A selection of leaflets that will identify and provide helpful information on a number of eye-health issues. Click any section for a brief description then click the blue ‘Leaflet’ link to either download a leaflet or read online. Those marked with a * also have a short video description.
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) happens when the macula at the back of the eye becomes damaged. This can make it harder to see fine detail, such as recognising faces, or to read or watch television. However this does not normally affect your ability to walk around as the edge of your vision should not be affected.
Blepharitis is an inflammation of your eyelids. It can make eyelids red and eyelashes crusty and make your eyes fell irritated or itchy.
It can also lead to burning, soreness or stinging in your eyes. In severe cases, your eyelashes may fall out and you can develop small ulcers or styes as well.
Cataracts are formed when the clear lens inside your eye becomes cloudy or misty. This is a gradual process that usually happens as we get older. It does not hurt. The early stages of a cataract do not necessarily affect your sight.
The only proven treatment for a cataract is surgery. If the cataract gets to the stage where it affects your sight, your optometrist will refer you to a hospital to have this done. The surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic and has a very high success rate.
Being able to see clearly is important for a child's overall development. Most children have excellent sight and do not need to wear glasses, but if there are problems and they are not picked up at an early age, a child may have permanently reduced vision in one or both eyes.
Most people who need to wear glasses can wear contact lenses. There are two main types of contact lenses:
- soft lenses which mould to the shape of your eye; and
- rigid gas permeable lenses (RGP lenses) which are fitted closely to the shape of your eye and are less flexible
Most contact lenses fitted in the UK are soft lenses. They are available as single-use daily, fortnightly and monthly disposable lenses, and more specialist lenses that are designed to last for longer.
It is important that you can see clearly to be able to drive safely. This leaflet gives you information about vision and driving, including what to do if you feel you can't see well enough to drive, or if your optometrist tells you to stop driving. If you have any questions about your eyes, please speak to your optometrist.
Dry is a common condition that may be caused because your eyes do not produce enough tears, or because the tears that you have evaporate too quickly or do not spread evenly across the front of your eye. The symptoms are usually in both eyes.
Dry eyes can make your eye feel scratchy or irritated. In severe cases it may temporarily make your vision blurry. It can be uncomfortable, but rarely causes serious eye damage.
Floaters are more common than flashes, and look like small dark spots or strands that appear to float in front of your eyes. Floaters are very common and are normally harmless. They are more common if you are short-sighted or as you get older. Some people notice they see flashes of light. These can be due to movement of the gel inside the eye. Very occasionally, flashes or an increase in floaters can be a sign of retinal detachment, which needs treating as soon as possible. This is more common as you get older, or in people who are short-sighted or have had eye surgery.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve, which connects your eye to the brain, is damaged by the pressure of the fluid inside your eye.
This may be because the pressure is higher than normal, or because the nerve is more susceptible to damage from pressure. This may affect one or both of your eyes. There are two main types of glaucoma - chronic glaucoma, which happens slowly, and acute glaucoma which happens quickly. Chronic glaucoma is much more common than acute glaucoma. The most common form of chronic glaucoma is called primary open angle glaucoma (POAG).
Your eyes are affected by your lifestyle and health conditions elsewhere in your body. This leaflet highlights the effect your lifestyle and health can have on your eyes. It should not replace information that is given to you by a healthcare professional. If you have any questions about your eyes, please speak to your optometrist.
Myopia means short-sightedness. If your child is myopic (short-sighted), this is usually because their eye is slightly longer than usual (from the front to the back). This means that light focuses in front of their retina at the back of their eye, rather than focusing directly on it.
There are two main parts of your eye which are responsible for focusing light onto your retina at the back of your eye so that you can see clearly. These are your cornea, which is the transparent dome-shaped part at the front of your eye which covers your iris, and the lens inside your eye. The lens inside your eye changes shape to allow you to see things that are close to you.
As you get older the flexibility of the lens inside your eye reduces. This means that you are less able to focus on things that are close to you, so you may need to have reading glasses.
This leaflet explains why this happens and what the various options are for correcting it.
All leaflets kindly provided by The College of Optometrists