Frequently asked questions
What is Glaucoma?
Answer:Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases that gradually steal sight - usually without warning. In the early stages of the disease, there may be no symptoms. Experts estimate that half of the people affected by glaucoma may not know they have it. Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. This nerve acts like an electric cable with over a million wires transmitting information that is revived from the retina when it is stimulated by light or direct mechanical action (such as injury or pulling by the gel inside the eye). In short, It is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain. There is no cure for glaucoma - yet. However, medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. The appropriate treatment depends upon the type of glaucoma among other factors. Early detection is vital to stopping or slowing the rate of progress of the disease. It was once thought that high pressure within the eye, also known as IntraOcular Pressure or IOP, was the main cause of this optic nerve damage. Although IOP is clearly a risk factor, we now know that other factors must also be involved because even people with "normal" levels of pressure can experience vision loss from glaucoma.
Further informationGlaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause progressive damage of the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye to carry visual information to the brain. If left untreated, most types of glaucoma progress (without warning nor obvious symptoms to the patient) towards gradually worsening visual damage and may lead to blindness. Once incurred, visual damage is mostly irreversible, and this has led to glaucoma being described as the "silent blinding disease" or the "sneak thief of sight". Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide. It is estimated that 4.5 million persons globally are blind due to glaucoma(1) and that this number will rise to 11.2 million by 2020(2). It is noteworthy that due to the silent progression of the disease - at least in its early stages - up to 50% of affected persons in the developed countries are not even aware of having glaucoma(3). This number may rise to 90% in underdeveloped parts of the world. There are several types of glaucoma. Some may occur as a complication of other visual disorders (the so-called "secondary" glaucomas) but the vast majority is "primary", i.e. they occur without a known cause. It was once believed that the cause of most or all glaucomas was high pressure within the eye (known as intraocular pressure - sometimes abbreviated as IOP). It is now established however, that even people without an abnormally high IOP may suffer from glaucoma. Intraocular pressure is considered therefore today as a "Risk Factor" for glaucoma, together with other factors such as racial ancestry, family history, high myopia and age. Some forms of glaucoma may occur at birth ("congenital") or during infancy and childhood ("juvenile"); in most cases however, glaucoma appears after the 4th decade of life, and its frequency increases with age. There is no clearly established difference in glaucoma incidence between men and women. The most common types of adult-onset glaucoma are Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) - a form most frequently encountered in patients of Caucasian and African ancestry - and Angle-Closure Glaucoma (ACG), which is the more common in patients of Asian ancestry. Angle-Closure Glaucoma is often chronic, like POAG, but can sometimes be acute, in which case it usually presents as a very painful ocular condition leading to rapid vision loss. There is no cure for glaucoma as yet, and vision loss is irreversible. However medication or surgery (traditional or laser) can halt or slow-down any further vision loss. Therefore early detection is essential to limiting visual impairment and preventing the progression towards severe visual handicap or blindness. At Ashleigh Sight Care, our Experts can detect glaucoma in its early stages and advise you on the best course of action.
1. World Health Organization data from www.who.int/blindness/causes/priority/en/
2. Quigley et al. Br J Ophthalmol 2006; 90:262-267
3. Sommer et al. Arch Ophthalmol 1991; 1090-1095Further information is available at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Glaucoma/Pages/Introduction.aspx and at http://www.glaucoma-association.com/
What are cataracts?
Answer:The eye has a natural lens that has the ability to focus at near and far and is held in place by a network of fine, thread-like muscles that also aid the eye in its focus. As blue light passes through the eye over many years, parts of the lens begins to grey and, left to continue, becomes more dense as time passes. This greying or clouding of the lens is called cataract. Exactly when it is decided to call this maturing lens a cataract is often subject to opinion by various clinicians. I prefer to call a naturally greying lens a cataract when it begins to spoil the quality of vision in the observer. In that case, it needs to be removed and replaced by a clear intra-ocular lens. This process is easily done in twenty minutes, or so, and often results in vision that only needs you to wear glasses for reading. Although conducted under the NHS, current local guidelines state that certain minimal conditions have to be met before surgery can be considered. Recent announcements by the Health Secretary have sought to minimise these minimal conditions. For those with time-pressing needs or wishing more convenient choices, there are several local eye surgeons who can remove troublesome cataracts privately and without delay. Without private medical insurance, you should expect to pay between £2000-£2500 per eye for the removal of a cataract and the implantation of a new lens.
