Health and social care organisations in Derbyshire have been working closely together for some time, to improve care and services for people and make them as efficient and effective as possible.
Prevention of eye conditions
Lead a healthy lifestyle, to include:
Prevent eye injuries:
Reduce screen time – the ‘20’ rule, every 20 minutes take a 20-second break and focus on an object 20 feet away. Take the Screen Smart quiz here.
Attend sight tests at regular intervals as advised by your Optician – this is essential to pick up on any potential conditions early
Follow contact lens hygiene advice, for some helpful tips take a look here.
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the UV light in sunlight
Throw away out of date make-up. Adhere to ‘Period after Opening’ times on cosmetics.
Take a look at this quiz to find if there is more that you could be doing more to keep your eyes and vision healthy.
Why is a sight test important?
Many people think that a sight test is just about checking whether your vision needs correcting with glasses or contact lenses. But there are other important reasons to have a regular sight test.
A sight test is a vital check on the health of the eyes and includes the detection of eye conditions. Many of these, if found early, can be treated successfully, avoiding potential sight loss.
A sight test can also detect other health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Sight tests should be part of everyone’s healthcare routine.
111 Online Symptom Checker
If you are worried about a symptom you are experiencing, the 111 NHS Symptom Checker is a way to access help. You will be asked some questions about your symptoms and directed to the most appropriate service.
Common types of eye condition summary
Flashers and floaters
Tiny spots, lines, flashes or shapes in your vision are known as flashes and floaters. Lots of people experience them and they usually aren't cause for alarm. However, in some cases, they can be a sign of something more serious. If you suddenly notice a shower of new floaters, or floaters along with flashes or a dark shadow or a ‘curtain’ in your vision, you should take urgent action. Click here to find out more about what causes flashes and floaters and changes to look out for.
A cataract is the clouding of the lens in your eye. Developing cataracts will cause your sight to become cloudy and misty. This resource provides an overview of what cataracts are, how your eye works, the symptoms of cataracts and information about treatment and recovery.
Age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects a tiny part of the retina at the back of your eye, called the macula. AMD causes changes to the macula, which leads to problems with your central vision. This leaflet provides an overview of AMD and the different types, a list of symptoms and information on diagnosis and treatment.
Glaucoma is an eye condition where your optic nerve is damaged by the pressure of the fluid inside your eye. There are different types of glaucoma. Click here to find out more about the different types of glaucoma along with their respective symptoms, the risk factors for glaucoma and information on the treatments available.
Diabetic Eye Disease or Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye (retina). The NHS website provides information on how diabetes can affect the eyes, symptoms of diabetic retinopathy and ways to reduce your risk and manage your diabetes.
Dry eye is an eye condition caused by a problem with tears. Dry eye can make your eye feel uncomfortable, red, scratchy and irritated. Dry eye can usually be managed at home or advice can be sought from a pharmacist. You should see an optician or GP if you still have dry eyes after trying home treatments or if there is any change in the shape of your eyelid. This resource provides an overview of dry eye, a list of symptoms and how to self-manage the condition at home.
Red eyes may look alarming but they’re most likely to be caused by a minor eye condition. If a red eye is accompanied with reduced vision/ light sensitivity/ severe headaches and/or nausea it could be something more serious and could threaten your sight if not managed appropriately. Contact your optician or GP immediately if you experience any of these symptoms alongside a red eye. Click here to learn more about red eye.
Some of the common causes of red eye are also listed below with more in-depth information about the conditions.
Conjunctivitis can make your eyes look red, feel gritty and be watery or sticky. It’s sometimes called pink eye. The NHS website provides information about the types of conjunctivitis, the symptoms, how to manage it at home and when you should see a doctor.
A corneal abrasion is a scratch or a graze on the clear front surface of the eye (or the cornea).
It is usually caused by a fingernail or another object catching the eye. This website provides information on what to do if you have a corneal abrasion.
A chalazion is a small lump, or cyst, that develops slowly in the eyelid. It can sometimes look alarming, but it’s usually painless and rarely requires treatment. This link provides information on how to self manage a chalazion and symptoms to look out for that may require you to see a doctor.
Suitable if you notice a gradual change in vision or issues that might be resolved by prescribing glasses or changing an existing prescription. Symptoms might include:
Suitable for new and or sudden-onset problems with the eyes or vision, and things that seem unlikely to be resolved by prescribing or changing glasses. This could include symptoms such as:
And/or one of the following conditions:
Sudden onset loss of vision including transient loss where it doesn’t relate to a cause or condition listed in the red Emergency Department box - Sudden vision loss
Ocular pain - Pain felt either on the eyes surface or within the eye
Differential diagnosis of red eye - The white of the eyes becomes reddened or bloodshot
Foreign body and emergency contact lens removal - Something is stuck in the eye
Dry eye - Occurs when the eyes do not make enough tears, which leave the eyes feeling gritty, itchy and sore
Blepharitis - Eyelids become red and swollen
Epiphora - Excessive watering of the eye, also known as 'Watery eyes'
Trichiasis - Eyelashes grow inwards towards the eye, which can cause irritation
Differential diagnosis of lumps and bumps in the vicinity of the eye - Usually a Stye or Chalazion, appearing as a small eyelid bump
Flashes/floaters - Both appear in the field of vision. Floaters look like small specks, dots, circles, line or cobwebs and Flashers can look like flashing lights or lightning streaks.
Patient reported sudden onset field defects - Sudden appearance of a blind spot in the normal field of vision
Sudden onset double vision - Two images of a single object are suddenly observed for some or all of the time
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