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Understanding Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions which cause optic nerve damage and can affect your vision. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve at the point where it leaves your eye.

How your eye works

When you look at something, light passes through the front of your eye and is focused by the lens onto your retina. The retina is a delicate tissue that is sensitive to light and it converts the light into electrical signals. A delicate network of nerves delivers these signals from the different parts of the retina to the optic nerve and then onto the brain. Your brain interprets these signals to “see” the world around us. The point at which the nerves leave the eye is called the optic disc.


Glaucoma damage may be caused by raised eye pressure or a weakness in the optic nerve. Or you may have an eye pressure within normal limits but the damage occurs because there is a weakness in the optic nerve. In most cases, high pressure and weakness in the optic nerve are both involved to a varying extent. (Eye pressure is not connected to your blood pressure).

Your eye needs a certain amount of pressure to keep the eyeball in shape so that it works properly. However, if the optic nerve comes under too much pressure then it can be damaged. The amount of damage there is depends on how high the pressure is and how long it lasts, and whether there is a poor blood supply or other weakness of the optic nerve. A really high eye pressure can damage the optic nerve immediately. A lower level of pressure can cause damage more slowly, and then you would gradually lose your sight if it is not treated.

How eye pressure can rise

A layer of cells behind the iris (the coloured part of the eye) produce a watery fluid called aqueous. The aqueous fluid passes through the hole in the centre of the iris (called the pupil) into the space in front of the iris (called the anterior chamber), and leaves the eye through tiny drainage channels called the trabecular meshwork.

These drainage channels are in the space between the front of the eye (the cornea) and the iris, and they return the fluid to the blood stream. Normally, the amount of fluid produced is balanced by the fluid draining out, but if it cannot drain properly, or if too much is produced, then your eye pressure will rise. Aqueous fluid has nothing to do with tears, which is fluid on the surface of the eye.

Different types of glaucoma

There are four main types of glaucoma:

• Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) also known as chronic glaucoma
• Acute angle closure glaucoma
• Secondary glaucoma
• Developmental glaucoma.

Primary open angle glaucoma

Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) or chronic glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. As a chronic condition its effects occur slowly over time. In POAG, the drainage of the aqueous fluid from your eye doesn’t happen as well as it should and this causes the pressure to rise. Your eye may seem perfectly normal and your eyesight will seem to be unchanged – because when the pressure starts to build up it doesn’t cause you any pain – but your vision is still being damaged.

Your peripheral vision, which is the vision you have around the edge of what you are looking directly at, gradually gets worse if you have POAG. As your side vision is not as sensitive as your reading vision you may not notice any changes in your sight. The early loss of peripheral vision is usually in the shape of an arc a little above and/or below the centre of your vision when you look “straight ahead”. This blank area, if the glaucoma is untreated, spreads both outwards and inwards.

The centre of the visual field is affected last so that eventually it is like looking through a long tube – this is so-called “tunnel vision”. If this rise in pressure and glaucoma is left untreated you will gradually lose the ability to see things at the side and above and below where you are looking.

Risk factors

Several things increase your risk of developing POAG:

• your age: POAG becomes much more common as we get older. It is uncommon below the age of 40 but this type of glaucoma affects one per cent of people aged over 40. About five per cent of people over the age of 65 have primary open angle glaucoma
• your race: if you are of African origin you are more at risk of POAG. It is also more likely to develop at an earlier age and be more severe
• family: you are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma if you have a close relative who has chronic glaucoma
• short sight: if you are very short sighted you have a higher risk of developing chronic glaucoma
• diabetes: if you have diabetes you have an increased risk of developing POAG.

Detecting POAG

This type of glaucoma becomes more common over the age of 40, so you should have your eyes tested every two years.

It is even more important to have a regular eye test if you are in one of the groups at greater risk. If you know a member of your family has POAG it’s a good idea for everyone in your family to have a full eye test. Usually POAG is detected in an eye test carried out by an optometrist (optician) the high street. Glaucoma is one of the reasons why regular eye tests, every two years, are so important.

