Assessment and management of eye diseases including Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Cataracts.
- Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide.
- One in eight Australians over 80 will develop glaucoma.
- First degree relatives of glaucoma patients have an ten-fold increased risk of developing the disease.
- 50% of people with glaucoma in Australia are undiagnosed.
- Australian health care cost of glaucoma in 2005 was $342 million.
- The total annual cost of glaucoma in 2005 was $1.9 billion.
- The total cost is expected to increase to $4.3 billion by 2025.
Macular degeneration (MD) is the name given to a group of degenerative diseases of the retina that cause progressive, painless loss of central vision, affecting the ability to see fine detail, drive, read and recognise faces.
Although there is no cure for MD, there are treatment options that can slow down its progression, depending on the stage and type of the disease (wet, dry, and other forms). The earlier the disease is detected, the more vision you are likely to retain.
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. Cataracts are treated by removing the cloudy lens of the eye with surgery. Sun protection and quitting smoking may help prevent cataracts. Cataracts are common in older people.
Due to its association with ageing, eventually everyone will develop a cataract if they live long enough. By the age of 80, almost all of us will have some degree of cataract formation.