My eyes are often uncomfortable or sore. How can I tell if I have Dry Eye Syndrome?
Answer:There are many things that can cause an uncomfortable eye - usually some agent, either outside the eye or a side-effect of any medication being taken. To find out if you may have Dry Eye Syndrome, please fill out the following questionnaire and a clinically experienced optometrist will come back to you ... but you must leave an email address for us to contact you. This may take up to 48 hours:
How can I make my dry eyes more comfortable?
Environmental factorsCertain environments can irritate your eyes. Keep your eyes protected from:
- hot air
Specialised eyewareSome cases of dry eye disease can be treated using specialised eyeware. These include specially made glasses called moisture chamber spectacles. These wrap around your eyes like goggles, helping to retain moisture and protecting your eyes from irritants. They are expensive but effective. EyeBags are more cost-effective and come in a starter pack following an initial assessment at our Dry Eye clinics. If your contact lenses were (or are) causing dry eye disease, special contact lenses are also available that may allow better oxygen flow into the eyes that your current lenses. You should discuss various options with our expert clinical optometrists
Adjust your computerMake sure that your computer workstation is positioned correctly to minimise eye strain. If you are using a computer at work, most employers have a health and safety officer or an occupational health representative who can advise you about this. Your monitor (screen) should stand at eye level or just below it. If you use a computer, make sure that you take enough breaks away from your computer screen and blink your eyes regularly. Taking breaks every hour to "rest" your eyes may help reduce your symptoms. Blink exercises are important since they not only help lubricate the eyes regularly, eliminating dry patches, but also help express lid margin oils that coat the eye.
Use a humidifierA humidifier at work and home will moisten the surrounding air. Opening windows for a few minutes on cold days and longer in spring and summer will also help keep air moist and prevent build-up of mould.
Keep your eyes cleanGood hygiene will help improve dry eye syndrome, particularly if you have blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids). There are three main steps to eyelid hygiene that should be performed once or twice a day:
- warm compresses
- gentle eyelid massage
- lid margin hygiene
- Soaking a clean flannel or eye pad in the warm water and gently placing this over the eyes for around 10 minutes was the original advice
- The warmth from the flannel is not enough to melt the oils in the stagnated meibomian glands of the eyelids
- A microwavable "eyebag" is the recommended method, together with antibiotic lid wipes and eye lubricants
- After you have used the carefully heated EyeBag on the eyelids for about ten minutes:
- Gently massage your closed eyes by rolling your little finger in a circular motion – this will help to push the melted oil out of the glands. You cannot see the oil come out, as the droplets are tiny.
- Next, take a cotton-tipped applicator (cotton wool bud). With your eyes shut, gently roll the cotton bud downwards on the upper eyelid towards the lashes and eyelid margins, then repeat along the whole length of the upper eyelid. This will help express the residual oil out of all the glands.
- Repeat expression for the lower eyelid glands by rolling a clean cotton-tipped applicator upwards towards the lashes and the eyelid margin.
- If the oils have been stagnant in the glands for quite some time, they might have changed their chemical structure. It is possible that when the oil drains onto the surface of the eye after gentle expression, it might cause irritation, a bit like getting soap in your eyes. This is normal and should get better with time as the blepharitis comes under control.
Lid margin hygiene
- The expressed oils should be wiped away from the eyelid margin. This also helps to reduce bacteria, dust or grime that might have accumulated along the eyelids while blinking, and also any remaining crusts.
- Do not use baby shampoo, as this is fragranced and can make things worse.
- Dip a clean cotton-tipped applicator into Blephagel and gently clean the eyelid margins by wiping the cotton bud along the rims behind the roots of the lashes, the bases of the lashes and the lengths of the lashes.
- Alternatively, BlephaClean sterile lid wipes can be used. These wipes are an excellent replacement for lid wipes that you may use at night to remove your makeup since they have the dual purpose of removing your makeup at the same time as removing any eyelid debris left over from Blepharitis or the day's normal collection of debris
DietThere is increasing evidence that suggests a diet high in omega-3 fats can help improve ocular surface health, meibomian gland function and dry eye disease. This also has a wide range of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, joint problems and macular degeneration. The most important omega-3s are:
- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – both found in wild fish
- alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – found in green leafy vegetables, flaxseed, soya beans, canola oil and walnuts
- fresh tuna (not canned, as the canning process removes the beneficial oils)
What is Age-related Macular degeneration?
