SPECIALIST EYE EXAMS

We carry out a wide range of specialist eye exams including provisional driving reports, lorry driving reports and comprehensive visual fields testing, while an array of tests for eye conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, macular degeneration and colour vision testing are included in our standard eye examination.

 

Astigmatism

Common vision condition, usually present from birth, caused by an irregularly curved cornea or lens. People with astigmatism may experience blurred vision, eyestrain, or headaches. Two-thirds of people who have myopia also have astigmatism. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

 

Cataract

A condition in which the lens of the eye, which is normally clear, becomes cloudy or opaque. Cataracts generally form slowly and without pain. They can affect one or both eyes. Over time, a cataract may interfere with vision, causing images to appear blurred or fuzzy and colors to seem faded. Most cataracts are related to aging. In fact, cataracts affect more than 50 percent of all adults by age 80 and are the primary cause of vision loss in people 55 and older. People with early cataract may benefit from new glasses, bright lighting, and sunglasses. If, despite such devices, cataract interferes with daily activities, surgery is the only effective treatment. Cataract surgery, which is common, involves removal of the cloudy lens and replacement with an artificial lens.

 

Colour blindness

A vision problem in which a person has difficulty distinguishing certain colors—most commonly red and green, but sometimes blue and green or blue and yellow. Color blindness is not really a form of blindness, but rather a deficiency in color perception. It usually affects both eyes and is much more common in males than in females. There is no treatment or cure for this problem, but a color-blind person can learn to adapt in various ways. For example, a color-blind driver can remember that the light positioned at the top of a traffic light is the red one. It is beneficial to diagnose color blindness in children at an early age so that steps can be taken to avoid learning problems related to color perception.

 

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the thin translucent tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and the outer surface of the sclera, which is the white part of the eye.

Conjunctivitis is usually associated with redness of the white part of the eyes, light sensitivity (photophobia), excessive tearing, ocular discomfort (gritty sensation, itching, burning), and/or discharge.

There are many different causes of conjunctivitis. Some types of conjunctivitis are infectious, while others are not. These can generally be differentiated from one another based on history and an examination by an optometrist.

 

Diabetic retinopathy

Eye condition that results from the damaging effect of diabetes on the circulatory system of the retina. The longer someone has had diabetes, the greater the person’s likelihood of developing diabetic retinopathy. Changes in the tiny blood vessels of the retina can lead to vision loss. People with diabetes should have routine eye examinations so that diabetes-related problems can be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Maintaining strict control of blood sugar levels helps to prevent diabetic retinopathy. Surgical and laser treatments can help many people affected with this condition.

Dry eye syndrome

Persistent dryness of the eyes resulting from too little production of tears or too rapid evaporation of tears. People with dry eye syndrome may experience such symptoms as itching, burning, or stinging eyes. Some people feel as though something is caught in their eye, causing an irritation. Dry eye syndrome has many causes. For example, it may be linked to wearing contact lenses for long periods of time or to living in a dry or dusty climate. It may be a side effect of medication or surgery, or a symptom of certain diseases. An optician may recommend the application of special eye drops—”artificial tears”—to moisten the eyes or the use of a humidifier to increase humidity in the air. Not rubbing the eyes and avoiding such irritants as tobacco smoke can also help persons with dry eye syndrome.

 

 

Floaters and spots

Specks or strands that seem to float across the field of vision. Floaters and spots are actually shadows on the retina cast by tiny bits of gel or cells inside the clear fluid that fills the eye. Floaters and spots usually are normal and harmless. However, in some cases they may warn of serious conditions such as retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, or infection. Someone who experiences a sudden decline in vision accompanied by flashes and floaters or a sudden increase in the number of floaters should consult an optometrist urgently.

 

Glaucoma

Glaucoma has been called the “silent thief of sight” because the loss of vision often occurs gradually over a long period of time, and symptoms only occur when the disease is quite advanced. It is also the leading cause of preventable blindness in Ireland. For this reason, early diagnosis is crucial.

Glaucoma is usually (but not always) associated with increased pressure of the fluid inside, resulting in a loss of peripheral vision. If the condition is not diagnosed and treated, the increased pressure can damage the optic nerve and eventually lead to blindness. Vision lost as a result of such damage cannot be restored. A person who has glaucoma may not realize it at first, because the disease often progresses with no symptoms or warning signs. Early detection through regular eye examination and prompt treatment is essential to prevent vision loss. Daily medication (usually eye drops), surgery, or a combination of both enables most people to control their intraocular pressure and retain their vision.

 

Macular Degeneration

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in Ireland. AMD is a medical condition which usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina. It occurs in “dry” and “wet” forms.  Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.