Our eyes work hard for us every day. So it’s not surprising that sometimes things can go wrong. There are a wide range of eye conditions and they can happen for a range of different reasons – anything from the natural ageing process or daily wear and tear, to specific optical diseases.

To help you understand the different things that can happen, here’s some helpful information on some common eye conditions. If you think you may have an eye complaint, or have any specific questions or concerns, we recommend you come and see us.

Please note: The descriptions of these condition is for information, knowledge, interest and awareness and should not be used to self-diagnose. Always consult us if you have any concerns.

Myopia

Myopic means short-sighted.

A myopic person has clear vision when looking at objects close to them, but distant objects will appear blurred.

Light from a distant object forms an image in the eye too soon before it reaches the retina. This could be because the eye is too long, or the cornea or crystalline lens is too strong.

A concave, minus powered lens is placed in front of a myopic eye, moving the focus point of an image back to the retina making it appear clearer.

Hypermetropia

Hypermetropic means long-sighted (hypermetropia is often shortened to hyperopia).

Condition of the eye where rays of light reach the retina before they have converged into a focused image. This could be because the eye is too short, or the cornea or crystalline lens is not strong enough.

A long-sighted person’s close vision may be more blurred than their distance vision but both can be affected. By placing a convex, plus powered lens in front of a hypermetropic eye, the image is moved forward and focuses correctly on the retina.

Presbyopia

Condition where the eye progressively loses it’s ability to change focus between distance vision and near vision.  This typically becomes apparent when a person approaches their mid forties.  A different power lens will now be needed to correct distance vision compared to reading/near vision.  Even if a person has never needed glasses for general vision previously they will start to become presbyopic and need reading glasses at some point over the age of 40.

Someone who is presbyopic might have different strength single glasses for distance and reading or may have varifocal (progressive) specatacles or multifocal contact lenses.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is the optical term for more than one point of focus.  It occurs when the surface of the cornea (or sometimes the crystalline lens) is not spherical and is more curved in one direction than the other.  You may often hear this described as the eye being rugby ball shaped rather than football shaped, this is an exagerrated analogy and would not be noticable in the physical appearance of someone’s eye.

To correct astigmatism a toric or cylindrical lens is used (this is what the ‘cyl’ part of a prescription refers to) to correct any distortion to the person’s vision.

Astigmatism may be present as well as myopia, hyperopia or presbyopia.  Most prescriptions will show at least a small amount of astigmatism.

Cataracts

A cataract is when the crystalline lens in the eye gradually becomes cloudy and more opaque. The lens is normally clear and sits behind the iris. The lens helps focus light to produce a sharp image on to the retina at the back of the eye and changes shape to allow you to refocus. A cataract acts a bit like a frosted glass coating that scatters light, causing blurring and lack of clarity.

Cataracts are painless and usually cause a gradual worsening of sight.

Vision may become misty or hazy so that you cannot see details at a distance.

Vision may be difficult in low light and bright light may cause glare or ‘starburst’ effects.

Double vision may occur for either close or distance objects.

Colours may start to appear faded or washed out.

In theory anybody who lives long enough will eventually develop cataracts although age onset is not the only cause, for example excessive UV exposure can be one of the causes.

Please note: The descriptions of this condition is for information, knowledge, interest and awareness and should not be used to self-diagnose. Always consult us if you have any concerns.

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin layer that covers the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. It can affect one or both eyes, causing discomfort.

The causes of conjunctivitis can be bacterial, viral, allergic or from another source. The symptoms usually consist of a red eye, burning, itchiness or grittiness, discharge that sticks to the lashes and watering. It usually gets better within a fortnight without treatment. However if it doesn’t clear or the redness and pain are severe then it should be checked out by us or your GP. Conjunctivitis can be very contagious, so its important to wash hands thoroughly after touching your face and try not to share towels and face-cloths.

Please note: The descriptions of this condition is for information, knowledge, interest and awareness and should not be used to self-diagnose. Always consult us if you have any concerns.

