Ophthalmic Conditions Cornwall

Ophthalmic Conditions

Cataracts

Cataracts cause a clouding of the eye lens resulting in a gradual blurring of vision. They can develop in either or both eyes.

Age-related cataracts are most common. They come about due to the lens hardening and becoming cloudy as you age. People with diseases such as diabetes tend to be more prone to developing cataracts. Cataracts can also be: congenital (present at birth), traumatic (due to an eye injury) and drug induced (steroids).

Cataract surgery is recommended if your cataract is affecting your daily activities and lifestyle. It’s a straightforward procedure that’s commonly performed. Most often a technique called phacoemulsification is used that involves replacing your lens with a new lens. It may correct your vision so that you no longer need to wear glasses.

Blocked tear ducts

A blocked tear duct can be a partial or complete blockage in your tear pathway between the surface of your eye to your nose. This results in a watery eye as your tears can’t drain away and they end up overflowing onto your face and cheek. It can also cause: the white part of your eye to become red, recurrent eye infections, painful swelling around the inside corner of your eye, pus discharge and eyelid crusting.

Adults can develop a blocked tear duct due to an infection, an injury or, a tumour.

Your surgeon will aim to treat the cause of the blockage. For example, if you’ve had a long term infection that’s blocking the duct then antibiotics will be recommended. You may need surgery to restore normal tear drainage by opening the blocked passageway or creating a new channel.

Excision of Meibomian cysts

You’ve sebaceous glands in your eyelids, called Meibomian glands, that produce the greasy part of your tears that stops them evaporating too quickly. If your Meibomian gland gets blocked, it swells and creates a firm lump on your eyelid, called a Meibomian cyst or chalazion.

A Meibomian cyst can become red and sore if your Meibomian gland is inflamed or infected. The cyst can also put pressure on your eye causing blurred vision. It sometimes pushes through the skin or lining of your eyelid.

Often Meibomian cysts improve on their own without treatment. If your Meibomian cyst remains for some weeks or months you might need an operation to treat it. Known as incision and curettage the procedure involves making a small incision on the inside of your eyelid and removing the contents. It’s a minor operation performed under local anaesthetic.

Entropion eyelid treatment

If your eyelid rolls inwards and causes your lashes to irritate the surface of your eye, you’ve what’s termed an entropion. It’s an age-related condition that causes discomfort, redness and a watery eye.

For mild entropion, eye drops may be recommended. Severe entropion can be painful and if untreated it can lead to ulceration of the surface of your eye and scarring that could cause loss of vision.

Lid surgery will be advised if your entropion is causing you a lot of discomfort or if it’s a risk to your eye health. It’s generally performed under local anaesthetic as a day case procedure. There are different lid surgery options. Often stitches are placed in the lid to stiffen it and stop it turning in.

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