Eye Health – Nicklins are dedicated to ensuring your eyes are in optimum health

Our Eye Health is page is dedicated to eye health and optimum vision. Articles coverings cataracts, dry eyes, glaucoma, kerataconus, retinal detachment and other conditions, will help you learn more about your eyes and your eyesight. (Please note the information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and you should seek medical guidance if you have any serious eye care concerns).

Nicklins are dedicated to ensuring you and your eyes are in optimum health. If necessary, you will be referred to your GP or specialist consultant following your eye test.


Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids, with redness, irritation, and scaly skin. Patients may note burning and discomfort in the eyes and flakes or crusts on the lashes. Blepharitis is common, tends to recur, and is sometimes associated with dandruff of the scalp and eczema.

What Is The Treatment?

The problem can be cleared up by removing the scales with cotton wool moistened in warm sterile water. This is recommended in reducing the severity and frequency of this condition. Eye ointments and scrubs are available to sooth and ease lubrication.

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids and is often associated with “Dry Eye” syndrome.

Lid massage and manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) are also recommended to assist with hydration.

Further Information

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What is a cataract?

A cataract is the loss of transparency of the crystalline lens of the eye. Many sufferers are barely aware they have cataract and notice only that they cannot see as well.

What causes a cataract?

Cataract is due to changes in the delicate protein fibres within the lens and by direct injury, and is almost inevitable if a foreign particle enters the crystalline lens. It is also most common as part of the ageing process.

Effect On vision?

This depends on the type of cataract and how advanced is it. The main symptom is progressive loss of virtual acuity (increased blurring of vision). Colour values are often disturbed with dulling of blues and accentuation of reds, yellows spectrum.

Other effects include:
• Scattering of light-rays
• Colours are altered as above
• Sensitivity to bright lights

How are cataracts treated?

Cataracts only need to be treated if they are affecting vision. If normal clear images are to be restored, the opacified lens must be removed surgically and the refracting power of the eye restored by a spectacle lens, a contact lens, or by a replacement lens implanted during surgery. Provided the eye is healthy, cataract surgery gives excellent results in most cases.

Further Information
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Dry Eyes

What are Dry Eyes?
A condition of persistent dryness of the cornea and conjunctiva caused by deficiency in tear production. Commonly referred to as “Dry Eye”.

What are the Symptoms?
Prolonged dryness may cause blurred vision, burning, itching, and grittiness.

Who Is Affected?
Anyone can develop “Dry Eyes”. Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca also occurs in autoimmune disorders such as rheumatic arthritis; such conditions can damage the tear production glands. 

Across all age groups, women are affected more often than men.

What Causes It?
Anything that reduces the normal quantity or quality of tears produced, for example;
during the ageing process, hormonal changes and in women, this can develop during the menopause, medication, eye medication, general illness.

Artificial tears are available in either in gel or drop form which ease discomfort.

Further Information
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What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition in which the pressure of the fluid in the eye is so high that it causes damage to optic nerve at the retina. The result is nerve fibre destruction and gradual loss of vision.

What are the symptoms?

The most common form is Chronic Simple (Open-Angle) glaucoma whish rarely occurs before the age of 40. It is due to gradual blockage of the aqueous humour (fluid in the front compartment of the eye)   over a period of years, causing a slow rise in pressure. This type of glaucoma tends to be hereditary.

In Acute (Closed-Angle) glaucoma there is sudden obstruction to the outflow of aqueous humour from the eye and pressure rises suddenly.

Congenital Glaucoma is due to structural abnormality in the drainage angles of the eye.

How Is Glaucoma Detected?
Chronic Simple glaucoma often causes no symptoms and is usually detected by routine eye examinations. Applanation tonometry (measuring the pressure in the eye) is an essential check for glaucoma, especially if there is a family history of this disorder. Use of an ophthalmoscope to examine back of the eye may show an abnormal optic nerve. Visual field testing and gonioscopy (examination of the drainage angle) are also important.

Further Information:
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Macular Degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration?
A progressive disorder that affects the central part of the retina, causing gradual loss of central vision.
The macula is the part of the retina that distinguishes fine detail at the centre of the field of vision.

What Is The Effect On Vision?
The effect on vision is roughly a circular area of blindness, increasing in size until it is large enough to obliterate words at normal reading distance. Because of the loss of central vision, the patient often has difficulty in seeing people’s faces as well as in reading.

Who Is Most At Risk?
Macular Degeneration is most common in the elderly. It is commonly referred to as Age Related Macular Degeneration.

