Here are some frequently asked questions for eye problems.

What are the symptoms of Cataracts?

Cataracts are painless and usually cause a gradual worsening of sight. The main symptoms are:

1. Blurring: Your vision may become misty or blurry so that you cannot see details at a distance, or your glasses seem scratched and dirty.
2. Dazzled by lights: You may find that you have poor vision in bright light, suffer from glare, and that bright lights such as car headlights are more blinding than usual.
3. Double vision: You may start to notice double vision for either close or distance objects.
Changes in colour vision: You may notice that colours appear faded or washed out.

We recommend that you have an eye test every two years.

What is 'night blindness'?

Night blindness, also called nyctalopia or nyctanopia, is a medical condition that affects a person's vision, particularly at night or in an area with little to no light. In addition to having difficulty seeing at night, a person with night blindness may have difficulty seeing when moving from a brightly lit area to one that is dimly lit. As a result, individuals with night blindness generally experience difficulty driving at night or in the evening. It maybe that you require a small prescription to improve your vision in dark conditions. Poor nutrition, specifically a deficiency in vitamin A, can also cause night blindness although other causes such as cataracts or a problem with the retina can also contribute. If you think you may be suffering from this condition, an eye test at your local Vision Express Optician may help to discover the root cause of it and suggest some measures to minimize or correct the effects.

Is it safe to wear contact lenses continuously?

Extended wear contact lenses fell out of favour briefly because of reports indicating that they could contribute to eye infections. However, extended wear contact lenses are designed specifically for overnight use and are also far more permeable, which ensures that the surface of the eye doesn't dry out, ensuring plenty of oxygen gets to the eye - thus reducing the risk of potential damage to your eye. Extended wear contact lenses are generally more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Cleanliness is essential when using contact lenses, so make sure that you use the correct fluid to keep your lenses in, that your hands are clean when inserting or removing contact lenses and that you have your eyes checked regularly. Any changes in the condition of your eyes should be brought to the attention of your optician. You should always throw out solutions as directed that are past their usage dates and change cases regularly. If you experience any red eye or irritation remove the contact lens and bring them and the case to your Optician.

How common are the other diabetic eye diseases?

If you have diabetes, you are also at risk for other diabetic eye diseases, such as cataract and glaucoma. People with diabetes develop cataract at an earlier age than people without diabetes. Cataract can usually be treated by surgery.

A person with diabetes is nearly twice as likely to get glaucoma as other adults. And, as with diabetic retinopathy, the longer you have had diabetes, the greater your risk of getting glaucoma. Glaucoma may be treated with medications, laser surgery, or conventional surgery.

There's a history of glaucoma in my family. Am I at risk of developing this disease?

If there is glaucoma in the family, then statistically you may be more at risk of developing it, particularly if you are a smoker. Glaucoma can often be treated effectively if it is diagnosed in time, so it is essential to notify your optician if you know of any history of glaucoma in your family. They may recommend more regular eye tests to make sure any early symptoms are picked up quickly.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions where the optic nerve is damaged at the point where it leaves the eye. The optic nerve carries images from the retina, the light sensitive membrane attached to the inner surface of the eye, to the brain.

What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?

Chronic glaucoma often has no symptoms and the eye may seem normal. This isn't painful and at first your vision may be unaffected.

What is Trauma?

Blunt trauma causes swelling, thickening and whitening of the lens fibers. While the swelling normally resolves with time, the white color may remain. In severe blunt trauma, or injuries which penetrate the eye, the capsule in which the lens sits can be damaged. This allows water from other parts of the eye to rapidly enter the lens leading to swelling and then whitening, obstructing light from reaching the retina at the back of the eye.