The Fono

Health & Social Services

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Eye Care

The eye is very complex and injury or disease can easily damage your eye beyond repair. It’s important to know what symptoms can indicate a threat to your vision, and many medical problems can cause loss of sight.

Eye conditions

Common eye conditions causing a loss of vision include:

  • Cataracts – when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy, so that you can’t see as well.
  • Glaucoma – which causes a gradual loss of vision.
  • A detached retina – which may eventually lead to blindness.
  • Macular degeneration – an ageing-related eye condition. It causes vision loss, often starting with central vision.
  • Refractive eye conditions – problems focusing your eyes (blurred vision) which may be short- or long-sightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia.
  • Illnesses such as diabetes, stroke or high blood pressure can also cause a loss of vision.
  • Some visual changes may be caused by a problem in the brain. Others may be related to a reaction to medication, or nerve or muscle diseases.
  • Vision can also be threatened by having something in your eye, trauma, infection or exposure to chemicals or dense smoke.

Eye injuries

You must go to your doctor or the emergency department for all eye injuries. Don’t take risks with your vision. This includes injuries such as:

  • If your eye or eyelid is cut
  • If an object is stuck in your eye
  • A blow to the eye / black eye
  • If your eyes come in contact with caustic chemicals

Other eye symptoms which need medical attention include a new or unexplained pain in your eye, sensitivity to light, ‘floaters’ (small specks in your field of vision), unusual eye redness and / or excessive wateriness.

Conjunctivitis – aka sticky eye or pink eye

Conjunctivitis can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, chemical irritation, ultraviolet burn or an allergy. In new-borns, the cause may be incompletely opened tear-drainage ducts. Infected conjunctivitis is contagious and symptoms appear 24–72 after you catch conjunctivitis.

Find out more

If you are already registered with an optometrist, contact them if you have any concerns about your eye health or changes in your vision.

See your Fono GP immediately if you injure your eyes, or lose vision, or suffer any change in the condition of your eyes and/or sight.

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