ARMD – Age related macular degeneration.

Age Related Macula Degeneration or sometimes known as ARMD is a disease of the eye which comes with age. If we all live long enough it will affect us in some form or other.

The macula is a part of the eye on the retina – which the layer on the inside of the eye (the red part you see in photos). The macula is very important and is responsible for what we see straight in front of us, allowing us to see fine detail for activities such as reading and writing, as well as our ability to see colour.


What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of part of your eye called the lens. Your vision becomes blurred because the cataract is like a frosted glass, interfering with your sight. It is not a layer of skin that grows over your eye, despite what you may have heard.
If your doctor or optometrist/optician has told you that you have a cataract, don’t be alarmed. Many people over 60 have some cataract and the vast majority can be treated successfully. Early cataracts may not affect your sight and do not need treatment.

The function of the lens

The lens is a clear tissue found behind the iris, the coloured part of the eye. The lens helps to focus light on the retina at the back of the eye to form an image. To help produce a sharp image, the lens must be clear.


What is diabetes?

Estimates suggest that nearly one person in twenty-five in the UK is affected by diabetes mellitus, a condition which means that, due to a lack of insulin, the body cannot cope normally with sugar and other carbohydrates in the diet.
Diabetes can start in childhood, but more often begins in later life. It can cause complications which affect different parts of the body, the eye being one of them. There are two different types of diabetes mellitus:

  • Type 1 diabetes, which can also be referred to as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). This type of diabetes commonly occurs before the age of 30 and is the result of the body producing little or no insulin.
  • Type 1 is controlled by insulin injections.

Type 2 diabetes, which can also be referred to as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). This type of diabetes commonly occurs after the age of 40. In this type of diabetes the body does produce some insulin, although the amount is either not sufficient or the body is not able to make proper use of it.
Type 2 diabetes is generally controlled by diet or tablets, although some people in this group will use insulin injections.

Dry Eye

But what exactly is dry eye?

Dry eye known medically as keratoconjunctivitis sicca or keratitis sicca, is a condition where there is a problem with the production of tears.

What are the symptoms of Dry Eye?

Usually eyes feel irritated, scratchy, dry and uncomfortable. Eyes may be red and there may be a burning sensation, or it may feel as if there is something in the eye like grit or an eyelash. Sometimes there may be periods of blurred vision but these normally go away after a short while or on blinking.
Sometimes eyes may even water too much which confuses a lot of people when we tell them they have dry eye as they see their eyes watering a lot.
Often eyes won’t actually feel dry but you may notice that there are no tears when you are upset or when peeling onions.


What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the name for a group of eye conditions in which the optic nerve is damaged at the point where it leaves the eye. This nerve carries information from the light sensitive layer in your eye, the retina, to the brain where it is perceived as a picture.
Your eye needs a certain amount of pressure to keep the eyeball in shape so that it can work properly. In some people, the glaucoma damage is caused by raised eye pressure. Others may have an eye pressure within normal limits but damage occurs because there is a weakness in the optic nerve. In most cases, both factors of high pressure and weakness in the optic nerve are involved, but to a varying extent.

Eye pressure is largely independent of blood pressure.




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