Frequently Asked Questions

Slit Lamp Examination at Anthony Smith Optometrist

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is associated with an increase of pressure inside the eye. This is often caused by reduced drainage of the fluid normally produced. It is more common as you age and is often genetically linked. Consequently, we routinely check everyone over 40, and younger if there is a family history. Glaucoma generally has no symptoms but if untreated can cause blindness. Glaucoma generally responds well to treatment, which often consists of simply using an eye drop, but it is critical to detect it early.

 How does Diabetes affect the eyes?

There are two forms of diabetes, and both affect the eye. Type I commonly occurs in younger people and often requires insulin to be injected as a treatment. Type II is the form becoming so prevalent in our modern society. Often associated with diet and lifestyle, it is treated with a cocktail of medication, exercise and diet. Many people discover they have Type II diabetes by getting their eyes examined as the retina is particularly susceptible to diabetic changes. Thorough retinal examination is performed on every patient, and with our digital imaging we can record any changes in your retinal appearance over time. Fortunately early diagnosis and treatment leads to the best outcome. Complications of diabetes lead to Diabetic Retinopathy and can lead to severe and permanent vision loss.

What is Macular Degeneration?

The macular is the part of the retina that corresponds to the centre of your visual field. When you look at someone’s face, where that face projects to on your retina is the macular. The macular has a very fine blood supply, one which is prone to ageing. Macular Degeneration involves disturbance to the retinal layers with cholesterol, fluid and blood, which lead to vision loss. Great advances have been made recently in the treatment of Macular Degeneration and the earlier that it is detected the better is the prognosis.

What causes spots in front of my eyes?

Spots in your visual field are often called floaters, but sometimes they can be due to a more serious condition arising from a retinal tear or detachment. It is important to be able to distinguish the difference. Floaters are common and are of no real significance, really just a nuisance which normally disappears with time. However, a retinal tear/detachment is vision threatening. If you see spots in front of your eyes, it’s always wise to get your eyes thoroughly examined to rule out the less common but more serious retinal cause. Spots can be black or grey or transparent like bubbles, a tear often introduces blood inside the eye and often leads to a red spot. A retinal tear causes no pain.

Can a Contact Lens get lost in the eye?

It is impossible for a contact lens to move behind the eye. A lens may be dislodged from its position and slide under your eyelid, but it can always be retrieved. If you’re concerned come in to get the situation evaluated as often you’re not sure where the lens is and we can look under your eyelid to identify whether or not it is there.

What are the signs or symptoms of cataracts?

Cataracts are often thought of as a growth over the front of the eye. They’re neither a growth or over the front of the eye. Rather a cloudiness in the lens within the eye. They occur naturally at about age 50 and deteriorate gradually until often surgery is perfomed in the eighties. Before surgery , premature cataracts often cause haziness, prescription fluctuations and glare sensitivity.