HOME arrow LATEST NEWS arrow Waikato Times Feature: Healthy Eyes for an Active Lifestyle
Waikato Times Feature: Healthy Eyes for an Active Lifestyle
Published in the Waikato Times Feature August 2007.
Our sight is precious. Fortunately many eye problems are treatable. Three of the most common eye problems that occur as we get older are cataracts, age related macular degeneration and glaucoma...
Hamilton Eye Clinic ophthalmologists explained cataracts were a clouding of the lens inside the eye that causes gradual blurring of vision and glare.
"Even early cataract could blur vision enough to make day-to-day tasks difficult," said Dr John Dickson. "Eventually your ability to drive and hold a license can be threatened. But cataracts are treatable and modern cataract surgery has a high success rate. The cloudy lens is liquefied using a small ultrasonic probe and removed from the eye. An artificial lens is injected into the eye and unfolded into place. The incision is so small that stitches aren't needed."

Dr Stephen Guest said age related macular degeneration was the most common cause of severe visual loss in New Zealand. It's due to a gradual deterioration in the centre of the image processing layer at the back of the eye (the retina). Symptoms include distortion and blurring in the centre of your vision. A number of new drugs have dramatically improved the outcomes for many patients with this condition.

Dr Jim Stewart explained glaucoma occurred when the pressure inside the eye became elevated and damaged the optic nerve that sends vision from the eye to the brain. "Eye pressure slowly rises as we age and this potentially blinding condition becomes more common, affecting about 10 per cent of the elderly. Regular eye examinations are critical to detect glaucoma early before damage occurs. Treatment with eye drops, laser or surgery can then halt this disease."

Being vigilant about the care of our eyes and seeking medical advice sooner rather than later is the key to holding on to our sight. Remember that you do not require a referral from your General Practitioner or Optometrist to visit an Ophthalmologist at the Hamilton Eye Clinic.