If you are over 40 years and one of your parents, children, brother or sister has been diagnosed with glaucoma then you are entitled to a free sight test every year under the NHS. When you book your eye test, ask for all three glaucoma tests. Having all three tests is much more effective in detecting glaucoma than just having one or two of the tests. The three tests are very straightforward – they don’t hurt and can be done by most high street optometrists (opticians) – and they:

• examine the back of the eye (retina), especially the area where the optic nerve leaves your eye (optic disc). This is done by shining a bright light into your eye from either a slit lamp, into which you place your chin or a hand-held ophthalmoscope

• measure the pressure in your eye, using a special instrument called a tonometer. This involves a machine which uses a few puffs of air in each eye to record the pressure. This can also be tested using eye drops and another instrument which touches the front of the eye. This method is most often used by the hospital clinic

• test your visual field. This involves being shown a sequence of spots of light on a screen and you say which ones you can see.

If the optometrist finds that the combination of your test results suggests you have or may have glaucoma they will usually refer you to a hospital eye consultant (ophthalmologist) who can then diagnose your glaucoma and start any treatment you may need.

Treating POAG

All glaucoma treatments aim to prevent further damage to your sight. However, treatment cannot repair or improve damage that may have already been caused by high pressure before it was found.

The main treatment for POAG aims to reduce the pressure in your eye. Some treatments also aim to improve the blood supply to the optic nerve. You need to see an ophthalmologist to start any treatment and you will have regular check-ups to make sure the treatment is working.

Treatment to lower your eye pressure usually starts with eye drops. These act by reducing the amount of fluid produced in the eye or by opening up the drainage channels so that excess liquid can drain away. In the majority of cases, the drops lower your eye pressure and keep pressure stable which protects your eye against further damage and prevents sight loss.

In some cases, the first drops you use may not work or might cause side effects but if this happens your ophthalmologist would explore alternative drops with you.

Using your eye drops as your ophthalmologist recommends is very important in stopping you losing sight to your glaucoma. Although you will not notice any difference in your vision when you use the drops, they will prevent you losing your sight. Like all medications, some drops do have side affects but usually only a small number of people experience these and the risk of these side affects is small compared to the risk of losing vision if you don’t use the drops as prescribed.

If you experience any difficulties using the drops then you should let your ophthalmologist know as soon as possible as alternative drops may be available to you. Some people may find using the drops difficult because of problems with movement or their hands, such as arthritis. Most drops can be used with gadgets that make the bottles easier to handle, which often helps people with poor hand movement.

If you think that you will have serious problems using the drops then you should let your GP know, as they may be able to arrange help for you. Very occasionally, the drops do not lower eye pressure quickly enough or do not work as well as your ophthalmologist would like. If this is the case your ophthalmologist may suggest either laser treatment or an operation called a trabeculectomy to improve the drainage of aqueous fluid from your eye.

Laser treatment

There are two main types of laser surgery that can be used to control eye pressure:

• laser trabeculoplasty
• laser iridotomy.

Laser treatments are very successful. Laser trabeculoplasty helps to improve the drainage of aqueous fluid by stimulating the trabecular meshwork to work more efficiently. Laser trabeculoplasty is the more common laser treatment for people with POAG.

The alternative is laser iridotomy which creates a new drainage channel at the front of your eye. This new channel is usually made through the top of your iris, to allow aqueous fluid to drain through this channel as well. Laser iridotomy can sometimes be used for POAG but is more commonly used to prevent someone having closed angle glaucoma.

Both types of laser treatment reduce pressure and will usually only need to be done once. Laser treatments sometimes need repeating but often just need doing once. They are minor surgical procedures which you recover from very quickly. Normally they are performed under local anesthetic as an out patient (meaning you wouldn’t stay in hospital). You would normally use glaucoma drops in the long-term after laser treatment to continue to keep eye pressure stable.

Trabeculectomy surgery

If eye drops and laser treatment cannot lower eye pressure and keep it stable then trabeculectomy surgery may be considered. Only five per cent of people with glaucoma require trabeculectomy surgery. This surgery creates a new, permanent drainage channel in the eye and lowers pressure. The new channel is made on the white part of your eye (the sclera), underneath your upper eye lid.

