Common Eye Conditions

There are minor eye conditions which can affect almost anyone especially as we get older, such as being short-sighted or having dry eyes. However, there are some conditions which more serious. If you experience any of these, please book an appointment immediately to see an Optometrist at VisionPro.

Long and Short-sightedness
Myopia (Short-sightedness) is a very common condition characterised by being able to see near distances clearly and difficulty in seeing objects that are distant.

Hyperopia (Long-sightedness) is when a person can see see distant objects clearly but finds seeing nearby objects difficult.

Both long and short-sightedness can be corrected. Your Optometrist at VisionPro can prescribe glasses or contact lenses specifically designed to counteract their effects.

Shortsightedness is corrected using a concave (curved inwards) lens which is placed in front of a myopic eye, this moves the image back to the retina and makes it clearer.

Longsightedness is corrected using a convex (outward facing) lens. This is placed in front of a hypermetropic eye, this moves the image forward and focuses it correctly on the retina.

Astigmatism is when either the cornea or the internal lens of the eye has an irregular shape. Consequently vision can be blurred, as light from an object does not focus exactly on the retina. Astigmatism is a common and treatable eye condition. 
Cataracts are cloudy areas that form in the lens of the eye. People with cataracts experience hazy vision as the opacities in the lens scatter the light the same way a dirty camera lens blurs a photo. Cataracts may effect your driving, reading, recognising faces, and coping with glare from bright lights Cataracts are the most common cause of blindness.

Some cataracts are caused by injury, exposure to toxic materials but mostly they occur as a result of long-term exposure to ultraviolet light and as part of the process of ageing. Cataracts may also occur in children as a result of genetics or as a result of rubella infection during pregnancy.

Usually cataracts affect both eyes simultaneously but development often varies between eyes. Cataracts can be treated effectively, if you have any questions about cataracts please talk to us.

Age-related Macular Degeneration
AMD damages the part of the retina responsible for central vision. People with AMD experience a loss of central vision and have difficulty seeing detail. If both eyes are affected reading, using a computer and other tasks requiring close vision can become very difficult. Side vision is not affected by AMD which means that even in severe cases where central vision is lost some vision remains.

AMD is the result of ageing processes in the eye. Layers of the retina thicken and waste material, normally removed by the eye’s natural processes, is deposited. This distorts the retina causing damage to other layers of the retina. In about ten per cent of cases new blood vessels grow into the macula. These vessels are weak and often leak blood into the retina where scar tissue forms. In these cases central vision is severely blocked.

Other forms of macular degeneration are inherited and not associated with ageing.


Glaucoma is a condition in which the nerve cells which transmit information from the eye to the brain become damaged. This damage prevents information travelling to the brain if left untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness. The symptoms of glaucoma include a progressive loss of vision as the nerve cells become increasingly damaged.

The exact causes of glaucoma are not known but glaucoma is often associated with a build-up of pressure in the eye. A healthy eye is filled with fluid which is constantly replaced. If this fluid is produced in excessive quantities or if the drainage of this fluid is obstructed eye pressure can increase. In some forms of glaucoma eye pressure can become extremely high, in others it remains normal.

Damage caused by glaucoma is often irreversible and some types of glaucoma progress very slowly with symptoms only becoming noticeable at an advanced stage. It is important to have regular eye tests as glaucoma can be effectively treated if caught early. Glaucoma is detected in a standard eye test at an optometrist.

Diabetic Retinopathy

About 7% of the Australian population over 25 years old has diabetes. This increases to about 24% of people over 75 years old. Diabetic retinopathy affects up to 80% of all patients who have had diabetes for 10 years or more. Despite these statistics, research indicates that at least 90% t of these new cases could be reduced if there was proper and vigilant treatment and monitoring of the eyes.

Diabetes causes a weakening of the focusing ability of the eye. The effects can vary from day to day but vision improves when blood-glucose levels are well controlled.

Far more dangerous however, are the changes to the retina that may occur after several years of diabetes. Initial changes, known as non-proliferative retinopathy, have no impact on vision and can only be detected with an ophthalmoscope. If left unchecked, this can develop to proliferative retinopathy which has severe impacts on vision and leads to blindness.

It is important to get your eyes tested regularly. Even if vision loss has started, there are often treatment options available, provided that the condition is detected as early as possible.

If you are suffering from any of these conditions, or you think you should get your eyes checked, please contact us to make an appointment