Myopia is also called short-sightedness. This means that you can see things up close but far away objects are hazy. It can start in preteens aged 8-10 onwards therefore it is important for all school going children to have their eyes checked yearly.
Hyperopia is also called long-sightedness. If your longsighted prescription is low, you can see everything but as you get older your ability to see near and far becomes less. A high prescription means you may need spectacles for reading at a younger age.
Astigmatism is a common eye problem. It is when your eye is more oval in shape. A lot of eyes are round in shape like a soccer ball and some are oval like a rugby ball, like in astigmatism. This means your eye distorts details both near and far.
The ability of the eyes to focus on near objects is at its best in our youth, but as we get older this is gradually lost and we need some help in the form of spectacles for reading. This normally occurs at around the age of 40.
A squint, also called strabismus, is where the eyes point in different directions. It’s particularly common in young children, but can occur at any age. One of the eyes may turn in, out, up or down while the other eye looks ahead. It can affect one eye only or can be alternating between eyes.
This is a condition in which the lens in the eye becomes progressively opaque, causing cloudy vision which looks a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged up window. Although this can happen at any age, it is more usual in older people.
The changes in the lens may cause your prescription to alter, and you may be referred to an eye specialist if the cataract worsens. They will assess your eyes and may recommend surgical removal of the lens to restore better sight.
Glaucoma is an eye disease where the pressure inside in the eye can be elevated, and can lead to damage to the optic nerve at the back of the eye. It is very important to have your pressures checked on a regular basis to ensure that they are within normal limits. Any person with a family history of glaucoma should have their eyes checked at least once a year, because if detected early enough, glaucoma can be managed successfully by an eye specialist.
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness in people who have diabetes. It affects blood vessels in the retina (the light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of your eye).
Our optometrists can often pick up the early signs of diabetic vision changes so if you have diabetes, it’s important to get a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that can blur your central vision. It happens when aging causes damage to the macula — the part of the eye that controls sharp, straight-ahead vision. The macula is part of the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye)
AMD is one of the leading causes of blindness in the western world mainly affecting people in the over 50’s age group. Changes at the back of the eye cause some loss of central detailed vision. Symptoms may include distortion of vertical or horizontal lines and it is very important that you tell your Optometrist so that they can monitor any change in your vision.
Flashes and floaters are a common sight for many people, they are both caused by the natural shrinking of the gel-like fluid in your eye (vitreous) that happens as you age. Floaters appear in your field of vision as small shapes, while flashes can look like starbursts or camera flashes. Floaters move as your eyes move. They appear to zoom away when you try to look directly at them, and drift slowly when your eyes stop moving.
Flashers/Floaters are very common and both are usually harmless.
But they can be a warning sign of trouble in the eye, especially when they suddenly appear or become more plentiful. You should contact your optometrist, who will examine your eyes and advise you, if you need further referral to an eye doctor.
Your children’s eyesight is very important! That’s why at Vision 2 we cater for all age groups, with frames to suit from babies to teenagers. Most preschool and primary school children will be assessed through the school or the health board, and parents can bring their prescription to Vision 2 for dispensing. If parents are concerned about their child’s eyesight, our optometrists can carry out an assessment in practice, but there are occasions, when drops may need to be put into their eyes to uncover the true prescription, and referral to an eye doctor may also be necessary.
Children can have shortsighted(myopia), longsighted(hyperopia) or astigmatic eyes just like adults and there also may be a squint or turn in their eyes. Their whole visual system is very flexible up until approximately 7/8 years of age; therefore, it is very important that all children be assessed early to detect any difficulty.
What Parents should watch for!
A child that sits very close to the T.V.
Covers one eye with their hand when looking at something.
An eye that turns in only when they are tired.
Holding a book very close to their eyes.
A child that squeezes their eyes up to see things in the distance.