ELAINE O'SULLIVAN F.A.O.I.
Elaine O’Sullivan F.A.O.I., Optometrist and owner of Optique Opticians gives advice on the importance of regular eye examinations and also on some of the leading causes of vision loss internationally.
It is important to have an eye examination every two years as it can be an early indicator of general and ocular health changes.
Cataract is responsible for approximately 48% of world blindness. A cataract is where the crystalline lens inside the eye becomes cloudy due to:
Vision becomes blurred gradually and colours are less vivid. The patient often reports heightened sensitivity to glare and brightness. Higher amounts of ultraviolet radiation due to depletion of the ozone layer are thought to be associated with increased incidence of cataracts. It is important therefore to wear sunglasses that provide 100 per cent UVA/UVB protection and that eliminate glare.
Treatment for cataract is usually surgical extraction of the cloudy lens and insertion of intra ocular implants. Surgery is usually performed using local anaesthetic and the patient is often discharged the same day. Complications of surgery include uveitis, glaucoma, retinal detachment and macular oedema.
Glaucoma affects 70 million people worldwide and is the most common cause of blindness, affecting the sight of over 6 million people. It is an eye condition which causes vision damage to the retina causing tunnel vision and even total blindness if undetected in time. The vision loss is due to optic nerve damage,
increased eye pressure or both. It is mostly painless and gradual causing irreversible damage. There is no cure for glaucoma but treatments are available which can help lessen the deterioration of sight. Early diagnosis and treatment will help reduce progression of the eye disease.
High risk factors are:
It is important to have an eye examination every two years. High eye pressure can be an indicator as well as visual field changes and various signs on the retina.
Your Optometrist or Ophthalmologist can evaluate these signs clinically. Medication prescribed for controlling eye pressure helps the progression of the disease.
Diabetic retinopathy (disease of the retina) which can lead to diabetic macular oedema is the leading cause of blindness in the working age population (1-3%)
There are two types:
RISK FACTORS FOR AMD
TREATMENT OF WET AMD
TREATMENT OF DRY AMD
We have new technology called O.C.T. (Ocular Computerised Tomography) which allows 3D scanning of the anterior and posterior ocular tissues. It allows us to observe early signs of tissue change of the cornea, lens and retina associated with glaucoma, A.M.D. (age-related macular degeneration), diabetic vascular disease and other ocular abnormalities. This is a significant advancement from the 2D retinal photography which is included in your general eye examination.
It is recommended that all patients over forty five years of age should consider having this OCT scan(s) especially if there are risk factors such as family history of glaucoma, AMD ,diabetes, high myopia or other ocular diseases.
The additional fee to your normal eye examination varies depending on the level of scanning required. A general 3D scan of the retina, macula and optic nerve costs €35. Further scanning of the peripheral retina and visual field assessment required in cases of for example suspect retinal detachment and retinitis pigmentosa can cost a further €30.
Please note that Medical Card and PPS benefit does not cover the cost of this extra available professional service.
Level 1, 18 Briarhill Shopping Centre,
Monday 9.30am to 6pm
Tuesday 9.30am to 6pm
Wednesday 9.30am to 6pm
Thursday 9.30am to 7pm
Friday 9.30am to 6pm
Saturday 9.30am to 5pm