Continued use of glaucoma drops is not normally needed following this surgery but your ophthalmologist will let you know what would be best for you. Your specialist will discuss with you which is the best method, drops, laser treatment or surgery to reduce your pressure and keep it stable.

Acute angle closure glaucoma

Acute glaucoma is much less common than POAG. Acute angle closure glaucoma happens when there is a sudden and more complete blockage to the flow of aqueous fluid from the eye. This is nearly always very painful and causes permanent damage to your sight if not treated promptly.

In acute angle closure glaucoma, the pressure in the eye rises rapidly. This is because the outer edge of the iris and the front of the eye (cornea) come into contact, which stops the aqueous fluid from draining away through the trabecular meshwork as normal. This can happen in one or both eyes but it is rare for both eyes to have an attack at the same time.

Symptoms of acute glaucoma

In the early stages you may see misty rainbow-coloured rings around white lights. But for most people sudden increase in eye pressure is very painful. The affected eye becomes red, the sight deteriorates and you may even black out. You may also feel nauseous and be sick. Acute glaucoma is an emergency and needs to be treated quickly if sight is to be saved.

Some people can experience a series of mild attacks, often in the evening. Vision may seem “misty” with coloured rings seen around white lights and there may be some discomfort in the eye. If you think that you’re having mild attacks you should have your eyes tested as soon as possible and let the optometrist know that you’re having these symptoms.

In some people, the angle between the cornea and the iris is narrow, meaning there could be more risk of developing closed angle glaucoma. Your optometrist may notice this during your eye test and may refer you to the hospital for further tests and treatment even if you have no symptoms of acute glaucoma.

Treating acute glaucoma

If you are diagnosed and treated promptly, there may be almost complete and permanent recovery of vision. Delay in treatment may cause a permanent loss of sight in the affected eye. If you have an acute attack you need to go into hospital immediately so that the pain and the pressure in the eye can be relieved. You will be given medication, which makes your eye produce less aqueous fluid and also improves its drainage to help relieve the pain.

An acute attack, if treated early, can usually be brought under control in a few hours. Your eye will become more comfortable and sight starts to return. Your surgeon will probably suggest a procedure to make a small hole in the outer border of your iris to allow the fluid to drain away. This is usually done by laser iridotomy (see above) or by a small operation.

Usually the surgeon also advises you to have the laser iridotomy on your other eye because there is a high risk that it will develop the same problem. This treatment is not painful. Depending on circumstances and the response to treatment, you probably won’t need to stay in hospital.

Occasionally, the eye pressure remains a little raised and treatment is required as for chronic glaucoma (for more information, see the section on POAG, above). Even though treatment brings the pressure down to near normal, you may also need to continue using eye drops to keep the glaucoma under control.

Can acute glaucoma be prevented?

Some people may have very mild or no symptoms of acute glaucoma but when their eyes are examined their angles may be very narrow. In these cases, an ophthalmologist may recommend surgery to prevent an acute attack. If you have had an acute glaucoma attack in one eye, usually surgery will also be performed on the other eye to avoid problems in the future.

Ocular hypertension

Ocular hypertension means high eye pressure. We all have eye pressure as it keeps the eye healthy and helps to maintain the shape of the eye. Most people’s eye pressure is between 16-21mmHg. Sometimes eye pressure can be a bit below or above this range, which may be completely normal for your eye and not need any treatment. Eye pressure can go up and down slightly quite naturally but it does not go up with your blood pressure. Therefore, stress does not cause high eye pressure or glaucoma.

If your eye pressure is above 22mmHg, you will generally be told that you have ocular hypertension. This is not the same as having glaucoma. A diagnosis of glaucoma means that the pressure in the eye has caused some damage to the optic nerve but a diagnosis of ocular hypertension may mean your pressure is high but there isn’t any damage to your optic nerve.

Due to a change in NHS referral guidelines used by optometrists, more people are being seen at hospital with suspected ocular hypertension. Not everyone with ocular hypertension will develop glaucoma or need treatment but some will. Ocular hypertension is treated with drops in the same way as chronic glaucoma (POAG) and your eye health should be monitored regularly at a hospital.