Answer:Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in people over 50 years of age, affecting an estimated 500,000 people in the UK and 70,000 people in Ireland, with over 12 million sufferers across Europe (BMJ. Mar 1, 2003; 326(7387): 485–488) This eye disease is particularly frustrating because it results in a loss of central vision. In other words, someone with AMD can see everything except what he/she is looking at, and is therefore unable to read, watch TV, recognise faces or drive. There is currently an epidemic of AMD, largely because we are all living so long and our eyes have been exposed to ultraviolet radiation for all those living years..
It is now believed that that damage by free radicals causing oxidative stress within the eye trigger changes that cause AMD to develop. Free radicals are unstable molecules, and are produced in response to a person using oxygen, and in response to blue light entering the eye. Because we use oxygen to live and because we are constantly exposed to blue light, damage caused by free radicals is unavoidable (the cost of living) ... but it CAN be minimised.
Who is at risk of developing AMD?The three most important and established risk factors for AMD include:
- Increasing age
- Cigarette smoking
- Having a family history of AMD
- Genetic factors*
- Female gender
- White race
- Light iris colour
- Sunlight exposure
- High cholesterol
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Poor diet
- Low macular pigment levels
What can be done to prevent AMD developing?Some of the above risk factors for AMD are modifiable. In other words, people have control over these risk factors. For example, a person can stop smoking cigarettes, improve their diet and most importantly, increase their macular pigment level. There are two main types of Age-related Macular Degeneration:
Dry type:This type progresses at a slower rate but can cause loss of reading vision and central vision. In this type, there is no leakage of blood or protein under the retina and is generally the least harmful to vision . There is no specific treatment but recent mounting evidence suggests that cessation of smoking, taking regular high dose antioxidant vitamins and protection from blue light are the actions that are considered most modifiable in order to reduce the risk of progression of the disease to the wet form.
Wet typeSoft fatty deposits, called drusen, form on the lowest layer of the retina and trigger a response that leads to new blood vessels forming in the area. New blood vessels are usually weak and 'leaky' since they are young and the cells that make up their walls have not had time to compress and become tight. This type of macular degeneration is due to the abnormal blood vessels (called choroidal new vessels) growing under the macula (central part of the retina used for reading and central vision). These new vessels have the potential to leak and bleed under the retina, with the capacity to rapidly distort and damage central vision. Blindness rarely results because peripheral vision is usually preserved. Drusen are yellow proteinaceous deposits under the macula and may be a precursor to wet AMD development. They may remain stable for long periods of time. In both these types of macular degeneration the central vision may become damaged but the peripheral vision is usually not affected and so blindness in rarely, if ever, the final outcome.
What is the treatment of Age-related Macular Degeneration?
Answer:Age related Macular Degeneration is a leading cause of blindness in the Western World. Treatment can be difficult and, in the wet form, may involve intravitreal injections or laser treatment.
