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Glaucoma, Mocular Degeneration, Retinitis Pigmentosa,

Glaucoma, Mocular Degeneration, Retinis Pigmentosa,


Glaucoma is an eye condition in which the optic nerve is damaged, causing vision loss. The optic nerve is located at the back of the eye and transmits the images we see to the brain for interpretation. Glaucoma results in progressive damage to the optic nerve, which almost always begins with a subtle loss of peripheral (side) vision. The main factor that leads to damage of the optic nerve is elevated pressure in the eye. If not diagnosed and treated, Glaucoma can progress to a loss of central vision and blindness.

There are two main types of Glaucoma:

1. Open-angle Glaucoma: this type develops slowly and without acute attacks. It is the most common type of Glaucoma.

2. Closed-angle Glaucoma: this type occurs acutely.

Glaucoma rarely causes symptoms early on in its course, when it is best treatable. In the early stages it can only be diagnosed by regular eye tests for those at risk. While everyone is at risk for Glaucoma, certain people are at a much higher risk and need to be checked more frequently by their eye doctor.

Major risk factors include:

age over 45 years

family history of Glaucoma

black racial ancestry


history of elevated intraocular pressure

high degree of nearsightedness (myopia)

history of injury to the eye

use of cortisone (steroids), either in the eye, orally or injected systematically

farsightedness (hyperopia)

If you meet any of these risk factors, discuss the need for a regular eye test with your physician.

The symptoms of open-angle Glaucoma are:

gradually progressive visual field loss

optic nerve changes

Symptoms of closed-angle Glaucoma include:

sudden ocular pain

seeing halos around lights

red eye

very high intraocular pressure

nausea and vomiting

sudden decreased vision

fixed, mid-dilated pupil(s)

Although nerve damage and visual loss from Glaucoma cannot be reversed, Glaucoma is an eye condition that can be controlled. Treatment can restore the ocular pressure and thus prevent or stop further nerve damage and visual loss. Treatment may include eye-drops, laser treatments or surgery. Discuss your options with your physician or eye care professional.

Normale Vision  Glaucoma


Mocular Degeneration:

Macular Degeneration is a medical condition often associated with aging (also referred to as “age-related Macular Degeneration”) that results in a loss of vision in the centre of your visual field. Central vision helps us to see objects clearly and perform tasks such as reading and driving.

Macular Degeneration is a progressive disease thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It can occur in ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ forms and is the major cause of visual impairment amongst adults from the age of 50.

Dry Macular Degeneration

Dry Macular Degeneration is caused when the light-sensitive cells in the central part of your vision slowly break down. The result is that you will experience gradually blurring vision (see the image above). It may start with one or two spots, which gradually expand into larger areas, causing loss of vision.

The dry form of Macular Degeneration can be divided into three distinct stages:

Early Macular Degeneration: causes small yellow spots under your retina (the lightsensitive tissue lining

the inner surface of your eye). In this stage you will rarely experience symptoms or loss of vision.

Intermediate Macular Degeneration: the yellow spots under your retina grow larger and expand,

causing blurred spots in the centre of your vision. In this stage you may need more light to read or

perform other tasks.

Advanced Macular Degeneration:

in addition to yellow spots, the light-sensitive cells in your central

retinal area break down, causing a large blurred spot in the centre of your vision. This blurred spot may

grow larger and darker over time. In this stage, you will experience difficulty reading and recognizing

faces, unless these are very close to your eyes.

Symptoms of Macular Degeneration include:

blurred vision

shadows or missing areas of vision

distorted vision

trouble discerning colours

slow recovery of visual function after exposure to bright light

a loss in contrast sensitivity


       Normal Vision                           Mocular Degeneration                   Mocular Degeneration

                                                         in an ealy stage                           in an advanced stage


Retinitis Pigmentosa:

Retinitis Pigmentosa is a group of genetic eye conditions causing progressive degeneration of the retina, the light sensitive layer of tissue lining the back of the eye. The light receptors of the retina are called rods and cones. As a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa the rods, and in a later stage the cones, slowly die, causing reduced vision. The peripheral vision decreases first; central vision is usually retained until late in the disease.

Retinitis Pigmentosa is an inherited condition affecting both eyes. If it starts in one eye, the other eye generally develops the same condition in a number of years. It is often diagnosed during the teenage years, but may be present at birth. Cases diagnosed at birth are often stable and non-progressive. Cases diagnosed later in life are often mild and may progress more slowly than those diagnosed in the teenage years.

Retinitis Pigmentosa may eventually lead to blindness, depending on the severity and the progression of the condition.

Other inherited diseases share some of the clinical symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa. The most common is Usher Syndrome, where both hearing and vision are affected. Other related syndromes include Best Disease, Choroideremia, gyrate-atrophy and Stargardt Disease.

Symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa include:

in the initial stage, difficulty in night vision

decreased peripheral vision

tunnel vision

There is currently no cure for Retinitis Pigmentosa. Research is continually being carried out to determine treatments to help delay this condition. Early diagnosis is important, so that you can be counselled as to how to cope with this condition and maximize the use of the vision you still have.

Normale vision Retinistis Pigmentosa

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