Eye Problems

Short Sightedness (Myopia)

This occurs when light focuses in front of the retina and causes a blur in the distance. It often develops during the early teenage years and is often noticed when the blackboard becomes difficult to read.
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Long Sightedness (Hypermetropia)

This occurs when the eye naturally can't focus light onto the retina and its point of focus is behind the retina. Most young children are longsighted but often grow out of it. Headaches after concentrated work are often a sign that someone is long sighted and may benefit from glasses.
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Presbyopia (Ageing Eye)

As we become older the eye loses its range over which it can focus. This is due to many normal factors but the main problem is the thickening and hardening of the lens inside the eye. The classic sign of this process taking place is having to hold the newspaper further away and usually occurs in the mid to late 40's.
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Astigmatism

This occurs when the front of the eye is shaped more like a rugby ball rather than a football. People who suffer from this type of refractive error may screw up their eyes or be sensitive to light.
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Dry Eyes

What is Dry Eyes?
Dry Eye is a group of conditions with a variety of causes that affects millions of people. It may result when the eyes produce too little tear fluid, or when tears evaporate from the surface of the eye too rapidly.

If you experience one or any combination of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from a medical condition known as Dry Eye:

  • Dryness of the eye
  • Mucous discharge
  • Redness
  • Sandy or gritty feeling
  • Itching
  • Burning & Stinging
  • Constant or occasional tearing
  • Watery eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye pain or soreness
  • Lid infections
  • Sties
  • Tired eyes
  • Contact lens discomfort
  • Contact lens solution sensitivity

Visual Examples:

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Anterior Blepharitis

Causes of dry eye

  • Decreased tear production is particularly common in older adults, especially women. Some diseases, such as arthritis, can also lead to decreased tear production; and many medications can cause this as a side effect. Long term contact lens wear, certain infections, and certain types of surgery can decrease tear production as well.
  • Increased tear evaporation most commonly results from a dysfunction, inflammation or infection within the eyelid margin.
  • Environmental conditions such as heating, air conditioning, and wind, and activities that decrease blink rate, such as driving, watching TV, or reading, all increase tear evaporation as well.

In all these dry-eye conditions the normal tear fluid loses water and becomes more concentrated. As a result of this the tears pull water out of the surface of the eye, causing the dry-eye symptoms. These usually worsen as the day goes on.

Ironically, the tear producing glands sometimes react to the dry, scratchy feeling by watering more than ever. But these “reflex tears" do not relieve the dryness as they lack some of the natural components that are essential to lubricate the cornea properly.

Diagnosing Dry Eye Syndrome
At Jonathan Partridge Optometrists we may use a combination of several methods to determine whether you have Dry Eye.

Eye Drops
A few drops containing dye in each eye will help your optometrist check for any dry spots or areas where the cornea has become damaged by dehydration. Using a microscope he can evaluate both the quality and the quantity of your tears.

Schirmer Test
This simple, painless test assesses tear volume. By placing the tip of a specially treated strip of paper in the lower lid of your eye, your Optometrist is able to measure the amount of tears your eye produces in a given period.

Treatments
There are a variety of treatments that can alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes.

Lid Hygiene
In some case it is necessary to actually clean the eyelid margins, possibly morning and night. We will suggest using some ready prepared wipes or may suggest you making up your own solution every morning.

Artificial Tears
For patients with less severe dry eye symptoms, artificial tears can often offer immediate relief.

These may be in the form of liquid drops such as Hypromellose or as a gel type liquid such as Viscotears. Many people prefer the gel type products as they give relief for longer periods of time.

In some instances it may be necessary to use a very viscous type product such as Lacrilube, as this causes blurring of the vision it is only recommended for night time use.

Long-term Relief with Punctal Plugs
For some patients with more severe cases of dry eye who have not benefited from using artificial tears it may be necessary to close their tear ducts temporarily or in some cases permanently.

This long-term solution allows patients to use their own natural tears to treat their condition.

A simple non-surgical procedure allows the Optometrist to insert a tiny plug (Dissolvable or non~ dissolvable) into your tear drainage ducts (Puncta). Here they act as a dam allowing your own tears to build up on the surface of your eye.

There are a number of reasons why punctal plugs have become the most popular method of treating dry eye. They have a very high rate of success; and the optometrist can insert them easily and painlessly. If too much tearing is produced then they can easily be removed.

Dry Eye Treatments
Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of diseases affecting the optic nerve. The optic nerve carries images from the retina to the brain so that we can see. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the world, especially in older people. Early detection and treatment are the keys to preventing optic nerve damage and blindness from glaucoma. During the examination you will be offered the opportunity to have an OCT scan that accurately measures the optic nerve and compares any changes at your next visit. It is also important to tell us at any time if a close family member is diagnosed with glaucoma as this puts you at an increased risk of developing it.

In some types of glaucoma, increased pressure inside the eye affects the delicate tissues of the optic nerve. Glaucoma can damage nerve fibres, causing blind spots to develop. Often people don’t notice these blind areas until considerable optic nerve damage has already occurred. If the entire nerve is destroyed, blindness results.
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Macular Degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration?
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that is the leading cause of vision loss in our senior population. This disease impairs central vision. People who are affected by AMD have problems reading, driving and performing activities that require clear central vision. Currently, there are no treatments for the majority of people who are affected. Macular degeneration causes damage to the macula of the eye. The macula is a small area at the back of the eye that allows us to see fine details clearly. Macular degeneration makes close work like threading a needle or reading a book difficult or impossible. When the macula doesn’t function correctly, we experience bluntness or darkness in the centre of our vision. Although macular degeneration reduces vision in the central part of the retina, it does not affect peripheral vision. For example, you could see a clock but not be able to tell what time it is. Macular degeneration alone does not result in total blindness. Most people continue to have some useful vision and are able to live independently.

There are two types of macular degeneration:

1. The Dry Type - This is the most common form. In this type of macula degeneration, the delicate tissues of the macula become thinned and slowly lose function.

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2. The Wet Type - This is less common, but is typically more damaging. The wet type of macula degeneration is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels behind the macula. The abnormal blood vessels tend to haemorrhage or leak, resulting in the formation of scar tissue. In some instances, the dry stage of macula degeneration can turn into the wet stage.

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Will I go blind ?
No, it is only the very central area that becomes affected so you still maintain your peripheral vision, which enables you to get about. Tasks like reading and television can often be improved with low visual aids and Jonathan conducts clinics to provide these, funded by the Welsh Government.

Eye Health Supplements
Food supplements containing key ingredients, known to help maintain eye health, can be beneficial in helping prevent degeneration.

Nutrol Total Supplement