Taking care of your vision, one step at a time

Bloemfontein based ophthalmologist, Dr. Karen Conradie says that people should consult an ophthalmologist as soon as they detect damage in their eyes. PHOTO: ABIGAIL VISAGIE

As Eyecare Awareness Month comes to an end, Bloemfontein based ophthalmologist, Dr Karen Conradie, shares what are the most common eye illnesses and what can be done to prevent them.

“Cataract and glaucoma are two of the most common eye causes that leads to blindness if not treated in time. “

A cataract is caused due to old age and exposure to the sun that weakens the ageing of the lenses. Exceptional cataract cases can be congenital and caused by trauma and the usage of cortisone.

”A cataract is curable and can be treated through surgery. It doesn’t cause permanent blindness if it is detected and cured at an early stage.”

Dr Conradie also warns against popular eye drops saying that people should start using lubricating eye drops such as Optive, Xailin and Systane that can also be found at the pharmacy since the popular drops can often assist in causing blindness.

“Another common eye problem can be found in diabetic patients known as diabetic retinopathy. This is a condition where bleeding and swelling occurs at the back of the eye.”

Dr. Conradie urges that diabetic patients should visit an ophthalmologist each and every year because diabetic retinopathy can occur without you being aware of it.

Glaucoma, can be hereditary, congenital and is incurable. Glaucoma happens when the pressure on the eye is at its peak and presses on the nerve that is responsible for vision. This damages that specific nerve.

“People over the age of 40 should at least visit an ophthalmologist twice a year. Children under the age of 5 should also visit an ophthalmologist because that is when any eye illnesses can be detected.”

Visit Dr Conradie at Pasteur Eye Hospital or contact her offices on 051-522-1790 for an eye consultation.

Abigail Visagie