Common Eye Care Questions

The following list of symptoms of vision problems is provided for information purposes only. Medispecs North Lakes recommends that if you feel you may be experiencing any of the following symptoms to contact us for a comprehensive assessment.

Symptoms of vision problems

Myopia (short-sightedness)

A condition in which near objects are seen clearly, but distant ones are out of focus. This occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature. Nearsightedness is very common. Eyeglasses or contact lenses can correct nearsightedness and may be necessary for certain activities, including watching a movie or TV screen.

Hyperopia (long-sightedness)

A condition in which distant objects are seen clearly, but close ones are out of focus. This occurs if the eyeball is too short or the cornea does not have enough curvature. Symptoms include difficulty concentrating and maintaining focus on close objects, eye strain, fatigue and/or headaches, aching or burning eyes, discomfort after long-term concentration. Comprehensive eye exams are necessary to determine farsightedness, as common vision screenings often cannot detect the problem.

Astigmatism

Causes blurred vision due to the irregular shape of the cornea or the curvature of the lens inside the eye. The irregular shape prevents light from centering on the retina and creates blurred vision at any distance. This is a very common condition and often occurs with other vision conditions, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. Astigmatism can be treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses and/or laser and other refractive surgery procedures.

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a gradual loss in the focusing ability (accommodation) of the eye and is part of the normal vision changes we all experience. This is caused by a natural hardening of the eye lens, so that by the early 40’s it does not respond as well to the muscles intended to change the focus of the eye. As a result, people in this age group start to have difficulty with near tasks like reading small print, threading a needle, etc. This is especially true at the end of the day when lighting levels are poorer and the individual is more likely to be tired. Correction consists of reading spectacles, bifocals or progressive lenses.

Amblyopia (lazy eye)

Amblyopia is a reduced vision, generally in only one eye. The condition usually results from poor eye coordination, from having a turned eye, or after having one eye which requires a far greater lens power. The reduced vision occurs because, for one or more of the above reasons, one eye is being used less than the other. When detected early enough, patching, vision training and lenses may help to reverse or prevent permanent damage to the vision.

Eye muscle coordination problems

Eye muscle co-ordination problems occur when the eyes do not align or focus together as a team. This improper control of the eye muscles can result in crossed-eyes, poor focusing ability, or simply discomfort and headache from the extra effort required. Common remedies include vision training, prisms and/or therapeutic spectacles.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease where the pressure within the eye is increased. This high pressure can damage the retinal nerves and if left untreated may result in blindness. Glaucoma has been dubbed “The sneak thief of sight” as the symptoms are not noticeable until damage to the eye has already occurred. Diagnosis consists of having regular eye examinations which include a pressure measurement (usually every 2 years for patients over 40) to enable early detection. At Medispecs we also perform computerized visual field assessments for patients at higher risk of developing glaucoma.

Cataract

A cataract is a clouding of the lens within the eye, which gets progressively worse over time. As it becomes cloudier, it starts to impact vision. Common symptoms of cataracts can include any number of the following: haziness causing blurred or distorted vision, colours that appear yellowed, the appearance of dark spots or shadows that seem to move when the eye moves, an increasing need for more light to see clearly. For most people, cataracts are a natural result of ageing. If cataracts develop to the point where vision is affected then surgery may be required.

Diabetes

Regular eye examinations are essential for people with diabetes. Untreated retinopathy from diabetes can damage the retinal nerves and may lead to blindness. At Medispecs Optical we utilize the latest camera technology to record and monitor the retina. Our optometrists will work in conjunction with your general practitioner to ensure you are managing your diabetes effectively.

You do not require a referral to see one of our friendly Optometrists.

Pterygium

Pterygium is a triangular growth of degenerative tissue on the white of the eye (sclera), usually on the nasal side, which may extend onto the clear window of the eye called the cornea.

A pterygium results from irritation due to long term exposure to ultra-violet light (UV), wind, glare or dust. Treatment is by eliminating the irritation with protective eyewear, eye-drops or surgery.

Spots and Floaters

Spots and floaters are semi-transparent specks of natural materials inside the eye, which sometimes can be seen floating in the field of vision.

Some patients comment that they look like cobwebs or threads, and most usually notice floaters when looking at a bright clear background like a ceiling or plain coloured wall.

They can be caused by debris left over from before birth, injury or eye disease. A full eye examination will determine the cause and whether any follow-up is needed.

Refractive surgery

Refractive surgery describes a group of procedures where surgery is used to correct vision rather than spectacles or contact lenses. The most modern techniques use computer controlled lasers to reshape the cornea resulting in clear distance vision. We can assess your suitability for many procedures refer you as necessary. We are also involved in many aspects of pre and post operative care. Eye surgeons emphasise that not all laser patients will attain 20/20 vision. This depends on various factors, including the severity of the patient’s original vision problem. Some patients may still require glasses or contact lenses after laser surgery. Those with presbyopia or “ageing eye”, which often occurs in the early 40’s, cannot generally be treated by laser surgery, although in some cases monovision laser treatment may be used for one eye only.