Diabetes

Diabetes can lead to a condition called diabetic retinopathy as well as other eye problems. Diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina) is caused by complications of diabetes mellitus, which can eventually lead to blindness.

It is an ocular manifestation of systemic disease, which affects up to 80% of all patients who have had diabetes for 10 years or more. Research indicates that at least 90% of new cases could be prevented if proper treatment and monitoring of the eyes is carried out on a regular basis.

Regular sight tests can help spot the early signs of this condition. Most patients in Cheshire are automatically registered by their GP with the DRSS (Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service) and will see us once a year for a retinal photograph to detect any changes.

Please note: The descriptions of this condition is for information, knowledge, interest and awareness and should not be used to self-diagnose. Always consult us if you have any concerns.

Floaters

Most of the eye is filled with a clear, watery, jelly-like substance called the vitreous humour that helps maintain the eye’s shape. Debris within the vitreous humour casts a shadow on the retina at the back of the eye, and appears to ‘float’ in your field of vision. Floaters can appear in a variety of shapes and sizes such as dots, smoke, shadow or hairs. They are more visible against clear, pale backgrounds such as white walls or blue sky. They move when your eye moves in different directions and seem to dart away when you look at them.

Most floaters are small but larger floaters can be annoying and make activities that require higher concentration, such as reading or driving more difficult. Although the experience of floaters is very common they are also usually harmless. However they can also be caused by a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) or a detachment/tear of the retina (the light sensitive tissue inside the eye), other symptoms could be experienced such as flashing lights, coloured ‘sparkles’, temporary loss of vision, blind spots and sudden ‘showers’ of floaters or cobweb effects. If someone is experiencing any of these symptoms they should contact us by phone as a matter of urgency.

Please note: The descriptions of this condition is for information, knowledge, interest and awareness and should not be used to self-diagnose. Always consult us if you have any concerns.

Macular Degeneration

The macula is a small area in the middle of the retina with the greatest amount of light sensitive cells and is used for fine-detailed central vision. Macular degeneration is a painless disorder that can affect either eye, causing progressive loss of central and detailed vision.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the most common form, although some forms affect younger people. There are two main types of AMD, referred to as ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. This is not a description of how the eye feels, but of whether leaking blood vessels are involved. Dry AMD accounts for 90% of cases, with 10% being Wet AMD.

Wet AMD can cause a sudden onset of symptoms over days, resulting from a build up of fluid under the retina. Always contact us as soon as you can if you experience a sudden change or distortion in your vision. Dry AMD progresses slowly over a number of years and the symptoms will onset gradually and includes blurred or absent central vision.

Please note: The descriptions of this condition is for information, knowledge, interest and awareness and should not be used to self-diagnose. Always consult us if you have any concerns.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterised by damage to the optic nerve usually due to excessively high intraocular pressure (IOP). This increased pressure within the eye, if untreated can lead to optic nerve damage resulting in progressive, permanent vision loss, starting with unnoticeable blind spots at the edges of the field of vision, progressing to tunnel vision, and then to blindness.

Please note: The descriptions of this condition is for information, knowledge, interest and awareness and should not be used to self-diagnose. Always consult us if you have any concerns.

Blepharitis

Inflammation of the eyelids. Blepharitis occurs in two forms, anterior and posterior. Anterior blepharitis affects the outside front of the eyelid, where the eyelashes are attached. The two most common causes of anterior blepharitis are bacteria and scalp dandruff. Posterior blepharitis affects the inner eyelid (the moist part that makes contact with the eye) and is caused by problems with the oil (meibomian) glands in this part of the eyelid. Two skin disorders can cause this form of blepharitis: rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis.

Please note: The descriptions of this condition is for information, knowledge, interest and awareness and should not be used to self-diagnose. Always consult us if you have any concerns.

Book Now

We believe that eye exams should be relaxing affairs and choosing frames should be enjoyable and even exciting, do call in and see for yourself

To book an appointment call
Chester 01244 315112