Latest treatments: Anti-VEGF Intravitreal injectionsAvastin (Bebacizumab) and Lucentis (Ranibizumab) are new anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs, which have shown great promise in treating macular diseases such as macular degeneration and macular oedema. They have also been useful in cases of diabetic retinopathy and central retinal vein occlusion. These drugs act by inhibiting the growth of abnormal blood vessels and help prevent leakage of these blood vessels. In macular degeneration they are useful in the wet type of macular degeneration in which abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina at the back of the eye. These vessels cause leakage of blood or fluid that result in blurred or distorted vision. The aim of treatment with these anti-VEGF intravitreal injections is to stop the leakage and prevent further damage. Current research has found these drugs to be well tolerated as an intravitreal injection. Research so far has demonstrated that up to 70% of patients can show improvement with this treatment. Further research is showing good promise in cases of diabetic retinopathy and cases of persisting macular oedema, such as in central retinal vein occlusion. Injection of these drugs is performed as an outpatient procedure. Topical and local anaesthetic is used and therefore the injection should have minimal pain. Patients are discharged on the same day and may go home with a patch on their eye. This is removed after approximately three hours and antibiotic eye drops are administered four times a day for one week to help prevent infection. Patients need to be aware that in the first one or two days they may have some ocular irritation from the injection, as well as a tearing and redness of their eye. They should notify the Doctor or ophthalmologist if they notice persisting pain beyond 2 days or sign of infection or severe loss of vision. Generally the side affects of these drugs are rare but can include intraocular infection, which can cause loss of vision and requires urgent treatment. Also very rare complications include lens damage, retinal detachment and very rarely blood pressure rise, stroke, and cardiovascular problems. Up to 70% of patients do notice some improvement after their first injection. Most patients require injection performed monthly for the first three months, often requiring OCT Scans to monitor the progression. Following this, the interval between treatments may be increased up to three months. Treatment will be tapered by your ophthalmologist according to the response that is obtained. Some patients have responded very well and only require one or two injections, whereas others have required repeated injections before they are stabilised. Average is approximately 6-7 treatments per year. Avastin is an expensive drug. it was originally developed for treatment of colon and rectal cancer but was found to have excellent benefit as an individual injection in the eye and therefore usage has continued with this. Several thousands of cases have been performed with no significant adverse outcomes. Lucentis, another drug of treatment derived from Avastin, has undergone extensive research and appears to have the same clinical effectiveness in the eye. The molecule of Avastin is larger than Lucentis and may have a longer action in the eye, though Lucentis does supposedly have increased effectiveness though reports have suggested little difference in their clinical affect.
Are eye vitamins of any use?
Answer:The use of antioxidant vitamins, such as Viteyes, Macugen and Ocuvite, has been reported to be useful in reducing the progression of macular degeneration by reducing oxidation damage to the retinal cells. Patients may take one or two of these eye-targeted vitamins ampules each day as instructed by their optometrist. There also is some new research into Omega 3 vitamins, which may also help to protect the eyes. A diet including fish, green vegetables and nuts is beneficial. Use of margarine, cooking oils (except olive oil) and processed food should be avoided. Smoking has also shown increased risk of macular degeneration progression and should be ceased. A ground-breaking, ten year study conducted by the US National Eye Institute proved that a high dose of specific vitamins and minerals (vitamins A (as beta-carotene), C, E, zinc and copper) could help reduce the risk of developing certain age related macular changes. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists Interim Recommendations for the Management of Patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) - AMD Interim Guidelines – version 3: Nov2007 states that a product based on this formula should be recommended to patients at risk of development of Age-related Macular Degeneration. Other research conducted by the US North Chicago VA Medical Centre and other smaller scale studies has demonstrated that the carotenoid lutein has an important role to play in maintaining visual performance and macular health. Researchers at the Watford Clinic at the Institute of Vision Research in Ireland have pointed to a gene that increases the risk of its carrriers for AMD and cites the importance of Meso-zeaxanthin in the health eye-friendly diet.
Besides macular degeneration, what will the OCT be able to detect?
Answer:Vitreomacular traction can clearly be diagnosed through OCT providing invaluable information as to the current relationship between the vitreous and the retinal surface. As we get older the vitreous, the jelly that takes up the space in our eyeball, can change. It becomes less firm and can move away from the back of the eye towards the centre, in some cases parts do not detach and cause ‘pulling’ of the retinal surface. The danger of a Vitreous detachment is that there is no pain and your eyesight will seem unchanged but the back of your eye may be being damaged. This pulling of the retina resembles cling film and is often termed 'cellophane' maculopathy and is clearly seen, even at a very early stage, by OCT imaging. Early retinal holes and macular swelling lend themselves well to being scanned since their pathophysiology is quite evident when the retina is 'sliced' sideways with the scanning beam. Early glaucoma is characterised by changes in the thickness of bunches of nerve fibres that course down the tube that, collectively, we call the optic nerve. Not only can the OCT see this depletion in nerve fibre layer but has the capacity to measure the space between the accumulation of nerve fibres travelling down the optic nerve. Change in the volume occupied by this space, the optic cup, is often a first sign of nerve fibre damage - early glaucoma. The OCT can measure this volume change over a period of time and an increase in this cup volume is suggestive of nerve fibre layer death. This alerts the clinician to the possiblity of glaucoma earlier than may be detected by human observation alone. Tumors under the central retina can be imaged by the OCT and any 'freckle' that has been identified can be monitored for change in thickness and size more easily by a time-sequence of images.
