Help and frequently asked questions

What do I need to know about treatments offered at the optometrists?


Your optometrist will be able to offer a range of treatments to suit any condition. Here are a few of the more common issues and how they can be treated.

Can you use a tint to treat hayfever?

Hayfever can cause problems with your eyes such as allergic conjunctivitis and itchy, watery eyes. An eyeglass tint will not help to alleviate these problems. However, it may help if you are experiencing light sensitivity.Instead, it is best to visit your GP who may be able to recommend an appropriate treatment. There are plenty of topical eye drops and tablets available. Your optometrist may also be able to suggest ways to care for your eyes.

What do I need to know about Chloromycitin and Chloramphenicol eye drops?

Chloromycitin is an antibiotic preparation used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis, an infection of the mucous membrane of the surface of the eye. Conjunctivitis is often caused by an eye infection - chloramphenicol is used to treat an infection. Both treatments come in the form of eye drops or ointment and should be used according to your health professionals dosage recommendations. You should finish your course of antibiotics, even if your eyes feel better. If your conjunctivitis does not clear up in time, you should visit your optometrist for another check.If you have any problems or side effects, speak to your optometrist.

What do convergence exercises treat?

If you have a convergence insufficiency, it means the muscles of your eyes are weak, which can lead to trouble co-ordinating your eyes at close range. This can be treated with regular eye exercises at home. Your optometrist may refer you to an Orthoptist, a specialist in eye muscle balance and co-ordination to teach you how to do these exercises.

What help can I get for Retinitis pigmentosa?

This is a rare, inherited disease where the retina slowly and degenerates, eventually leading to blindness. Currently, there are no treatments for this condition, but several companies are developing retinal implants and other innovative treatments that may help to preserve some degree of sight for people affected by this disease. Wearing dark sunglasses to protect the retina from UV light may help.

What exercises can be used to treat dry eye?

Some people with dry eyes find they do not blink enough to distribute the tears, leading to irritation. Blinking exercises can be used to help with this. Your optometrist will be able to teach you how to perform these.

How is pinguecula treated?

Medication does not normally help a pinguecula, which is a chalky creamy-coloured, annoying and unsightly growth on the eye between the eyelids.However, simple eye drops can be used to treat the irritation and redness. If it becomes a pterygium, grows larger or doesn't respond to eye drops, surgery may be required. It is best to talk to your optometrist.

Are there any new treatment options for Optic Neuritis?

This condition is an inflammation of the optic nerve that may result in sudden, reduced vision. Every case is different, so treatment will vary. If you suddenly lose vision, it is essential to seek immediate medical help.

Can retinoschisis be treated with cryotherapy?

If there is a weakness in the retinal periphery, it might increase the chances of having a retinal detachment. Cryotherapy can be used to prevent fluid from entering a hole in the vitreous jelly, causing the retina to detach.

What treatment options are available for wet macular degeneration?

Wet macular degeneration (MD) refers to macular degeneration, which is a chronic eye disease causing vision loss in the centre of your field of vision. It is usually caused when abnormal blood vessels leak fluid or blood into the macula, or centre of the retina. Several treatment options are available, including sealing off leaking blood vessels with a laser and light sensitive drug and preventing them from growing back by using anti-angiogenic therapies.It is best to speak to your optometrist about these, as different treatments work best for different people.If you experience any side effects including haemorrhage of the conjunctiva, floaters, pain or inflammation of the eye, consult your optometrist. Other serious adverse effects include retinal detachment or tear, increased eye pressure, traumatic cataract and endophthalmitis. If any of these occur, seek immediate medical attention.

How is a corneal ulcer treated?

A corneal ulcer is a medical emergency and needs to be treated as soon as symptoms develop. Often antibiotics are sued to treat this condition, and these need to be placed in the eye every five minutes for at least the first half an hour and regularly often after that.Your eye specialist will be able to give you more information.

What are the treatments for presbyopia?

This is age-related long-sightedness. It can be corrected using glasses or contact lenses.There are surgeries available to treat this condition, but it is best to speak to your optometrist to see if you would be eligible.

Do I really need an anti-reflective coating?

An anti-reflective coating can improve your vision through your lenses and make your glasses look better.It can eliminate reflections and glare. It is not required, but can be particularly beneficial on high-index lenses as these reflect more light.

Can I use a different contact lens solution?

It is best to follow the instructions of your optometrist, as not all solutions are suitable for your lenses and lifestyle. However, in most cases it is no trouble to switch between a different brand of all-in-one contact solution, as these are all compatible with soft lenses.If you have any concerns, make sure you contact your optometrist.

Will an eye wash clean my whole eye well?

An eye wash will get under your eyelid to clean your eye, but these should be avoided as they wash out your natural tears that are designed to protect, hydrate and keep your eye healthy.

What is the treatment for an adult with amblyopia?

This condition is also called 'lazy eye' and it is not yet clear whether treatment will work for adults. Children are often treated before age 10 by using an eye patch to strengthen the weaker eye.

What do I need to know about using silicone hydrogel contact lenses?

These are soft lenses that allow your cornea to breathe more easily as more oxygen travels through the lens into the cornea. These lenses can become hard when not in use but once placed in all-in-one solution become soft and pliable again.It is advised that people take their contact lenses out at night time. You should fill your lens case with hot water, let your contact lenses air-dry, wash with multipurpose solution and fill your case with a fresh supply. You can also clean your contact lenses if you are using a heat disinfection system.When you get contact lenses, your optometrist will talk to you about the best way to look after them.

How much lutein should I consume to help my eyes?

There is no definite research on how much of this protein you need, but it can help protect your eyes from free radicals and from exposure to UV light. However, the American Optometric Association recommends 10 mg/day of lutein to help your eyes.