Your eye health :

A cataract is an opacity of the crystalline lens that hinders vision. There are several types of cataracts, each type affecting vision differently. When the lens is cloudy, your vision decreases, which changes the eye's optical correction. A cataract also creates glare - both in the daytime and at night.
 
Cataracts are usually due to ageing; 15 percent of individuals aged 60 and over are affected, and that figure jumps to 50 percent after the age of 75. Other factors that may be at cause are high alcohol intake, smoking, a high level of exposure to UV rays, metabolic disorders such as diabetes, and heredity. Cataracts are treated with a simple and common surgical procedure. Speak to your eyecare professional for more information.

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva - the thin membrane that covers the white of the eye. Although it can have various causes, the most common are infections originating from a virus, bacteria, a fungus (mushroom) or even allergies. It may also be caused by air-borne irritants.

Whether viral or bacterial in origin, infectious conjunctivitis is contagious. It is therefore important to avoid any contact with the tears of an infected person by never sharing tissues or household linens. You should also wash your hands after any contact with the infected eye.

The signs of conjunctivitis are quite obvious: redness and irritation of the eye, burning sensation, feeling like there is a grain of sand in the eye, secretions upon waking in the morning, and clear or purulent discharge. Several eye diseases have effects that can be confused with conjunctivitis, so it is important to get examined by an eyecare professional as soon as the first symptoms appear.

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss after the age of 60. It progressively destroys the macula - the small zone of the central retina responsible for seeing fine details and colours. This is also the area that makes it possible to read, recognize faces and watch television.

In some cases, the disease progresses so slowly that it will have little effect on the person's vision, while in other cases, it progresses quickly and brings about the loss of central vision in one or both eyes.

As with most eye diseases, there is no pain involved in macular degeneration. It is only at the advanced stage of the disease that symptoms become noticeable. The best way to limit the damage is through prevention, i.e. getting a regular eye exam!

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of vision problems and blindness in industrialized countries. Far from benign, this disease can cause various ocular disorders, the worst being diabetic retinopathy - a weakening or swelling of the blood vessels located at the back of the eye.

There is no warning for diabetic retinopathy. It does not present with any signs, functional disturbance or decrease in visual acuity in its early stages. It gradually brings about various consequences... leading to blindness. The only way to detect early signs of the disease - and therefore prevent the ocular complications related to diabetes - is to be monitored by a physician and to get regular eye exams that include special eye drops.

Glaucoma, an insidious disease that must be detected early, is defined by intraocular pressure that is too elevated and that progressively destroys the retina and the optic nerve. Although it does not usually cause any pain or discomfort, glaucoma causes a slow, gradual and irreversible loss of the visual field. If no treatment is undertaken, there is a risk of long-term blindness.
Anyone can develop glaucoma, so it is important to get regular eye exams. We must be even more vigilant after the age of 45, especially in cases where there is a family history of the disease.