about in your field of vision. They are small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like spots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines. They move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly. They do not follow your eye movements precisely, and usually drift when your eyes stop moving.

Most people have floaters and learn to ignore them; they are usually not noticed until they become numerous or more prominent. Floaters can become apparent when looking at something bright, such as white paper or a blue sky.

Frequently Asked Questions about Floaters

Floaters and Retinal Detachment

Sometimes a section of the vitreous pulls the fine fibers away from the retina all at once, rather than gradually, causing many new floaters to appear suddenly. This is called a vitreous detachment, which in most cases is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment.

However, a sudden increase in floaters, possibly accompanied by light flashes or peripheral (side) vision loss, could indicate a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment occurs when any part of the retina, the eye’s light-sensitive tissue, is lifted or pulled from its normal position at the back wall of the eye.

A retinal detachment is a serious condition and should always be considered an emergency. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent visual impairment within two or three days or even blindness in the eye.

Those who experience a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light in peripheral vision, or a loss of peripheral vision should have an eye care professional examine their eyes as soon as possible.

Causes and Risk Factors

What causes floaters?
Floaters occur when the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills about 80 percent of the eye and helps it maintain a round shape, slowly shrinks.

As the vitreous shrinks, it becomes somewhat stringy, and the strands can cast tiny shadows on the retina. These are floaters.

In most cases, floaters are part of the natural aging process and simply an annoyance. They can be distracting at first, but eventually tend to “settle” at the bottom of the eye, becoming less bothersome. They usually settle below the line of sight and do not go away completely.

However, there are other, more serious causes of floaters, including infection, inflammation (uveitis), hemorrhaging, retinal tears, and injury to the eye.

Who is at risk for floaters?

Floaters are more likely to develop as we age and are more common in people who are very nearsighted, have diabetes, or who have had a cataract operation.

Symptoms and Detection

Floaters are little “cobwebs” or specks that float about in your field of vision. They are small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like spots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines. They move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly. They do not follow your eye movements precisely, and usually drift when your eyes stop moving.

Treatment

How are floaters treated?

For people who have floaters that are simply annoying, no treatment is recommended.

On rare occasions, floaters can be so dense and numerous that they significantly affect vision. In these cases, a vitrectomy, a surgical procedure that removes floaters from the vitreous, may be needed.

A vitrectomy removes the vitreous gel, along with its floating debris, from the eye. The vitreous is replaced with a salt solution. Because the vitreous is mostly water, you will not notice any change between the salt solution and the original vitreous.

This operation carries significant risks to sight because of possible complications, which include retinal detachment, retinal tears, and cataract. Most eye surgeons are reluctant to recommend this surgery unless the floaters seriously interfere with vision.