Understanding Glaucoma2018-01-08T03:34:30+00:00

Understanding Cataracts

Cataracts are a very common eye condition. As we get older the lens inside our eye gradually changes and becomes less transparent (clear). A lens that has turned misty, or cloudy, is said to have a cataract. Over time a cataract can get worse, gradually making your vision mistier. A straightforward operation can usually remove the misty lens and replace it with an artificial lens to enable you to see more clearly again.

About Cataracts

When you look at something, light passes through the front of your eye, and is focused by the cornea and then the lens onto the retina. The lens is normally clear so that light can pass directly through to focus on your retina (the lens is clear because of the way the cells in the lens are arranged).

The lens focuses light onto the retina, which converts the light into electrical signals. A network of nerves delivers these signals from the different parts of the retina to the optic nerve and then onto the brain. The brain interprets these signals to “see” the world around us.

The lens can change shape, allowing us to focus on objects at different distances, called “accommodation of vision”. As we get older, the lens isn’t able to change shape as well as it used to; even people who can see clearly in the distance without glasses will need reading glasses to see things up close. This process is not caused by a cataract.

Cataracts result from changes in the way the cells of the lens are arranged and their water content, which causes the lens to become cloudy instead of clear. When this happens, light cannot pass directly through the lens and you may notice problems with your vision. A cataract is not a growth or a film growing over the eye, it is simply the lens becoming misty.


Cataracts can be caused by a number of things, but by far the most common reason is growing older. Most people over the age of 65 have some changes in their lens and most of us will develop a cataract in time. Apart from getting older, the other common causes of cataract include:

– Diabetes
– Trauma
– Medications, such as steroids
– Eye surgery for other eye conditions
– Other eye conditions.

In general, the reason why you have developed a cataract will not affect the way it is removed. Most cataracts are caused by natural changes in the lens, which happen as you get older. However, the following factors may be involved in cataract development (please note that these are only suggested causes which are the subject of ongoing research):

– Tobacco smoking
– Lifelong exposure to sunlight
– Having a poor diet lacking antioxidant vitamins.


Cataracts usually develop slowly and although symptoms vary there are some symptoms that most people experience. Most people will eventually develop a cataract in both eyes, though one eye may be affected before the other. When your cataract starts to develop, you may feel your sight isn’t quite right. For example, if you wear glasses you may feel that your lenses are dirty, even when they’re clean. Gradually, you may find your sight becomes cloudier and more washed out. Edges of stairs or steps become more difficult to see and you may feel you need a lot more light to read smaller print.

Another common symptom of a cataract is a problem with bright lights. Lights can seem to glare, or you may find that the headlights of a car dazzle you more than they used to. You may also notice a slight change in your colour vision – things may appear more yellow than before. This often happens if one eye develops a cataract first and colours look different when you compare one eye with the other.

If you notice any of these changes, you should have your eyes tested by an optometrist (optician) who will be able to tell whether you have a cataract or not. The optometrist will then discuss the degree to which the cataract is affecting your vision and if you agree, refer you via your GP to the eye clinic. You may be told during the eye test that you have early cataract or initial signs of a cataract which does not need referral. If you are unsure about anything during the eye test then ask to have it explained. Eye tests are free for everyone in Scotland and for everyone over sixty years old in the UK. Many other people also qualify for free eye tests.

If a cataract isn’t removed, your sight will become increasingly cloudy. Eventually, it will be like trying to see through a frosted window or a heavy net curtain or fog. Even if your cataract gets to this stage, it can still be removed and your sight will be almost as it was before the cataract developed.


The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery to remove your cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens implant. This is done by an ophthalmologist (eye specialist) at a hospital. Lasers aren’t used to remove cataracts and there is no evidence to suggest that changing your diet, taking vitamins or using eye drops can cure cataracts. Cataract surgery is available free on the NHS.

Removing cataracts

The operation to remove your cataracts can be performed at any stage of their development. There is no longer a reason to wait until your cataract is “ripe” before removing it. However, because any surgery involves some risk, it is usually worth waiting until there is some change in your vision before removing the cataract. This is something to discuss with your optometrist as a good time to refer may vary from person to person.

