Below are just some of the eye conditions we can help diagnose and treat, some may require a referral to an Ophthalmologist, but many can be handled by our friendly Optometrist as well!
Cataracts are usually age-related or UV damage related changes to the protein structure within the intraocular lens in the eye. They can affect vision by clouding and distorting the light that reaches the retina, and in severe cases (like with this handsome Chihuahua) can result in a white-ish appearance in the eye. Treatment always involves referral to an Ophthalmologist for surgical excision of the clouded lens and replacement with a corrective intraocular lens, however some cases when the symptoms are mild like glare sensitivity or refractive shift, glasses and contact lenses can be used until the cataract is ripe for surgery!
Glaucoma can develop as a result of high pressure in the eyes, and can be caused by any number of factors such as eye anatomy, genetic predisposition, changes in drainage or narrowing of irido-corneal angle, previous injury or in combination with a systemic disease or exposure to prolonged periods of systemic medications like steroids. Common treatments involve usage of pressure lowering drops (which can be provided by your Optometrist), however there are a new range of surgical and non-surgical interventions which a referral to a Glaucoma specialist may occur.
Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of preventable blindness in Australia, and is usually caused by poor Glycaemic control (higher blood sugar levels) which manifest in changes to the retina at the back of the eyes. There are 2 forms of Diabetic Retinopathy, non-proliferative or proliferative, with the latter proliferative being the more severe of the two. People with either Type 1 or 2 Diabetes should aim to see their Optometrist every year for a dilated fundus exam (DFE), which is an exam where we use eye drops to dilate the pupil and look at the peripheral retina, where microvascular issues might be lurking beyond where we normally see during an exam. Other routine checks include Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to check for Macular Oedema, and also routine fundus imaging to monitor progression if DR is seen. If it's been more than 12 months since your last DFE, come in and see us and we can help you maintain vision with regular checks and reports to your GP/Diabetes Educator, and referral to an Retinal Ophthalmologist if required.
One of the most common conditions we see is Dry Eye. The cornea is the clear structure at the front of the eye, and one of the most important components to protect the cornea and maintain clear vision is the tear film, which is composed of 3 separate layers, the Mucin, Aqueous and Lipid layers. Deficiencies in any one of these layers leads to dryness of the ocular surface, which can lead to redness, itching, irritation, a gritty sensation or even excessive watering of the eyes. In severe circumstances the damage may start to cause permanent change to the cornea and affect vision, and even mild to moderate levels of dry eye have been shown to have a huge impact on Quality of Life. Not all treatments for dry eye are the same, and there all a multitude of causes, so an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan should be done by your Optometrist. At DOG we have a special interest in the treatment of dry eye - with the latest advancements in the diagnosis, treatment and long term management on offer to our patients, don't just settle for stop-gap over the counter solutions, come and get a dry eye work-up today and free yourself from the burden of drops!
Follow the link to our Dry Eye Treatment page to see how we can help!
No we're not talking about the watering while watching "The Notebook" here, watery eyes can be a sign of other eye issues, such as tear duct blockages or dry eye. Luckily you don't have to sit and watch a rom-com with our Optometrist or wear ridiculous goggles while chopping onions, as we can help and perform a flush of the tear ducts, so you no longer look like you've been cutting onions or bingeing on soppy movies all day! Don't settle for stop-gap treatments that only give transient relief, book in and get permanent relief today! If our treatment methods don't quite clear the problem, surgical correction with an Oculoplastic surgeon may be advised.
Stye (Hordeolum Internum/Externum
We've all had them before, those annoying little irritations along the eyelid, sometimes growing into a horrible looking whitehead or red nodule, causing a foreign body sensation with every blink, and generally not looking very appealing! Don't stress! We have plenty of treatment methods to not just get rid of the ugly annoying stye, but to treat the underlying cause and reduce the chance of them returning! Internal styes under the lid can be more difficult to treat, but non-invasive options are available with our Optometrist, so book in today and get relief!
Age-related Macular Degeneration (Dry or Wet AMD)
One of the most common conditions we see as we age and one of the most debilitating is that of Age-Related Macular Degeneration or AMD. It occurs usually in the later years of life, but due to a range of factors such as genetics, smoking status, poor dietary vitamin intake or systemic disease, we are seeing earlier rates of AMD in some patients. There are 2 types of AMD, the Dry form and the Wet form, again, the latter being the more severe and requiring more urgent treatment. Sometimes a basic retinal check on the slit lamp and fundus camera isn't enough to detect the severity of AMD, so we use OCT scanning (see photos) and Visual Field testing/Amsler Grid testing as a means to track it's progression, however once we see signs of AMD, there is usually no reversing the processes that have already happened, particularly with Dry AMD, however quite often as it progresses to Wet AMD, an Ophthalmologist referral is often required for more invasive treatment to prevent irreversible damage to the macula and its surrounding structures. There are several well researched supplements on the market which may assist to slow the progression of Dry AMD, which we can recommend if these are noticed at your appointment. OCT scans are included at no extra cost, so if you have a family history of AMD or notice your central vision isn't what it used to be, come in and get a full eye health check with us today.