I am 75 years old – can I wear contact lenses?
Answer:Yes – providing your eyes are not too dry. Age is NOT a barrier to wearing contact lenses... but confidence IS. We have plenty of experience in contact lens management to ensure that we give you confidence to wear your contact lenses.
Tell me more about contact lenses
Contact lenses are one of the miracles of modern technology. Today, more than three million people in the UK enjoy the clear, natural and unobstructed vision offered by contact lenses which don’t fog up or get splashed with rain as glasses sometimes can.
New lens designs and materials, as well as advanced care products, now make contact lenses easier and more comfortable to wear than ever before. They offer freedom from wearing glasses in daily life, when playing sport, or for that important social occasion, and can bring particular benefits for individuals with stronger vision correction requirements.
Are contact lenses right for me?
Major advances in contact lens design mean that almost everyone can wear contact lenses successfully nowadays. People of all ages can be fitted, although special care is needed for the very young and elderly. Common eyesight defects, such as short-sightedness and long-sightedness, are easily corrected with contact lenses, but now conditions such as astigmatism and presbyopia (needing glasses for reading, too) can also be treated very effectively with contact lenses.
In the past, people with astigmatism, a condition in which the eye is irregularly shaped causing distorted vision, were restricted to wearing glasses, but today’s ‘toric’ contact lenses can be custom made for each individual to provide clear vision. Presbyopia, the ageing of the eye’s lens that progressively affects everyone over the age of about 40, makes it difficult to shift focus between near and distant objects. This condition can also be corrected with bifocal (or, more usually, multifocal) contact lenses that provide clear distance and near vision.
As contact lenses float on the tear fluid and do not actually touch the eye, there is no discomfort and nothing to obstruct your peripheral vision in the way that spectacle frames can. Also, the lenses move with your eye, meaning that you are always looking through the centre of the lens, where vision is best. In the majority of cases, people actually see better with contact lenses than they would with glasses.
What should I do if I want to try contact lenses?
Before you can wear contact lenses you must have your eyes fully examined. All our practices have contact lens practitioners who are qualified to fit and dispense contact lenses. During the examination your eyes will be tested to determine the strength of lenses you will need for clear vision, and the health of you and your eyes and eyelids will be examined. The quality of your tears, needed for lubrication of contact lenses – will also be assessed. Then, the curvature and diameter of the cornea at the front of your eye will be measured, together with the size of your pupils and the positions of your eyelids. Based on this information, your practitioner will be able to advise you about the most suitable contact lenses.
What types of contact lenses are available?
Hard lenses The first contact lenses were what have become known as ‘hard’ lenses. These are/were made of a perspex material that, while very durable, did not allow essential oxygen to pass through to the surface of the eye. Although still available for certain specialist needs, they have been largely replaced by gas permeable lenses that allow good oxygen flow and enable the eye to ‘breathe'.
Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses
Rigid gas permeable lenses allow oxygen to pass to the surface of the eye, but they are made of firmer plastics than soft lenses. This makes them more durable and gives them a longer life span. These lenses are particularly suitable for certain prescriptions such as high degrees of astigmatism, where they give very good vision. Some people find rigid lenses easier to handle than soft lenses and, although they take a little longer to get used to, regular wearers find them very comfortable.
Modern soft contact lenses are made from gel-like plastics, often with a high water content, that allow oxygen to pass freely to the eye. Because of this, soft lenses can be made much larger which in turn makes them very comfortable and easy to adapt to. Some of the new ultra-thin soft lenses are so comfortable that new wearers can leave them in all day right from the start. New users usually find that they are only mildly aware of standard thickness soft lenses and that tolerance can be built up fairly easily so that most people are able to wear them all day within a week. Newer materials, such as Silicon Hydrogel (SiH), allow previously-unsuccessful wearers and those with ‘dry eyes’ to wear contact lenses.
All types of contact lenses are now available on a planned replacement programme. New manufacturing techniques have made it possible for users to have a fresh pair of lenses regularly for about the same cost over a period as non-disposable lenses. Daily disposable lenses are becoming increasingly popular as they eliminate the need for a lens care routine, but depending on the type of lens and the environment in which it will be worn, the replacement period can be anything from one day to two years.
