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May is Health Vision Week

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That beautiful thing above is your retina, or the back of your eye.

The eyes are not just the windows to your soul, they tell us about a lot of other things in the body too. So, to celebrate May being Health Vision Month we thought we would highlight some of those things.

People with Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension in particular can suffer with retinal problems that mean that the blood vessels at the back of the eye (those long red strands you see in the picture above) can become damaged and leak or bleed. You may or may not have symptoms before vision is affected. An annual dilated retinal exam is recommended to find damaged blood vessels and to treat them before they leak or bleed causing visual loss.

The yellow round circle you see there is the optic disc (where the optic nerve is) and this can become swollen if you have raised pressure in the brain, or pale if you have other conditions like vitamin deficiencies or Multiple Sclerosis.

The little cherry red spot on the left (or technically the right) is called the fovea which is the center of the macula. This is where our vision is sharpest because we have lots of cells called cones that allow us to see colour and detail. This is the area that is affected by something called Macular Degeneration, which is an age related condition that causes people to lose their central vision. One of the earliest signs is that straight lines start to look “wavy”. It is commoner in people who smoke, have high blood pressure and who eat a lot of saturated fat. Some forms are treatable.

Other retinal problems can cause us to see flashing lights, haloes and changes in colour saturation and loss of vision.

For the next four weeks we are offering 10% off a dilated retinal eye exam with Dr Rajack MRCPOpthal., for the  next four weeks. Dr Rajack is available this Saturday and every other Saturday.