Can It Be Tested For?
It can be picked up during a routine examination.

What Is the Treatment?
The treatment depends on the type of macular degeneration. With early diagnosis, it is possible to seal the leakage by laser treatment. In most cases, however, macular degeneration is untreatable but does not lead to complete blindness as the patient retains vision around the edges of the visual fields.

Further Information
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Posterior Vitreous Detachment

What Is Posterior Vitreous Detachment

Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) is the separation or detachment of the vitreous from the retinal tissue at the back of the eye.

What Are The Symptoms?
Flashing lights and floaters are the usual symptoms.

Who Is At Risk?
Posterior Vitreous Detachment is common in people of all ages and backgrounds. It is more common in those over 50 years.

What Is The Effect On Vision?
The seeing of black ‘fly type’ dots or a ring floating around the field of vision.

What Is The Treatment?
No treatment is available or is required for the PVD itself as the condition is harmless.
People with symptoms or any disturbance to their field of vision should consult with their optician to exclude the possibility of Retinal Detachment being present.

In 90% of cases there is no damage to the retina, however occasionally precautionary laser treatment is necessary to treat any at risk areas of the retinal tissue.

If symptoms worsen, immediate medical attention should be sought as Retinal Detachment as detailed above may have occurred.

Further Information
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Retinal Detachment

What Is Retinal Detachment?
The separation of the retina (the light sensitive layer) from the outer layers at the back of the eye.

What Causes It?
Retinal detachment may follow major injury to the eye, but in most cases the disorder occurs spontaneously. Detachment of the retina is usually preceded by a retinal tear (split in the retina), which may be due to natural degeneration or to the pulling away of the retina as a consequence of the contraction of strands in the vitreous humour. As a result of the tear, vitreous fluid collects between the retina and the underlying choroid layer, thus separating them.

What Is The Effect On Vision?
The first indication is the appearance of bright flashes of light, seen at the edge of the field of vision and accompanied by floaters.

These symptoms to not always occur; the affected person may be unaware of the detachment until a black “drape” obscures the vision. This “drape” descends in a lower detachment, ascends in an upper detachment, enters from the right in a left detachment, and left on right detachment.   

What Are The Symptoms?

Retinal detachment is painless and symptoms are exclusively visual.

Who Is At Risk?
People who are involved in activities which could involve trauma to the head or eyes such as boxers.
The elderly, as they are more prone to falls.
Very short-sighted people.

People with type A diabetes.

What Is The Treatment?
Retinal detachment requires prompt medical attention and should be treated as an emergency. An ophthalmologist must be consulted before the macula (the site of central vision) becomes detached. Should detachment occur; it may not be possible to restore normal central vision.

Further Information
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What Is A Squint?
A squint is a condition in which there is abnormal deviation of one eye in relation to the other. Squint, also known as Strabismus, may be convergent, in which one eye is directed too far inwards, or divergent, in which one eye is diverted outwards.

What Causes A Squint?

Many young babies have asquint because the normal mechanism for aligning the eye has not yet developed. A squint that starts later in childhood usually results from a breakdown in the development of the mechanism for aligning the eye; a common contributory factor in such is Hypermetropia (long-sightedness), which leads to excessive accommodation (adjustment of focus) and caused one eye to turn inwards.

In children, squint causes double vision because the image in the squinting eye falls on the wrong part of the retina.
In adults, squint may occur as a result of various disorders of the brain, of the nerves controlling the eye muscles, or of the eye muscles themselves. Squint in adults also causes double vision, and may be a symptom of stroke, Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, tumour, or hyperthyroidism.

What Are The Effects Of A Squint?
In most patients, double vision will occur.

How Are Squints Detected?
Most Squints are visible, the eyes appear misaligned. Smaller squints are not as visible and therefore it is very important for children to be examined properly.

A number of tests are done during eye examinations to check for their presence. These include:

• Analyzing eye movement
• Grading the level of stereoscopic vision
• Checking the sharpness of vision

What Is The Treatment For A Squint?
Treatment in children may include covering the normal eye with a patch to force the child to use the weak eye. Such treatment is designed to encourage normal vision to develop in the affected eye, by enabling the establishment of normal connections between eye and brain. Deviation of the squinting eye may be controlled by glasses and or/surgery.

Squint acquired later in life always requires medical investigation of the underlying cause.
Persistent double vision due to squint requires special prismatic glasses or surgery.
In recent years, Botox has been found to correct this condition in some patients.

Further Information
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