Eye Care

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3 of the most common threats to your sight

3 of the most common threats to your sight

When it comes to taking care of our bodies, looking after one’s eyesight is something people often neglect or take for granted. But it’s vital to monitor the condition of your eyesight so you can have any potential problems taken care of early on. Let’s take a look at the most common threats to your eyesight, and what you can do to prevent or reduce them.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve becomes damaged by the pressure of fluid inside your eye. It can affect one of both of your eyes, and runs in families. This means that if one of your relatives has it, you should make sure to check in with an optometrist regularly. The most common form of glaucoma, Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), affects around 5 per cent of people over the age of 65. It starts in one eye, and progresses slowly, so is hard to spot until you have lost a significant amount of your sight.

Prevent: Be sure to have regular check-ups with an optometrist.

Treatment options: Glaucoma is usually treated with eye drops, but surgery may be necessary in some cases.

Cataracts

A cataract is when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy, distorting your vision. You may notice that lights are more dazzling, colours look faded, and you could struggle with the difference between light and shade.

Prevent: No studies have proved how to prevent cataracts, but doctors believe some strategies may be helpful, including reduced alcohol consumption; quitting smoking; wearing sunglasses; regular eye examinations.

Treatment options: A simple surgery in which the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a clear plastic one.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) occurs when the small, central part of your retina (ie: the macula) becomes damaged and stops working. This affects the centre of your field of vision, and will likely make reading difficult, and make seeing faces clearly a struggle. Dry AMD is the most common form, and progresses very slowly, rarely leading to total sight loss. Wet AMD comes on much faster, and can cause blindness. Only about 10 per cent of people have wet AMD.

Prevent: Eat plenty of dark, leafy green veggies like spinach; don’t smoke; eat fruit and nuts daily.

Treatment options: Dry AMD is currently untreatable, but wet AMD can be treated with injections if caught early enough.