Conditions we treat

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We treat all the common retinal conditions through our retinal specialists - opthamologists and orthoptistsPatients with retinal conditions may experience a number of symptoms. Some of these symptoms may indicate the need for urgent assessment by an ophthalmologist (specialist eye doctor). Usually it is not possible to tell what condition you have, just based on the symptoms you are experiencing. This is why a consultation, with full documentation of your eye history, examination, and if necessary additional tests, is required. Some common retinal symptoms include:

Floaters and flashes of light

Floaters are a common symptom, where small dark spots seem to “float” in the vision. A sudden change in floaters, the appearance of new floaters (especially if there are many of them), or the new onset of flashing lights (usually seen as white flashes or streaks off to the side of vision) may indicate the development of a retinal tear and urgent attention should be sought.

Distortion of central vision

Seeing straight lines or objects as crooked or bent almost always indicates a problem affecting the macula. The most common condition affecting the macula is age related macular degeneration (AMD). Many other conditions can affect the macula and cause similar symptoms. Anyone experiencing the new onset of distortion in their vision should have their macula checked within a week. Often a problem with the macula of one eye will go unnoticed if the other eye has normal vision. Anyone at risk of macular problems should periodically test their eyes separately by covering one eye. The Amsler Grid is a useful way of testing for distortion.

Blind spots

Blind spots (“scotomas”) in or near the centre of vision are also a symptom of macular disease. Unlike floaters, these spots are always in the same part of the vision when the eyes are moved (whereas floaters will move around, and keep moving for a second or two after eye movement stops). Sudden onset of blind spots in the central vision also requires urgent attention.

Shadows / dull areas in the vision

Sudden appearance of a shadow or a grey/dark area in the vision, usually starting from the peripheral (side, top or bottom of) vision, may indicate a retinal detachment and urgent attention should be sought.

Severe eye pain

Retinal conditions themselves do not cause pain, as the retina is specialised to detect light rather than feeling anything. Certain conditions which may affect the retina may also cause pain in or around the eye, such as inflammatory eye conditions.

Anyone who has had recent eye surgery or an eye injection who experiences increasingly severe pain must contact their treating doctor immediately, or seek emergency help (see Emergency Contacts)

Difficulty reading

There are many causes for difficulty reading. Unless this develops suddenly, or is associated with one of the above symptoms, it is most likely due to presbyopia – the age related reduction in focusing ability for near objects. Presbyopia is corrected with reading glasses – if the vision is not improved to a normal level with glasses, consultation with an ophthalmologist is recommended.