Dempster Optometrists / Frequently asked Questions

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease of the eye which can occur usually in later life. It affects the optic nerve and if it progresses without treatment can result in blindness. It is associated with abnormally high pressure in the eye but can occur even if the pressure inside the eye is normal. When it occurs suddenly, it is extremely painful and emergency treatment is necessary. More often it is a slow but relentless progression which only becomes noticeable after the damage has been done. Once the damage has occurred it cannot be repaired so it is important to detect glaucoma as early as possible so that treatment can begin. So for this reason, even if you have not noticed any problems, it is important to have your eyes examined regularly and yearly if you are over 40 and have a family history of glaucoma.

 

What is Cataract?

Cataract occurs when the natural lens in the eye becomes hazy or even opaque. Clear vision requires light to be focussed on the retina which is the sensory layer the back of the eye. When the light is reduced or blocked by a cataract the vision will be dimmed or even absent. Some degree of cataract occurs in most people with advancing years and if necessary can be treated with a relatively straightforward operation. This is carried out in hospital usually under local anaesthetic as an outpatient day case. It has a success rate of 95%. Regularly check each eye separately and if you notice any change make an appointment for an examination.

 

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is a disease of the retina involving the macula which is a tiny part of the eye responsible for detailed vision.  It is usually a disease of later life and has been associated with problems involving circulation.  Wet macular degeneration is a result of a collection of fluid and appears as a dark disc which obscures the centre of the vision.  It may respond to treatment if caught early enough.  Dry macular degeneration is a more gradual change which, in its early stages, may not have much effect on vision.  At the moment there is no treatment but its progress can be slowed or halted by taking antioxidant, diet supplement pills containing lutein.  Smoking is said to be the single most avoidable cause.  As with many eye problems it is important to detect any onset as early as possible.  So regularly check each eye separately and if you notice a change in your vision make an appointment for an examination.

 

Can I get Emergency Spectacle Replacement?

  • Has any part of your spectacles changed colour, especially green?
  • Would you be refused entry into either Australia or USA because your spectacles were considered to be organic?
  • Have you recognised your spectacles in a re-run of Starsky & Hutch or On The Buses?
  • Do your lenses appear tinted or opaque when they were originally clear?
  • When you put your glasses on do children dissolve in laughs or terror?!

If you can answer yes to any of these questions we will consider your spectacles in need of emergency replacement and will qualify for priority care and a special discount.

 

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