At Ryan’s Opticians and Medical Eye Centre we have expert advice and solutions for your eye conditions. If you need a consultation please arrange an appointment today.
Looking after our eye health
Our eye sight is one of our most precious senses. By taking certain steps in our life style and having a regular eye exam with a qualified professional such as an optician or ophthalmologist will help to protect against vision loss.
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What lifestyle steps should you take to maintain health
Eat a healthy diet containing lots of fresh fruit and veg especially green leafy veg such as spinach broccoli , coloured veg such as carrots and orange peppers and oily fish such as mackerel . These foods contain lutein which is an antioxidant which protects us against aging diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts
Exercise . maintaining a healthy body weight will protect us against general diseases such as diabetes high blood pressure and that are associated with eye problems
Protect your eyes from the sun with glasses that have a uv factor and carry the CE mark
Avoid alcohol and smoking . both have a negative effect on your eye health. Did you know that smoking is the second biggest risk factor for macular degeneration after aging
What should I expect when I attend for an eye test and how often should I go?
On your first visit to our practice we will need to collect certain information about your general health , your family history and your lifestyle . This helps us to ascertain risk factors for your eye health and is obviously confidential. You should bring a list of your medications and be aware if there is a family history of eye disease.
Visual acuity. Which is our central focus vision is checked using a vision chart with letters, this can be adapted for young children, peripheral vision is then checked separately .Depending on your complaints further tests are then carried out and if glasses are indicated your prescription is determined using trial lenses. The pressure in your eye ball is measured as a screen for glaucoma. The anterior aspect of your eye ball examined with a slit lamp which is a microscope adapted for the eye and the inside of your eye examined for retinal disease with an opthalmoscope .
Adults over forty should have an eye test every 2 years . If disease is detected or there is another risk factor visits may need to be more often .
Cataracts cause a blur to come over ones eye sight. Patients describe it as a haze which causes glare in strong sunlight and headlights of cars, it may also become difficult to read in bad light. This condition usually has a gradual onset and progresses slowly. It is due to the lens in the eye which does the focusing for us becoming opaque.
Very often changing glasses prescription can be enough to restore visual acuity but surgery may be indicated if vision loss interferes with daily activities. Nowadays cataract surgery is a very safe outpatient procedure.
This is a disease where the is a build up of pressure in the inside of the eye. It is due to failure in the fluid drainage process in the eye. Damage occurs in the optic nerve. It is known as the thief of sight as it is painless, slowly progressive and often only detected when it has caused a lot of blind spots in the eye.
It can occur at any age but more common in those over forty years, those with a family history, or with a past history of eye injury or disease. It is also common with short sighted people and diabetics. It is treated with drops initially and if this fails laser or surgery may be needed.
Usually age related and occurs after 60 but may be seen early, this affects central vision used to read and see fine details. Again there is a hereditary risk. It is caused by a break down of the layers of the retina. Most macular degeneration we see is the ‘dry ‘type for which we have no treatment but it is thought that lutein in the diet protects us from this aging change. As discussed above this is found in the diet but for those most at risk or found to have the beginnings of this disease supplements can be taken on a daily basis.
Dry degeneration may progress to the more severe sight threatening ‘wet’ degeneration. Patients with this will often describe straight lines becoming crooked or humped. This can be demonstrated during an eye test using an amsler grid. It is due to a layer of blood vessels growing under the retin.
This type of macular degeneration will require hospital referral for injections and possible laser to stop the growth of blood vessels and their leaking. Outcome is variable.
Not an uncommon diagnoses when someone attends with a sudden decrease in the vision in one eye or a sudden blind spot in one eye. It is due to a blockage in an artery or vein at the back of the eye.
It is usually due to a generalised medical condition such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Recovery of vision is variable and treatment difficult.
Diabetic eye disease
Eye disease is common in diabetics. they are more prone to cataracts, and glaucoma but more particular to them is a dangerous condition of the retina caused by the damage to retina blood vessels. These blood vessels leak causing damage to the retina. Early detection is vital to outcome so regular check up are advised.
External eye disease
We see a lot of red eyes and sore eyes in our practice. These are always seen by the resident ophthalmologist. Cause is discovered by examination on the microscope.
Some are due to injury or foreign bodies which must be removed. Commonly a red sticky eye is due to an infection either viral, bacterial or allergy. A red eye may be due to a corneal disease or inflammation inside the eye called uveitis.
Corneal infections and inflammations are much more serious as they may threaten sight . Usually those suffering with corneal problems will complain of light sensitivity. Usually treatment is with eye drops and some times lid hygiene is required.
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