Eye Health .
Vision is one of our key senses and the most important means by which we interact with the world around us. It is not until we actually think about it that we realise just how much we take our eyes for granted. The health of the eye can also be affected by our general health and certain medications. Conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can be picked up during a routine eye examination.
In order to maintain our vision at as high a level as possible, for as long as possible regular eye examinations are recommended. They will detect early problems so that action can be taken or advice followed to minimise the risk of damage. Wearing good quality glasses will reduce the chances of strain and allow clear comfortable vision. In the end however it is our genes and lifestyle which will have the biggest bearing on how well our vision is maintained into old age.
In terms of lifestyle choices a diet with lots of fruit and vegetables is the number one best decision anyone can make for their eyesight. Smoking is the number one harmful thing people can do for their eyesight. Protection from UV light exposure when outdoors is advisable.
Common eye conditions.
Cataracts happen when the lens of the eye loses its clarity and begins to cloud over and is most commonly caused by age. It leads to a gradual decline in vision. One of the most common and successful operations carried out in the UK is for cataracts. Providing the back of the eye is still healthy, a cataract operation will return the vision to its pre-cataract levels.
Glaucoma is related to the pressure inside the eyes. It causes loss of our side vision but if unchecked it may lead to central vision being lost too. In its early stages glaucoma has no symptoms and the eyes may feel fine. Treatment in many cases is simply daily use of eye drops. However any damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible so early detection is vital.
Macular degeneration causes our central vision to deteriorate. In the UK it is the number one cause of blind registration in the over 55 age group. It has two forms Dry and Wet. The Dry type is by far the most common and causes a normally slow drop in the vision over a long period of time. It is usually referred to by eye specialists as "wear & tear at the back of the eyes". As yet there is no medical treatment available for it. On the other hand the Wet type, although rare, causes a very sudden drop or distortion of vision. In recent years treatment for this has become available but needs to be started quickly before the vision has deteriorated too badly.
At Brian Michie OPTICIANS all of the conditions above are examined for regardless of whether there is a family history of them being present or not. If discovered they can be monitored and if it is necessary onward referral to a hospital will be arranged.