Most people choose to have their cataracts removed when the change in their vision starts to cause them difficulties in everyday life. The timing of this varies from person to person. If you have problems in bright light, or you find reading or getting out and about, cooking or looking after yourself increasingly difficult then it may be time to consider having the cataract removed. When you attend your appointment in the eye clinic you need to make clear to the specialists any everyday problems you are having.

When you are first referred to the eye clinic you will have an outpatient appointment to examine your eyes and then discuss the best options for you. This is the time to ask questions and it is useful to write down any you have thought of beforehand.

Many people with cataracts are still legally able to drive. If you have any concerns about whether you should be driving, your optometrist should be able to tell you whether your sight is within the legal limits for driving. Sometimes people may be legally able to drive but might find driving difficult in bright sunlight or at night. If this is the case, then you may think it is a good time to consider having your cataracts removed.

Understanding Cataracts2018-01-08T03:32:16+00:00

Understanding Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that affects a tiny part of the retina at the back of your eye, which is called the macula.

AMD causes problems with your central vision, but does not lead to total loss of sight and is not painful. AMD affects the vision you use when you’re looking directly at something, for example when you’re reading, looking at photos or watching television. AMD may make this central vision distorted or blurry and, over a period of time, it may cause a blank patch in the centre of your vision.

Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration

Dry Macular Degeneration (non-neovascular). Dry AMD is an early stage of the disease and may result from the aging and thinning of macular tissues, depositing of pigment in the macula or a combination of the two processes.

Dry macular degeneration is diagnosed when yellowish spots known as drusen begin to accumulate in and around the macula. It is believed these spots are deposits or debris from deteriorating tissue.

Gradual central vision loss may occur with dry macular degeneration but usually is not nearly as severe as wet AMD symptoms. However, dry AMD through a period of years slowly can progress to late-stage geographic atrophy (GA) — gradual degradation of retinal cells that also can cause severe vision loss.

A major National Eye Institute study (AREDS) has produced strong evidence that certain nutrients such as beta carotene (vitamin A) and vitamins C and E may help prevent or slow progression of dry macular degeneration. These findings have led to development of a number of different AREDS nutritional formulas for macular degeneration prevention.

The AREDS study shows that taking high dose formulas of certain nutritional supplements found in eye vitamins may reduce risk of early stage AMD progression by 25 percent.

Ophthalmologists also recommend that dry AMD patients wear sunglasses with UV protection against potentially harmful effects of the sun.

Wet Macular Degeneration (neovascular).

In about 10 percent of cases, dry AMD progresses to the more advanced and damaging form of the eye disease. With wet macular degeneration, new blood vessels grow beneath the retina and leak blood and fluid. This leakage causes permanent damage to light-sensitive retinal cells, which die off and create blind spots in central vision.

Choroidal neovascularization (CNV), the underlying process causing wet AMD and abnormal blood vessel growth, is the body’s misguided way of attempting to create a new network of blood vessels to supply more nutrients and oxygen to the eye’s retina. Instead, the process creates scarring, leading to sometimes severe central vision loss.

Wet macular degeneration falls into two categories:

Occult. New blood vessel growth beneath the retina is not as pronounced, and leakage is less evident in the occult CNV form of wet macular degeneration, which typically produces less severe vision loss.

Classic. When blood vessel growth and scarring have very clear, delineated outlines observed beneath the retina, this type of wet AMD is known as classic CNV, usually producing more severe vision loss.

Understanding Macular Degeneration2018-01-08T03:30:27+00:00

Understanding Diabetes

If you have diabetes, regular eye examinations are important to detect and treat eye problems. These should be arranged by your diabetes health team as part of regular tests and screening. High blood sugar (glucose) increases the risk of diabetes eye problems. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults aged 20 to 74. Blurred vision can be a symptom of more serious eye problems with diabetes. The three major eye problems that people with diabetes may develop and should be aware of are cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy

The retina contains a group of specialised cells that convert light as it enters though the lens into visual signals. The eye nerve or optic nerve transmits visual information to the brain. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the vascular (blood-vessel related) complications related to diabetes. This diabetes eye problem is due to damage of small vessels and is called a “microvascular complication.” Kidney disease and nerve damage due to diabetes are also microvascular complications. Large blood vessel damage (also called macrovascular complications) includes complications like heart disease and stroke.

