Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain, is damaged by the pressure of the fluid inside your eye. This may be because the pressure is higher than normal, or because the nerve is more susceptible to damage from pressure. This may affect one or both of your eyes. There are two main types of glaucoma: chronic glaucoma, which happens slowly; and acute glaucoma which happens quickly. Chronic glaucoma is much more common than acute glaucoma.




Diabetes can affect your eyes in a number of ways. The most serious eye condition related to Diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. Early diagnosis is vital. Most sight-threatening diabetic problems can be managed if treatment is carried out early enough.  Looking after your Diabetes and regular retinal screening can help to reduce your risk of developing the eye conditions related to Diabetes

Ag     Age Related Macular DegenerationHeading
Long- and short-sightedness​

The light coming into the eye needs to be focused on the back of the eye (the retina) for you to see clearly. Some people have eyes that are too short, which means the light focuses behind the retina (they are long-sighted). This means that they have to focus more than they should do, particularly on things that are close up. Other people have eyes which are too long, so the light focuses in front of the retina (they are short-sighted). This means that they cannot see things clearly if they are far away from them (such as the TV or board at school).


If your eye is shaped more like a rugby ball than a football, light rays are focused on more than one place in the eye, so you don’t have one clear image. This may make it hard to tell ‘N’ from ‘H’, for instance. Glasses which correct this may make a child feel strange at first, although their vision with
the glasses will be clear. Astigmatism often occurs together with either long or short-sight.

Lazy eye and squint

About 2-3% of all children have a lazy eye, clinically known as ‘amblyopia’.  This may be because they have one eye that is much more short- or longsighted than the other, or they may have a squint (where the eyes are not looking in the same direction). If you notice your child appears to have a squint after they are six weeks old, you should have their eyes tested by an optometrist as soon as possible.


When you look at something close up, for example to read a book, the muscles inside your eye that surround the lens contract to make the lens change shape. This focuses the light from the book onto your retina. The lens inside a child’s eyes is elastic, and so can change shape easily to enable them to change focus from looking at something far away to looking at something
close up. As we get older, however, the lens naturally stiffens and so it changes shape less easily. This means that the distance up to which we are able to focus gets further away and we are no longer able to focus on things that are close to us, having to hold them further away to see them clearly.


Cataracts are formed when the clear lens inside your eye becomes cloudy or misty. This is a gradual process that usually happens as we get older. It does not hurt.  The early stages of a cataract do not necessarily affect your sight.  The only proven treatment for a cataract is surgery. If the cataract gets to the stage where it affects your sight, your optometrist will refer you to a hospital to have this done. The surgery is carried out under a local anaesthetic and has a very high success rate.  

Macular degeneration  covers a number of conditions which affect the macula. The conditions affect your ability to do certain tasks such as reading and watching television, but do not affect your ability to walk around as your side vision is not affected.  One of the most common symptoms of macular degeneration is noticing that straight lines appear wavy or that there are patches missing from your vision. You may not notice this if it happens in one eye as your other eye will compensate, so it is important to regularly check your vision in each eye separately. You can do this by looking with each eye separately at the straight lines on a door frame or Venetian blind. If you notice the lines are distorted or there are missing patches, you should see your optometrist straight away.