Fake News? Eye health facts!

The 2017 Collins’ Word of the Year is…”Fake News”!

Dictionary publisher Collins has declared Fake News as having grown in use by 365% from 2016.

While ‘Fake News’ is defined as “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting”, what is definitely not fake news is the need for us to have a regular eye exam.

The World Health Organisation states that an estimated 253 million people live with vision impairment: 36 million are blind and 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment.

81% of people who are blind or have moderate to severe vision impairment are aged 50 years and above.

Chronic eye disease is the leading cause of vision loss, however over 80% of all vision impairment can be prevented or cured.

Everyone needs to have a regular eye exam, even children.

Eye exams can also find diseases, like glaucoma, that have no symptoms. It’s important to spot them early on, when they’re easier to treat.

Depending on your eye health needs, you can see one of two types of doctors:

  • Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialise in eye care. They can provide general eye care, treat eye diseases, and perform eye surgery.
  • Optometrists provide general eye care and treat the most common eye diseases.

Some common tests in an eye exam can include:

  • Family History Talking about your personal and family medical history
  • Visual Acuity Tests – Among the first tests performed in a comprehensive eye exam are visual acuity tests that measure the sharpness of your vision. These usually are performed using a projected eye chart to measure your distance visual acuity and a small, hand-held acuity chart to measure your near vision.
  • Eye Cover Test – While there are many ways for your eye doctor to check how your eyes work together, the cover test is the simplest and most common. During a cover test, your eye doctor will ask you to focus on a small object across the room and will then cover each of your eyes alternately while you stare at the target. The test is then repeated with you looking at a near object. During these tests, your eye doctor will assess whether the uncovered eye must move to pick up the fixation target, which could indicate strabismus or a more subtle binocular vision problem that could cause eye strain or amblyopia (“lazy eye”).
  • The “puff-of-air” test – technically known as non-contact tonometry, or NCT, this is a test for glaucoma. For NCT, the test begins with you putting your chin on the machine’s chin rest. While you look at a light inside the machine, the doctor or a trained assistant will puff a small burst of air at your open eye. It is completely painless, and the tonometer does not touch your eye.
  • Colour Blindness Test – A screening test that checks your colour vision often is performed early in a comprehensive eye exam to rule out color blindness. In addition to detecting hereditary colour vision deficiencies, color blind tests also can alert your eye doctor to possible eye health problems that may affect your colour vision.
  • Refraction – This is the test that your eye doctor uses to determine your exact eyeglass prescription. During a refraction, the doctor puts the instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes and shows you a series of lens choices. He or she will then ask you which of the two lenses in each choice looks clearer. Based on your answers, your eye doctor will continue to fine-tune the lens power until reaching a final eyeglass prescription. The refraction determines your level of hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia.

There are other tests that check for eye disease, strokes, tumours, cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal ulcers, amongst others.

Cathedral Eye Clinic has an expert team of Consultant Ophthalmologists and Optometrists, using state-of-the-art technology to make sure our patients receive the most comprehensive care possible. If you would like to book an appointment with us, or view all the treatments available at the clinic, visit https://goo.gl/WyuHW5 or call 028 9032 2020.

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