The microvascular complications have, in numerous studies, been shown to be related to high blood sugar levels. You can reduce your risk of these eye-related diabetes complications by improving your blood sugar control.

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in industrialised nations. The duration of diabetes is the single most important risk for developing retinopathy. So the longer you have diabetes, the greater the risk of this very serious eye problem. If retinopathy is not found early or is not treated, it can lead to blindness.

People with type 1 diabetes rarely develop retinopathy before puberty. In adults with type 1 diabetes, it is also rare to see retinopathy before five years’ duration of diabetes. The risks of retinal damage increase with progressive duration of diabetes.

Intensive control of blood sugar levels will reduce your risks of developing retinopathy. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, a large study of people with type 1 diabetes, showed that people with diabetes who achieved tight control of their blood sugars with either an insulin pump or multiple daily injections of insulin were 50%-75% less likely to develop retinopathy, nephropathy (kidney disease), or nerve damage (all microvascular complications).

People with type 2 diabetes often have signs of eye problems when diabetes is diagnosed. In this case, control of blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol have an important role in slowing the progression of retinopathy and other eye problems.

Types of retinopathy in diabetes:

• Background retinopathy. Sometimes the blood vessel damage exists, but there is no vision problem. This is called background retinopathy. It’s important to carefully manage your diabetes at this stage to prevent background retinopathy from progressing to more serious eye disease.

• Maculopathy. In maculopathy, the person has developed damage in a critical area called the macula. Because this occurs in an area that is critical to vision, this type of eye problem can significantly reduce vision.

• Proliferative retinopathy. New blood vessels start to grow in the back of the eye. Because retinopathy is a microvascular complication of diabetes, a disease of small vessels, this type of retinopathy develops because of an increasing lack of oxygen to the eye from vascular disease. Vessels in the eye are thinned and occluded and they start to remodel.

Here, it is important to address the risks factors that can worsen the occluded vessels. Smoking cessation, high blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and blood sugar control must take place in order to stop the damage to blood vessels and progression of new vessels from growing into the eye. These are fragile vessels that can bleed and eventually cause a clot to form in the retina, which scars and may cause detachment of the retina. This can eventually lead to irreversible vision loss.

Treatment of diabetic retinopathy may involve laser procedures or surgery. In a study of people with diabetes with early retinopathy, laser therapy to burn the fragile vessel resulted in a 50% reduction of blindness.

To prevent damage from retinopathy it’s important to have eye screening annually, or more frequently if recommended. Women with diabetes who later become pregnant should have a comprehensive eye examination during the first trimester and close follow-up with an eye specialist during the rest of their pregnancy to avoid serious eye problems with diabetes. (This recommendation does not apply to women who develop gestational diabetes, since they are not at risk of retinopathy.)

When to seek medical advice about eye problems in diabetes

If you have diabetes, seek medical advice about any eye problems if any of the following occur:
• Black spots in your vision.
• Flashes of light.
• “Holes” in your vision.
• Blurred vision.

Eye care for people with diabetes

Eye care is especially important for people with diabetes because they are at increased risk of developing eye complications from the disease. Retinopathy (damage to the retina at the back of the eye) is a common complication of diabetes. If left untreated, it can get worse and cause some loss of vision, or blindness in severe cases. All people with diabetes should take precautions to help reduce their risk of developing eye problems. Here are some eye care tips:

• Book regular appointments with your optometrist so that any eye problem can be detected early and treated
• Maintain control of your blood glucose levels
• Keep your blood pressure under control. High blood pressure by itself can lead to eye disease, so if you have high blood pressure as well as diabetes, it is especially important that you take steps to control both conditions
• Get your blood cholesterol levels under control
• Eat a healthy diet
• Avoid smoking
• Exercise regularly