Extended wear lenses
Most contact lenses are worn on a daily basis, being removed in the evening and put back in next morning. Special extended wear soft lenses are now available which may be recommended by your practitioner, which allow you to sleep in them. Typically they are replaced weekly or monthly.
Exciting tinted contact lenses that can enhance or even change the colour of your eyes without affecting what you see are now widely available.
Are contact lenses difficult to insert and remove?
No. Many people are worried about putting a lens in for the first time, but simple techniques have been developed which make insertion and removal of contact lenses quite easy. When you get your lenses you will be taught the correct method and will not be allowed to take them home until both you and the practitioner is confident that you will be able to safely insert and remove your lenses.
Caring for your lensesDevelopments in lens care products have now made it easier than ever to keep your contact lenses clean, comfortable and safe from harmful bacteria. These three simple steps should result in trouble-free use:
I use computers more these days. What is your best advice for my vision?
Vision at the computer
Screen work is strenuous - especially for your eyes. If small visual imperfections are not corrected properly or not at all, then screen activities quickly lead to fatigue, vision problems, tension and headaches. With some people, this added visual stress often triggers migraines unless the eyes are correctly and comfortably focused. Most of the time, these problems can be resolved by spectacles that are correctly adapted for working at the computer. Studies have shown, however, that only about 6% of all spectacles wearers over the age of 45 who regularly work on a screen wear spectacles specifically for that purpose. Correct focus is essential for comfortable vision and we have several ways of giving you that comfort
The right spectacles
For those affected by presbyopia, reading spectacles are not enough, because they are only suitable for distance in the close-up range up to 36 cm. ”Workplace spectacles” make more sense, which meet the individual requirements of the respective workplace. Special lenses like Ergo® near comfort lenses from Rodenstock are especially well suited. They guarantee smooth vision even in the extended close-up range. For others, who also wear distance lenses, we can help with the right type of multifocal lenses - the most popular being Varilux©
Additional advice for comfortable work on the screen:
- Look away from the screen now and then, or take small breaks, because short breaks help the eye muscles to relax.
- Adjust the font size on the screen so that everything can be read comfortably without any effort.
- Make sure you blink regularly to avoid dry eyes.
- Pay attention to correct placement of the screen, keyboard and mouse.
- Use the ergonomically correct sitting posture.
- Ensure that there is no reflection from the screen
- Wear spectacles correctly focused for the viewing distance to the screen
Can you give me any tips on how to look after my eyes?
The week beginning 22nd-28th September 2014 is National Eye Health Week and has been established to communicate the importance of good eye health under the banner, ‘Vision Matters’. It encourages people from every walk of life to take better care of their eyes and have regular sight tests. This is one of the three priority outcomes of the UK Vision Strategy launched in 2008 by Vision 2020UK. Regular sight tests and OCT eye scans are essential for maintaining healthy eyes but there are other things you can do to look after your eyes.
Studies show that what we eat can affect our vision. Antioxidants can help to prevent retinal damage. One anti-oxidant which is hugely beneficial is lutein. An OCT eye scan can look for subtle retinal changes that are caused by oxidative stress, much of which can be minimised with proper diet.
Foods recommended for eye health include:
• Broad leaf greens such as kale and spinach
• Brightly coloured fruit and veg such as corn, carrots, orange sweet peppers and oranges
• Oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel
A Feast for Your Eyes (look after your eyes)
Exercise and eyesight
Lack of exercise contributes significantly to several eye conditions, particularly amongst people aged 60 and over. Exercise may reduce the risk of sight loss from narrowing or hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Find out more about exercise and eyesight (Royal College of Ophthalmologists PDF)
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to serious health conditions which can have a detrimental effect on your eye health.
Find out more about alcohol and the eye (Royal College of Ophthalmologists PDF)
After ageing, smoking is the biggest risk factor for developing macular degeneration.
Smoking also increases your risk of developing cataract
Find out more about smoking and your eyes (NHS Choices)
Protecting your eyes from the sun is very important and should not be underestimated. Under no circumstances should you ever look at the sun directly. Your sunglasses should have the CE mark on them which ensures that they are giving you the right level of ultraviolet protection
Find out more about sun and the eyes
Email your question for an expert opinion!
a little history
Ashleigh Sight Care is a family run business. Our business ethos is to give comprehensive, unhurried, high quality eye examinations to every age group – we give you time, care and a fully informed choice.