Common Eye Diseases

Dr Brad Bowling

Eye Surgeon

Cataract

cataract is a clouding of part of your eye called the lens. The lens in the eye works like the lens in a camera, focusing light on the ‘retina’, the layer at the back of the eye corresponding to the film in a camera. Your vision becomes blurred because the cataract is like frosted glass, interfering with your sight. The only treatment for cataract is an operation to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a plastic lens. Diets or drugs, including eye drops, have not been shown to slow or stop the development of cataract.

 

Glaucoma

The inside of the eye receives nourishment from a clear fluid circulation. If the drainage of this fluid stops working properly, intraocular pressure can rise and lead to glaucoma, a disease in which the nerve at the back of the eye (the ‘optic nerve’) develops progressive damage that can lead to loss of sight. In most patients, damage from glaucoma affects the peripheral (outer) part of the field of vision in the early stages; a patient therefore typically does not notice any problems until the condition is advanced, when effective treatment is usually more difficult.

 

Macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common reason for legal blindness in the developed world. It may be divided into a more slowly progressive 'dry' form and a more aggressive 'wet' form. Both affect primarily the centre of the field of vision, so interfere particularly with reading. Until relatively recently, there was no effective treatment for most cases of wet AMD, but ocular injections (usually pain-free!) now give improved or stable sight for many patients.

 

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the retina - the inner lining of the eye that acts like the film in a camera - is compromised due to blood vessel occlusion and leakage. It is often detected before the onset of symptoms during a routine eye examination, but can cause severe loss of sight in advanced cases and must not be neglected. Good blood sugar control is important in reducing the progression of retinopathy, but a variety of well-established and newer ocular treatment methods are available.