Understanding Diabetes2018-01-08T03:28:31+00:00

Eyecare Supplements


Scientists have long known that the Yellow colour, or pigment, inside the Macularcomes from Three cartenoids, Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin. These plant compounds help protect the eye by absorbing Blue light which is present in regular sunlightas well as in offices (computer screens generate Blue light). They also neutralise free radicals which damage the cells of the eye. Free radicals come from Smoking, Pollution, Poisons, Fried Foods and as a by product of Oxygen metabolism. Because the Macular is Yellow in colour it aborbs damaging Blue light that enters the eye and so acts as a natural filter. The MacuShield patented blend brings together all Three of these cartenoids to help maintain eye health throughout our later years.

MacuShield Dietary Supplement Capsule Packs

At Complete Eyecare we continue to recommend MacuShield as one of the steps to help to try and reduce the affects of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – one of the leading causes of blindness.

It still contains the key nutrient Meso-Zeaxanthin which helps to replenish a pigment linked to AMD. The benefits of the new Softgel MacuShield formulation:

It is a Sunflower oil based capsule – now you do not need to take it with food and it allows the active ingredients to target the macula area even more effectively. It is still the only supplement available with all three of the antioxidants needed to keep your macula healthy.

Unlike other dietary supplements MacuShield only contains Meso-Zeaxanthin , Lutein and Zeaxanthin.These powerful antioxidants help protect the tissues of the eyes from damaging blue light and free radicals. So because it does not contain any vitamins or minerals there are no unwanted interactions with other medications you may be taking or with other medical conditions you may have.

It contains no animal products making MacuShield suitable for everyone including vegetarians. Ladies who are pregnant or breast feeding should consult their doctor before using MacuShield.

All food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied, balance diet and healthy lifestyle and remember to wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harmful Ultra-Violet light.

Eyecare Supplements2018-01-08T03:31:22+00:00

Dry Eye Management

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye. Its consequences range from subtle but constant irritation to ocular inflammation of the anterior (front) tissues of the eye.

Dry Eye Syndrome Symptoms

Persistent dryness, scratchiness and a burning sensation in your eyes are symptoms of dry eyes. These symptoms alone may prompt your eye doctor to diagnose dry eye syndrome. Dry eyes can become red and irritated, causing a feeling of scratchiness. Another symptom of dry eyes is a “foreign body sensation,” the feeling that something is in the eye. And it may seem odd, but dry eye syndrome can cause watery eyes. This is because dryness on the eye’s surface sometimes will overstimulate production of the watery component of your tears as a protective mechanism.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Tears bathe the eye, washing out dust and debris and keeping the eye moist. They also contain enzymes that neutralize the microorganisms that colonize the eye. Tears are essential for good eye health. In dry eye syndrome, the lacrimal gland or associated glands near the eye don’t produce enough tears, or the tears have a chemical composition that causes them to evaporate too quickly. Dry eye syndrome has several causes.

It occurs as a part of the natural aging process, especially during menopause; as a side effect of many medications, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, certain blood pressure medicines, Parkinson’s medications and birth control pills; or because you live in a dry, dusty or windy climate. If your home or office has air conditioning or a dry heating system, that too can dry out your eyes.

Another cause is insufficient blinking, such as when you’re staring at a computer screen all day. Long-term contact lens wear is another cause; in fact, dry eyes are the most common complaint among contact lens wearers. Recent research indicates that contact lens wear and dry eyes can be a vicious cycle. Dry eye syndrome makes contact lenses feel uncomfortable, and evaporation of moisture from contact lenses worsens dry eye symptoms.

Tears are composed of three layers:
• the outer, oily lipid layer;
• the middle, watery, lacrimal layer;
• and the inner, mucous or mucin layer.

Each layer is produced by different glands near the eye. The lacrimal gland located above the outer corner of the eye produces the lacrimal layer, for example. So a problem with any of those sources can result in dry eyes.

If you are having issues relating to dry eye as described on this web page then make sure to call the practice and book in for a detailed and thorough dry eye assessment.

Dry Eye Management2018-01-08T03:17:05+00:00
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