Cataract is the most common cause of gradual vision loss.  Symptoms of cataract can include reduced vision, sensitivity to light and occasionally double vision.

In the early stages of cataract development it is usually possible to correct the vision using glasses, but eventually surgery is recommended to remove the cataract  This can be performed as a day procedure under local anaesthetic.



Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve is damaged by the pressure of the fluid inside the eye.  This may be due to the pressure being higher than normal or the fact that the optic nerve is more susceptible to damage from pressure.  Glaucoma can affect one or both of your eyes.  The risk of glaucoma increases as you get older, however the early stages do not cause symptoms, so regular eye examinations by your optometrist is very important for early detection.

If Glaucoma affects you or your family you may be entitled to a free annual eye exam.


Macular Degeneration

The Macula is an area at the back of the eye that is used for focusing on fine detail.  Macular degeneration covers a number of conditions which affect the macula.  The conditions affect the ability to read and watch television, but do not affect your ability to walk around as the peripheral vision is not affected.  One of the most common symptoms is noticing that straight lines appear wavy.   If this happens in one eye, the other will compensate.  Therefore it is important to check the vision in each eye separately.

If you should notice that straight lines appear distorted, you should see your optometrist immediately.



Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina (the ‘seeing’ part at the back of the eye) and is a complication that can affect people with diabetes. Your optometrist will monitor the eyes for signs of retinopathy and refer for treatment if necessary.  People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from cataracts or glaucoma therefore it is important to see your optometrist annually or more often if recommended.

If you are diabetic you are entitled to a free annual eye exam.