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Common Eye Problems

Blurred vision or ocular discomfort can be caused by many things. Sometimes the solution is as simple as a pair of glasses. Other times drops may be needed to make the eyes more comfortable. Some eye conditions require a visit to an ophthalmologist for further management. The optometrist will be able suggest the most appropriate treatment after thoroughly checking for the following common eye problems.

Refractive Error

Long-sightedness (Hyperopia)

A condition that affects your ability to see up close, making tasks such as reading and writing difficult. Symptoms can include blurred vision, eye fatigue and strain, headaches and poor concentration.

Short-sightedness (Myopia)

A condition that affects your ability to see clearly in the distance. Someone with short-sightedness is likely to have blurred vision when watching or playing sport, looking at the whiteboard or smartboard at school, reading street signs and watching television.

Presbyopia (Vision over 40)

Presbyopia is the the gradual change in a person’s sight, often after the age of forty. People with this condition often have trouble reading up-close. A regular eye exam is recommended as your ability to focus declines and requires an updated lens prescription every few years.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism occurs because the eye is shaped more like a football than being spherical in shape. This causes light entering the eye to bend more towards one direction. This can cause eyestrain, fatigue, reduced concentration and discomfort and in some cases can cause image distortion.

Common Eye Conditions

Glaucoma

A disease of the optic nerve at the back of the eye, which can cause irreversible vision loss without treatment. More than half of patients with glaucoma don’t even know they have it, which is why regular eye examinations are so important. Treatment is usually in the form of drops.

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

A progressive condition affecting the macula, which is part of the retina at the back of the eye. When the macula is impaired people experience blurriness, distortion or dark spots in their central vision. Early detection is key to slowing the progression of this disease.

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy, like looking through a dirty window. Cataracts are common in older age groups, and are commonly treated with a simple operation.

Diabetic retinopathy

People with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. This occurs when diabetes causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina. If left undetected and untreated it can cause serious eye damage and even blindness. People with diabetes should have their eyes tested regularly.

Floaters

Floaters are a build up of protein cells which look like substances (black spots, spider webs etc) floating around in front of your eyes. New, larger floaters, or floaters which do not move, can indicate some emergency eye conditions, so always get your eyes checked if you notice a new floater.

Pterygium

A triangular-shaped lump of tissue which grows across the cornea. It is associated with exposure to UV radiation especially in sunny climates like here in Queensland. If indicated it can be surgically removed.

Conjunctivitis

An inflammation of the tissue around the inside of the eyelid. It can be caused by bacteria, virus or allergy. Needs to be correctly diagnosed, as incorrect treatment may worsen the problem.

Dry Eye

A very common condition in which the tear quality diminishes and fails to adequately lubricate and protect the cornea. Treatment usually involves the use of eye drops, ointments and lid hygiene. If more severe, further options are available which can be discussed with the optometrist.

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