A-Z Of Eyes
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving.
AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. AMD causes no pain. It is often classified into ‘dry' and ‘wet' variants.
Dry AMD often advances so slowly that people notice little change in their vision. Wet AMD may cause sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes. Distortion of central vision can be an early indicator of ‘wet' AMD and should prompt one to seek early advise from an eye specialist. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in people 60 years of age and older.
Astigmatism may accompany farsightedness or nearsightedness. Usually it is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea (called corneal astigmatism). But sometimes lenticular astigmatism results from an irregularly shaped lens, which is located behind the cornea. Either kind of astigmatism can usually be corrected with refractive surgery.
Bloodshot-eye, also called conjunctivitis, is the redness or irritation of the membranes (conjunctivae) on the inner part of the eyelids and the membranes covering the whites of the eyes. These membranes react to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, allergy-provoking agents, irritants and toxic agents. Viral and bacterial forms of conjunctivitis are common in childhood. The leading cause of a red eye is virus infection. Most forms of infective conjunctivitis are self-limiting and do not require treatment but topical antibiotics are commonly used if there is a significant amount of purulent exudate (pus).
Cataracts occur when the natural clear lens inside the eye, starts to become opaque over time. The lens is focuses light onto the back of the eye (the retina). As the lens becomes cloudy the image on the retina becomes degraded and reduced in clarity. Cataracts usually occur very gradually as a normal part of aging. They commonly affect both eyes but are often asymmetrical and it is not uncommon for a cataract in one eye to advance much more rapidly. Cataracts are very common, affecting a high percentage of people over the age of 60
Dry Eye. Causes symptoms of dryness, scratching and burning in your eyes and can cause redness in the conjunctiva and lids. Some people also experience a "foreign body sensation," the feeling that something is in the eye. And it may seem odd, but sometimes watery eyes can result from dry eye syndrome, because the excessive dryness works to over stimulate production of the watery component of your eye's tears.
These symptoms alone may be enough for your eye doctor to diagnose dry eye syndrome.
Sometimes your doctor may want to measure the amount of tears in your eyes using a thin strip of filter paper placed at the edge of the eye, called a Schirmer test. Other measurements entail looking at the quality of your tear film with special dyes placed onto the ocular surface. These can be yellow or green dyes or both. Afterwards your tears may appear that colour for several minutes until the dye is washed out.
Entropion. An abnormal turning in of an eyelid, which causes the lashes to rub on the ocular surface; usually due to aging where the lid becomes lax and more mobile. Additional symptoms include eye or lid pain or discomfort, foreign body sensation, a red or pink eye, itching, tearing and vision loss. This usually requires a simple operation to correct.
Ectropion. An abnormal turning out of an eyelid, typically the lower one, which exposes the inner, conjunctival side of the eyelid; usually due to aging which causes laxity of the horizontal ligaments. Additional symptoms include eye or lid pain or discomfort, a red or pink eye or eyelid and overflow tearing. This condition can be treated by surgery where the lower lid is tightened- this is a similar treatment to that done for cosmetic surgery.
Foreign body. Something in or on the eye (from a finger to a piece of steel) that doesn't belong there. Symptoms include pain, foreign body sensation, or discomfort, a red or pink eye, tearing, frequent blinking, blurred vision, discharge, light sensitivity and vision loss. It is very important when an eye specialist is examining the eye to evert the upper eyelid to find the ‘hidden' foreign body.
Fuchs corneal endothelial dystrophy (FED), Fuchs Hetereochromic Cyclitis (FHC)- these are other complex eye conditions with large words! - FED is a cause of corneal failure requiring corneal grafting. FHC is a cause of chronic inflammation within the eye sometimes difficult to manage.
Glaucoma. A disease usually associated with elevated intraocular pressure, which causes optic nerve damage and subsequent peripheral vision loss. The disease is characterized by a slow progressive change to the optic nerve and because of its insidious nature most people do not realize damage is occurring until late in the disease process. This is the reason why patients should be seen and assessed recurrently by their eye specialist. Other forms of glaucoma (e.g., closed-angle glaucoma) may have additional symptoms such as eye pain, a pupil that doesn't respond to light, redness, nausea and a bulging eye.
Halos around lights. This is one of several symptoms of cataracts as well as blurred vision, glare or a cloudy spot in your vision. Similar symptoms are common early after laser surgery but usually clear fairly quickly
Iridocyclitis. This is inflammation within the eye affecting the iris and ciliary body and usually requires treatment with topical steroids.
