Common Eye Conditions

Outlook Eye Specialists provide personal and individualised care in the treatment of eye conditions to achieve the best possible outcome for each patient. We do this by recognising the importance of having specialised staff, embracing the very best of technology, implementing new techniques in the advancement of treating eye conditions and working with our referrers in delivering care to our patients.

ALLERGIC EYE DISEASE

This incorporates a broad spectrum of disease of varying severity.  The types include: (i)    Allergic Conjunctivitis Most common type Caused by airborne allergens.  E.g. Pollen, Rye, Grass Worse in warmer months (ii)    Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis Affects males more Tends to occur in younger age group and can improve as child gets older (iii)    Atopic Keratoconjunctivitis Atopy...

BLEPHARITIS

Blepharitis literally means “inflammation of the eyelid margins”.  It is a very common condition and can lead to various eye symptoms.  If often reflects the patient’s underlying skin condition. Cause: Seborrhoea:  This skin condition is similar to “dandruff”.  The lid margin particularly at the lash margins are covered by “crust and scale”. Skin infections:  Skin...

BRANCH RETINAL VEIN OCCLUSION

Intro:

This literally means a blockage of a major vein of the retina. This can lead to:

  1. Leakage of blood and fluid into the retina. Vision is reduced if the macula is involved.
  2. Disrupted blood supply (“Ischaemia”) to the macula
  3. If Ischaemia is widespread, it can lead to growth of small fragile retinal blood vessels to overcome the lack of oxygen. These can bleed into the eye leading to floaters and reduced vision.

Symptoms:

– Blurred or reduced vision

CENTRAL RETINAL VEIN OCCLUSION

This literally means a blockage of the major vein of the eye.

This leads to leakage of blood and fluid into the retina. If this involves the macula, then vision is
reduced.

In severe cases, blood flow supplying the retina is compromised (“ISCHAEMIA”).

CENTRAL SEROUS RETINOPATHY

Introduction: This condition leads to the build up of fluid at the macula. It typically affects young males.  Males outnumber females by a ratio of 10:1.  In females, pregnancy is a risk factor for this occurring.   Symptoms: (1)  Blurry vision (2)  “Patch” in central vision: This can be in various shapes reflecting shape of...

DIABETES AND THE EYE

Introduction:

Diabetes is now recognised as a chronic condition affecting multiple organs including the Eye. The 2 common types are:

Type I:
  • – Early onset
  • – Requiring Insulin immediately
Type II:
  • – Adult onset
  • – Usually require medication initially but may require insulin
  • – More common variety
    The incidence of diabetes is expected to double in the near future.

DIET & SUPPLEMENTS IN AGE RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION

Several population studies have shown a probable benefit from certain dietary food groups in helping to protect the macula from the effects of ageing. These food groups include:

  1. Dark green leafy vegetables: eg: kale, spinach, broccoli, coloured greens. This food group is rich in Lutein which is part of macular pigment.
  2. Coloured vegetables: eg: yellow capsicum, corn, tangerines, pumpkin. This group is rich in Zeaxanthine which is also a macular pigment.
  3. Cold water oily fish: eg: salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel. This food group is rich in the Omega 3 fatty acids which is important for nerve function. It is recommended that there may be 2-3 servings of fish per week.
  4. Nuts: eg. Walnuts – this food group is rich in antioxidants.

DRY EYE

This is an extremely common eye condition.  Often it coexists with blepharitis. Predisposing Causes: (1)  Menopause/Age:  Hormonal changes can reduce tear production particularly in women. (2)  Drugs: Some medications.  e.g. antidepressants can reduce tear production (3)  Immune System Disease: The most common conditions leading to this include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus. (4)  Increased Exposure: Drying conditions...

EPIRETINAL MEMBRANE

This condition occurs when a fine layer of scar tissue grows on the inner surface of the macula.  Over time the scar tissue can contract leading to reduced vision and distortion. Causes: Idiopathic:  This is most common and means no predisposing factor. Inflammatory eye conditions (Uveitis) Intraocular bleeding Laser treatment Symptoms: Distortion:  Here lines appear...

FLASHES & FLOATERS

This is a common complaint in patients.

Cause: The cavity of the eye is filled with a jelly like material called the vitreous. During the ageing process this material liquifies and shrinks and eventually collapses like scaffolding in the cavity of the eye.

GLAUCOMA

This is an eye condition where the pressure of the eyeball is too high (akin to a ball that has been pumped too hard). This increased pressure can damage the optic nerve which leads
to gradual loss of vision. The peripheral vision is lost first but left untreated central vision becomes affected. The patient develops “tunnel vision”. In the majority of cases, there are
no symptoms which is why it is sometimes referred to as the “thief of the night”.

  1. Open Angle Glaucoma: most common variety
  2. Closed angle Glaucoma: less common but potentially blinding rapidly – treatment involves laser.

MACULAR HOLE

The macula is the part of the retina that allows fine detail vision.  It corresponds to the centre of your visual field. A macular hole can develop leading to reduced vision. Causes: Idiopathic:  This means no predisposing cause and is the most common scenario. Trauma Sungazing Severe myopia:  extreme short-sightedness Idiopathic is by far the...