Health and hap­pi­ness

Pick Me Up! Special - - Contents -

IN­STANT+ AP­POINT­MENT Oph­thalmic Di­rec­tor Sa­jid Pa­tel from Spec­savers Shep­herd’s Bush, an­swers your vi­sion ques­tions. (www.spec­savers.co.uk)

Vi­sion fix

QI’ve been told that my eight-year-old son has a ‘lazy eye’ and he might need a patch. How will this help?

Hanna, Southamp­ton

APatch­ing the ‘good’ eye is in­tended to force the brain to pay more at­ten­tion to the eye that needs strength­en­ing. Un­sur­pris­ingly, if your child has been pre­scribed an

See­ing things

QSome­times I can see a ‘speck’ in my vi­sion that moves when I look in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion. Lately, I have more than ever. Should I be wor­ried?

Claire, Leeds

AThis type of vis­ual ef­fect is known as a ‘floater’ and it’s very com­mon. It hap­pens due to small clus­ters of cells breaking off the in­side wall of the eye and float­ing in the gel that fills the eye. Most are small and move out of your vi­sion very quickly, and you’re likely to see more as you get older. If you’ve only got a few of them, they’re un­likely to be sig­nif­i­cant, but it’s al­ways worth men­tion­ing them on your next visit to your op­ti­cian. If you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing many of them or if they’re ac­com­pa­nied by other vis­ual phe­nom­ena, such as lights or a ‘cur­tain’ across part of your vi­sion, get them checked out ur­gently by an op­ti­cian. eye patch for ‘lazy eye’ – or am­bly­opia, they prob­a­bly won’t like the ex­pe­ri­ence of wear­ing it - es­pe­cially as it pre­vents them us­ing the eye with good vi­sion. They may not need to wear the patch at all times how­ever, and you should dis­cuss this with the or­thop­tist or op­tometrist who is ad­vis­ing you. Chil­dren might need en­cour­age­ment to help them un­der­stand why the eye patch will make their vi­sion bet­ter.

Bright eyes

QAMy eyes are so sen­si­tive to light that I need to wear sun­glasses even on cloudy days. Could there be some­thing wrong? Har­riet, Cam­bridge It could just be that you’re more sen­si­tive to light than other peo­ple, but if this is a new thing, it’s pos­si­ble it could be a sign of cataracts. The symp­toms in­clude ob­jects be­gin­ning to ap­pear blurry or hazy, night vi­sion be­ing poor, sen­si­tiv­ity to light, dou­ble vi­sion, contact lens/ spec­ta­cle pre­scrip­tion need­ing chang­ing of­ten, and a visible light­en­ing of the pupil. The best thing to do to de­ter­mine if there is some­thing wrong with your eyes is to get a full eye ex­am­i­na­tion and to not ig­nore the symp­toms.

In the dark

An eye­sore

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