Eyes are the win­dow on your health

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By YVETTE AUBUSSON-FO­LEY

“YOUR eyes can tell you a lot about your gen­eral health,” Spec­savers op­tometrist Yvonne O’sul­li­van said.

“Dur­ing an eye exam we look at the full struc­ture of the eye. Ev­ery­thing from dry eye, to cataracts, to mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion, glau­coma, and di­a­betic changes at the back of the eyes.

“If we ever see any­thing in an eye exam that we think might need a fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, we’ll re­fer to the ap­pro­pri­ate med­i­cal pro­fes­sional whether it’s the doc­tor or oph­thal­mol­o­gist,” she said.

Shock­ingly, women are 1.3 times more likely to have vi­sion im­pair­ment than men, and about two thirds of the world’s pop­u­la­tion of blind or vi­sion im­paired peo­ple are women.

“The main causes of these vis­ual im­pair­ments in­clude mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion which is quite preva­lent out here be­cause of the strong sun. Eye in­flam­ma­tion, such as Uveitis and dry eyes are a big one and a lot of that is due to the dust and the dry­ness. With the drought now that’s a big is­sue,” Mrs O’sul­li­van said.

Rea­sons why women have more is­sues than men in­clude the fact they live longer, and due to hor­monal fluc­tu­a­tions, birth con­trol and HRT med­i­ca­tions which in rare cir­cum­stances can cause blood clots and strokes which can cause prob­lems in the eye.

“Hor­monal changes can also cause dry eye; preg­nancy can cause dry eye, light sen­si­tiv­ity and changes in per­cep­tion,” she said.

Menopausal women also ex­pe­ri­ence dry eyes mak­ing con­tact lenses un­com­fort­able to wear. “Eyes can be very wa­tery, but not many peo­ple know that strangely enough wa­tery eyes are dry eyes. Ar­ti­fi­cial tears and eye drops can re­ally help that.”

Reg­u­lar eye ex­ams ev­ery two years are rec­om­mended. Spec­savers Dubbo op­tometrist Yvonne O’sul­li­van (left) says women’s eyes can have unique prob­lems and sug­gests reg­u­lar eye tests, as seen here with Terri-jane Bal­dock. RES­I­DENTS across the Dubbo elec­torate are be­ing en­cour­aged to ‘Share the Jour­ney’ by get­ting in­volved in Men­tal Health Month this Oc­to­ber, with the NSW Govern­ment call­ing for peo­ple to come along­side fam­ily, friends or col­leagues who are liv­ing with men­tal ill­ness or hav­ing men­tal health is­sues.

Mem­ber for Dubbo Troy Grant said Men­tal Health Month is a re­minder that friends, loved ones, work col­leagues, or even our­selves, might need help.

If you or some­one you know needs ur­gent cri­sis sup­port call Life­line 13 11 14, or for lo­cal men­tal health ser­vices phone the NSW Men­tal Health Line on 1800 011 511.

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