Eyes are the window on your health
“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.