Common Conditions

Minor eye disorders are very common. Over half the Australian population uses some form of vision correction, and nearly everyone will require some vision correction at some time during their life.

The following are the most common eye disorders:

Refractive error
In refractive errors the image of the object a person is looking at is not focussed properly onto the retina (the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye).

For perfectly clear vision, the image of a viewed object needs to be focussed onto the retina, just as a camera has to be focussed properly in order to take a clear picture. If the image is not focussed exactly on the retina, then the image will be blurred, just like an out-of-focus photograph. In this case, the person is said to have a refractive error.

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Astigmatism is a condition where the optical power of the eye varies depending on the angle of light passing through it. Astigmatism produces blurred vision at all distances.

It is usually due to the shape of the cornea (the front surface of the eye). If the curvature of the cornea is not the same in all directions (like the side of an Australian football) it will bend the light passing through it by different amounts depending on the direction of the light, producing astigmatism.

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Myopia, commonly called short-sightedness, is a condition in which light is focussed in front of the retina, resulting in blurred vision. Short-sighted people can often see reasonably clearly at short distances, but will not be able to see distant objects clearly.

There is currently no cure for myopia, but spectacles, contact lenses and refractive surgery can all provide good distance vision for people with myopia. Dream Lenses can prevent and stop myopic progression (annual deterioration).

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Hyperopia or long-sightedness is a condition in which the optical components of the eye are not strong enough, and so light is not focussed onto the retina. This results in blurred vision that is usually worse at shorter distances.

People with hyperopia often have reasonable vision looking into the distance, but may find that their vision is blurred or that they experience feelings of eyestrain or headaches when doing near work such as reading.

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Presbyopia is the gradual reduction in the amount that the eye can change its focus. The changes are the result of the continued growth of the biological lens inside the eye, and are a normal part of ageing.

Presbyopia usually becomes noticeable between the ages of 40 and 50 as an inability to focus on near objects. People in this age group often find that they have to hold things further away to see them clearly.

Presbyopia can be corrected by an optical prescription specifically designed for close work. This can be provided in many forms, including; Dream Lenses, reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals and progressive lenses (multifocals).

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Keratoconus is a form of irregular corneal distortion, often inherited.It is due to a partial thinning and foreword bulging of one section of the cornea.

Eye allergies and hard rubbing of eyes makes it worse. Expert fitting of special contact lenses is needed to correct the vision. 

There are new treatments available, including; soft, hard, hybrid, soft/hard combination, scleral, and semi-scleral lenses, or Dream Lenses – used in conjunction with cross-linking surgery.