Oxford Eye Centre treats a range of eye related conditions. See below for a more detailed description of each.
Cataract is the clouding of the natural crystalline lens inside of your eye. This may result in symptoms such as blurry vision, glare sensitivity, difficulty driving at night and frequent changes in your prescription glasses. Cataract formation is usually age-related. In fact, most people will develop some degree of cataract if they live long enough!
Most routine cataract surgery cases take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Your cloudy lens is removed through a very small incision (approximately 2 mm wide) and replaced with a clear, artificial lens. This is typically made of a special plastic. The surgery is routinely performed under local sedation in combination with mild sedation administered by an anaesthetist to ensure you are relaxed throughout the process.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye problem caused by longstanding and/or poorly controlled diabetes mellitus. This condition is specific to the back of the eye where the retina is situated. The ‘seeing cells’ are located within this component of the eye; therefore, diabetic eye disease can cause vision loss, even blindness.
High blood sugar level weaken the walls of the blood vessels within the eye as well as elsewhere in the body. The blood vessel may become leaky with time and bleed into the retina. In advanced cases, new blood vessels may form at the back of the eye. These unfortunately are particularly susceptible to bleeding and can be highly destructive. Treatments for diabetic changes include laser and intravitreal injections. You may however be able to prevent such problems with tight control of blood glucose and blood pressure as well as through the discontinuation of smoking. Furthermore, you should have frequent dilated eye examination and seek early treatment.
For various reasons, eyelids can either roll away from the eye (ectropion) or roll in towards the eye (entropion). Both these conditions can affect the eye, with symptoms ranging from watering through to irritation, redness and severe infection causing loss of sight. We have extensive experience in surgically correcting this with excellent cosmetic and functional results.
Glaucoma is a disease affecting the optic nerve where there is often painless, progressive loss of your side vision. Without treatment, this may result in “tunnel vision” or even complete, irreversible blindness. This disease most frequently occurs in persons with a positive family history as well as with increasing age. Did you know that if you have a first degree relative you are ten times more likely to develop glaucoma?
Treatment of glaucoma primarily aims to reduce the pressure inside of the eyeball, usually with the use of long-term topical drops. However, some patient may require laser, drainage stents (e.g. iStent) or other surgical interventions. These treatments aim to preserve your remaining vision but cannot reverse what damage has already been done to your side vision.
Macular degeneration is a condition affecting your central vision and may give rise to symptoms including blurred and wavy vision. Colour vision may also be impaired. There are two forms of macular degeneration; dry and wet.
The dry form is most common, comprising around 90% of diagnosed cases. A percentage of patients progress, developing the advanced stage of dry macular degeneration otherwise known as geographic atrophy. These patients may have significantly reduced central vision, loss of the ability to read and drive. At present, there is no treatment for this form. There is however some evidence supporting certain supplements (e.g. MacuVision and MDEyes); these are thought to delay disease progression by twenty-five percent in select patients.
Wet macular degeneration, on the other hand, is treatable if detected early on and treatment is initiated promptly. In the wet form, there is the formation of abnormal, leaky vessels about the macular (central seeing area). This may result in local swelling and the accumulation fluid; both of which have the potential to permanently damage your vision. The most common and successful available treatment is intravitreal injections. The medicine used both reduces swelling and leakage. This treatment is effective in the overwhelming majority of patients.
A pterygium is fleshy, pink growth on the white surface of the eye. This may extend onto the cornea, which is the transparent layer forming the very front of the eye. A pterygium can cause ocular irritation, a watery eye and/or astigmatism resulting in blurred vision. In Australia, this condition affects approximately 1 in every 100 persons. These lesions are most frequently caused by sunlight exposure, dusty and windy environments and increasing age.
If you have a small and asymptomatic pterygium, wrap-around sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat are advisable to reduce the likelihood of growth. If your pterygium is causing some irritation, you may manage this conservatively with lubricating drops and possibly some weak topical steroid. Surgical removal is only warranted if your pterygium is affecting your vision, causing ongoing discomfort, displays sinister features or you simply dislike the its appearance.