Sheehan Opticians

Eye Health

Cataracts

Cataracts will affect most people especially as they get older. A cataract is a cloudiness of the crystalline lens inside the eyeball. Cataracts will cause gradual blurring of vision and increased glare and may develop slowly over many years. Cataracts are easily removed through a simple surgical procedure.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma affects around 70 million people worldwide and is the second biggest cause of blindness, having taken the sight of over 6 million people.
Glaucoma is an eye condition which damages the optic nerve, usually due to raised pressure in the eyeball.

40% of the optic nerve can be damaged before you notice any loss of vision.

At Sheehan Opticians, we screen everyone for glaucoma during a routine eye examination using a combination of eye exams. We check the pressure in the eye using a tonometer (puff of air test). Our Optometrist also assesses the health of the optic nerve and may perform a visual field test to ensure there is no damage to the optic nerve or peripheral vision due to glaucoma developing.

If our Optometrist suspects that you may be developing glaucoma, you will be referred to an Ophthalmologist for further assessment. An Ophthalmologist will prescribe eye drops to reduce the pressure in the eye if they confirm a diagnosis of glaucoma.

The good news is that people with glaucoma rarely lose their sight if it is detected early and if patients use their eyedrops regularly.

Risk factors for glaucoma are:

  • Over the age of 45 years
  • High intraocular pressure (IOP)
  • Family history of Glaucoma
  • Short-sightedness (myopia)
  • African, Asian or Hispanic heritage
  • Other medical conditions including diabetes, poor circulation, migraine headaches, past eye injuries.

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD (Age Related Macular Degeneration) is a condition that can affect your eyes as you get older. In the over 50's, AMD is a leading cause of sightloss affecting over 60,000 Irish people.

AMD affects the macula, a small part of the internal eye which is responsible for central vision and allows you to see detail.
There are two forms of AMD; "Wet AMD" and "Dry AMD". Dry AMD is the most common form of the condition which usually develops slowly, eventually leading to loss of central vision. Wet AMD is caused by leaky blood vessels inside the eye and causes more rapid loss of vision.

The exact cause of AMD is unknown, but certain people are more at risk of developing AMD.

The risk factors for AMD include:

  • Family history of AMD
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • High blood pressure
  • UV radiation exposure

Treatment Options

  • Nutritional supplements containing anti-oxidants such as Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin, Zeaxanthin and Omega 3
  • Intra-vitreal Injection
  • Usually this treatment is given to those with wet AMD to stop leakage from blood vessels at the macula
  • Photodynamic Therapy
  • Laser Photocoagulation

At Sheehan Opticians, you are automatically screened for AMD as part of a routine eye examination. If our Optometrist suspects that you have AMD, they will refer you to an Ophthalmologist who will decide on the best course of treatment.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This is the most serious eye condition in people with diabetes and it can cause blindness.

Diabetic retinopathy affects the retina and is caused by leakage from blood vessels due to diabetes.

Good management of diabetes will minimize any loss of sight due to diabetic retinopathy. Many people who have had diabetes for a long time may develop 'backround retinopathy' which does not pose an immediate threat to sight.

Treatment for diabetic retinopathy includes laser treatment or intravitreal injection to seal leaky retinal blood vessels and reduce bleeding on the retina.

Contact us at Sheehan Opticians to have digital photographs taken of your retina using our state of the art fundus camera.

Flashes and Floaters

If you notice sudden flashes of light in your vision or spots (floaters) moving in your vision it is very important to have an eye examination immediately.

In the majority of cases, flashes or floaters are due to natural wear and tear in the eye or movement of the gel (vitreous) that fills the space inside the eye. When the gel (vitreous) inside the eyeball moves away from the wall of the eyeball, this is known as a Posterior Vitreous Detachment or PVD. There is no treatment for PVD but anyone with a recent vitreous detachment must be monitored closely to ensure they are not developing a secondary retinal detachment.

A retinal detachment is a medical emergency as it may result in irreversible, sudden loss of sight. A person developing a retinal detachment might complain of flashes, spots in their vision or a dark shadow coming across their vision. A retinal detachment can be repaired by surgery or laser and must be treated urgently to preserve vision.

Some people are more at risk of developing a retinal detachment, especially those who are very short-sighted or who have recently had trauma or injury to the eye.

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Sheehan Opticians,
99 Main Street,
Cavan,
Co. Cavan.

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