Frequently Asked Questions - Eye Health

FAQs - Eye Health

Have you ever wondered what Myopia means or how cataracts can be prevented?

Read about these and other common eye conditions below.

"Pink eye" is also called conjunctivitis. It is the inflammation of the conjunctiva (the thin clear covering of the white part of the eye). The blood vessels in the conjunctiva dilate and this is what leads to the eye having a pink or reddish appearance. The inflammation can be due to bacterial or viral infections as well as an allergic reaction. Treatment will depend on the cause and may be as simple as a cold compress and some antihistamines, or in the case of a bacterial infection an antibiotic drop will be prescribed.

 The lens inside your eye works like a camera. It adjusts the eye's focus allowing you to see clearly up close and at a distance. This lens is mostly made up of protein and water and as we get older these proteins clump together and reduce the clarity of the lens. This leads to blurry vision - almost like looking through a frosted window. Colours may not appear as bright as they use to and driving at night becomes increasingly difficult.

Risk factors include diabetes, UV exposure, steroid use and some studies show that even alcohol abuse and cigarette smoke may increase your risk of Cataract formation. Always wear sunglasses and make sure your diet is rich in Antioxidants, Vit A, C and E.

Glaucoma is often called "the silent thief of sight" because in most cases you will not have any symptoms untill noticeable vision loss occurs. A tonometer is used to measure the pressure in your eye, called your Intra Ocular Pressure (IOP). Your IOP should be less than 21 mmHg. If your eye pressure is high, your Optometrist will refer you to an Opthalmologist for further examination. The treatment may involve medication or surgery, depending on the severity.

If you have persistent red, scratchy and watery eyes you may be suffering from Chronic Dry Eye Syndrome. There are several causes which include menopause, certain medications like oral contraceptives, aircons, prolonged computer work, sjogren's syndrome and Contact lenses. Treatment includes artificial tears, punctal plugs and a diet rich in Omega 3 and 6.

Always try to avoid drops advertised as "get the red out" , these drops usually contain vasoconstrictors and should not be used for long periods as it may lead to even more redness and discomfort over time.

Myopia is a refractive error also known as nearsightedness. This means that when light enters the eye it is not focused correctly. Instead of the focus falling on the retina it falls in front of it. This may be due to the eyeball being too long or the cornea might be more curved than normal. A person with myopia will see objects up close but objects in the distance will be blurred. Myopia can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Hyperopia is a refractive error also known as farsightedness. This means that when light enters the eye it is not focused correctly. Instead of the focus falling on the retina it falls behind it. This may be due to the eyeball being too short or the cornea might be less curved than normal. A person with hyperopia will initially complain of eyestrain and head aches. Objects up close and objects in the distance may be blurred depending on the person's age and degree of hyperopia. The term farsightedness can be a bit confusing because hyperopia can affect both distance and near vision. Hyperopia can be corrected with glasses and contact lenses.

Like nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism is a refractive error. It is not an eye health problem. Astigmatism is usually due to an irregularly shaped cornea. Instead of it being spherical it is shaped like a rugby ball. Astigmatism will be detected during a routine eye examination and can be corrected with glasses and contact lenses.