FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Short-sightedness / Myopia
A distance object appeared to be blurred and out of focus while near vision is clear. It causes difficulty with reading number plates on cars, watching television or recognising a person’s face from a distance. Myopia is frequently genetically inherited from a parent and develops in the teenage years or early twenties. Degrees can range from occasional use of spectacles or complete dependence on glasses/contact lenses.
Near objects or reading material is blurred while distance targets are clear. Frequently results in eyestrain and headaches after near work or computer use. Degrees can range from occasional use of spectacles or complete dependency on glasses/contact lenses.
Astigmatism is commonly known as “rugby ball shaped eyes”. Astigmatism refers to the cornea being more oval-shaped than round. Due to the irregular surface, light rays are distorted instead of being focused in an orderly manner on the retina. It results in a difficulty recognising detail or differentiating between similar letters or numbers. For example, having difficulty to distinguish between an “E” and a “B”, or “3” and “8”. Uncorrected Astigmatism can result in eyestrain and headaches.
Presbyopia is when the lens in the eye becomes more rigid/ less elastic with age, resulting in an inability to focus a near object or reading material. It develops gradually from the age of 40-years. During this period deterioration in distance vision can also be seen due to the eyes decreased ability to compensate for “hidden” refractive errors. Presbyopia can be corrected with reading glasses, bifocal or multifocal spectacles.
A cataract refers to the lens in your eye that gradually becomes yellow & milky, which affect how clear you are able to see. Cataracts can develop due to numerous reasons, including but not limited to: increased age, genetic inheritance, Diabetes, use of certain medication and injuries to the eye. Cataracts are corrected with a lens replacement performed by an eye specialist.
Glaucoma is when the pressure on the inside of the eyeball increases due to increased production of the eye fluid or blockage of the draining mechanism. The exact cause is unknown. Glaucoma is more common in patients over the age of 40, but can be sooner especially if there is a strong family history of the condition. There are various medications available by which eye specialists manage the condition. We screen for Glaucoma with every eye test and refer should it be necessary.
The macula is a small region in the centre of the retina, which enables a person to see fine detail. The macula degenerates over time because of reduced blood flow to the area. Risk factors includes old age, smoking or genetic inheritance. It causes a loss of central vision, while the peripheral sight stays intact. The degree of macular vision loss can range from very mild to severe, depending on what type of macular degeneration present. It is wise to consult an eye specialist should you notice deterioration in your central vision, straight lines appear distorted or wavy or you have a strong genetic background for macular degeneration.
Floaters are small particles that float in the jelly at the back of your eye and are seen as little black spots or cobwebs in your visual field. Most floaters are harmless and quite common. Do consult an optometrist if you have a sudden onset of numerous floaters or your floaters are accompanied by a flashing light (small “lightning bolts”), especially if you are short-sighted. Floaters normally don’t require treatment and will resolve on its own.