Common Eye Diseases

1.  Cataract

A cataract is one of the most common eye diseases where the crystalline lens inside the eye starts to turn opaque or clouds over, and this occurs mainly due to age or sometimes an injury to the eye.  If you have a cataract, you probably won’t notice any changes until it starts to seriously decrease your vision, and this most often takes many years.  You might also notice other things like glare sensitivity, misty or blurry vision and losing contrast, especially in dull light.

The good thing about cataracts is that modern surgery is extremely effective in solving the problem, and Darin has a host of great, Sunshine Coast based ophthalmologists to whom he refers for further treatment.

2. Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration (MD) is a disease of the central part of the retina (which we call the macula), and it decreases your central vision.  Because it affects only central vision, macular degeneration does not cause total blindness, but it can be very debilitating.  Sufferer can permanently lose all central vision, although they keep their peripheral vision.

For people with this condition, everything they look directly at disappears, but if they look beside something they can see some detail in it.  The bottom line is that you can reach a point where you cannot see the TV, reading or driving, so it is a terrible visual condition to have.

There are 2 types of macular degeneration, wet and dry.  The wet version involves bleeding to the central area of the retina, whereas the dry version involves cells dying off in the central retina without bleeding, usually due to the poor condition of the small blood vessels in the macula.  Both eye diseases need to be monitored and treated.

It can be treated in the wet form, but the treatment involves drugs like Lucentis being injected directly into the eyeball.  Not a lot of fun, but the results can be very good for preserving vision.

Our retinal macular pigment density test and retinal digital imaging can detect macular degeneration early, and this means we can start treatment early and hopefully stop vision loss.  Talk to Darin today about how we can help you, especially if there is a family history of macular problems.

At home, one of the best ways to detect eye diseases like macular degeneration (and also some other forms of eye illness) is using the Amsler Grid…

3. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the sneakiest and most difficult of the eye diseases to detect for both the sufferer and the examiner.  It is called “the thief of sight” because it is so hard to detect, but the end results of this disease can be very devastating.  It is often, but not always, associated with increased eye pressure, and vision loss tends to be in the periphery rather than centrally, causing blindness which increases from the side of your vision (tunnel vision).

The problem is that most often glaucoma is without any symptoms (that is no pain, no soreness and vision loss from the side so it is hard to appreciate), it can only be found by regular and comprehensive eye tests.  These should include an examination of the retina and optic disk, the pressure inside the eye and visual fields, and any suspect conditions should be referred to an Ophthalmologist for OCT and other tests.

4. Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a host of eye diseases and it comes about as a complication in the retina of diabetes.  Usually the small blood vessels in the retina are damaged by the disease and start to leak, or haemorrhage. In some cases, the damaged blood vessels leak fluid and lipids under the macula, the central and most sensitive part of the retina that allows us to see details, and this can be a huge problem. The fluid causes the macula to swell, blurring vision and causing central blindness, much like macular degeneration. In other cases, the retinal blood vessels can become blocked, causing portions of the retina to cease functioning because of lack of oxygen and nutrients.

Remember, if you have not had an eye examination for 2 years or more, you can have an eye test at Eye C U for no cost (because we bulk bill).  So, if you are concerned about eye diseases, please make an appointment and we’ll see you at the Eye C U.

Amsler Grid Test:



Cover one eye, and look at the grid on the left.

Are the lines straight? Are they complete?  Or do they look like the grid on the right.  If they do, see your eye care professional immediately, because early detection of this eye illness is essential for long term recovery and sight.

Click Here to Download and Print Amsler’s Grid