Iris. The iris is divided into two major regions:
The capillary zone is the inner region whose edge forms the boundary of the pupil. The ciliary zone is the rest of the iris that extends to its origin at the ciliary body. The collarette is the region of the iris separating the pupillary portion from the ciliary portion. It is typically defined as the region where the sphincter muscle and dilator muscle overlap.
Keratoconus is an uncommon condition in which the cornea (the clear front window of the eye) becomes thin and protrudes. Keratoconus literally means a cone-shaped cornea. This abnormal shape can cause serious distortion of vision. LaserVision Eye Clinic specializes in managing this condition using the most modern treatments such as crosslinking, INTACs, lamellar corneal surgery, automated lamellar corneal surgery combined with posterior lamellar repositioning. Please contact the clinic for further information.
'Lazy eye' (Amblyopia) Undeveloped central vision in one eye that leads to the use of the other eye as the dominant eye. Strabismus is the leading cause, followed by anisometropia. There are no symptoms. The patient may be found squinting and closing one eye to see; there may be unrecognized blurred vision in one eye and vision loss
Myopia. Also called nearsightedness. Condition in which the length of the eye is too long, causing light rays to focus in front of the retina rather than on it, resulting in blurred distance vision. Additional symptoms include eyestrain, poor night vision and squinting.
Night vision problem (retinitis pigmentosa). Usually inherited condition characterized by progressive degeneration of the retina, resulting in night blindness and decreased peripheral vision
Pupil. The pupil is the sphere that is located in the center of the iris of the eye and that controls the amount of light that enters the eye. It appears black because most of the light entering the pupil is absorbed by the tissues inside the eye. The pupil gets wider in the dark but narrower in light.
Retina. The retina is a layer of tissue in the back of your eye that senses light and sends images to your brain. In the center of this nerve tissue is the macula. It provides the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving and seeing fine detail.
Retinal disorders affect this vital tissue. They can affect your vision, and some can be serious enough to cause blindness. Examples are
Retinal detachment - a medical emergency, when the retina is pulled away from the back of the eye
Macular pucker - scar tissue on the macula
Macular hole - a small break in the macula that usually happens to people over 60
Floaters - cobwebs or specks in your field of vision
Squint (Strabismus) is a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned with each other. It typically involves a lack of coordination between the extraocular muscles that prevents bringing the gaze of each eye to the same point in space and preventing proper binocular vision, which may adversely affect depth perception. Strabismus can be either a disorder of the brain coordinating the eyes or a disorder of one or more muscles, as in any process that causes a dysfunction of the usual direction and power of the muscle or muscles.
Tunnel vision is the loss of peripheral vision with retention of central vision, resulting in a constricted circular tunnel-like field of vision.
Tunnel vision can be caused by:
Conditions which affect the peripheral retina or affect the optic nerve.
Blood Loss- this can cause infarction of the optic nerve
Alcohol abuse can cause tunnel vision. In addition, the vision becomes blurred or double since eye muscles lose their precision causing them to be unable to focus on the same object.
Retinitis pigmentosa, a disease of the eye.
Glaucoma, a disease of the eye.
Vitreous hemorrhage. Bleeding that goes into the vitreous from nearby parts of the eye, such as from leaking retinal blood vessels. Causes include diabetic retinopathy, trauma, a retinal detachment or tear, vitreous detachment and retinal vascular occlusion (blockage in the retina's vascular system). Symptoms include sudden blurring or loss of vision, and new floaters. The LaserVision eye clinic specializes in treating retinal conditions either by surgically managing retinal detachments or using modern injected medications such as blockers of the growth factor VEGF.
White dot syndromes. There are many differing causes of ‘white dot' inflammation in the eye. These syndromes are often associated with blurring of vision or even dots within the vision. Often they have no readily identifiable cause but a name is still given to the problem as it can help better explain the prognosis. The conditions are often attributed by ophthalmologists to post viral syndromes. The eye can only respond to a problem in a certain manner so various differing causes of the inflammation may all look the same when the eyes are examined.
Yellow eyes. Yellow coloring in the skin and eyes caused by high levels of a pigment called bilirubin. Jaundice is associated with a variety of conditions involving the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts, including hepatitis and cirrhosis. A small amount of yellow discoloration can also occur in the elderly adjacent to the extraocular muscles of the eye. This is due to aging and degeneration of collagen within the sclera or ‘white of the eye'.
Zigzag in vision is a common association with migraine headaches it usually occurs only transiently and then clears. An ophthalmologist will usually dilate the pupils and assess the retinal periphery to ensure that there are no retinal tears which can mimic the phenomena by causing flashing lights.
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Mr. John Fenton, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
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