Vision at risk

October 2009

FocusVision at risk

Reducing vision loss in chronic eye disease

Volume 38, No.10, October 2009 Pages 774-779

Anthony Fong

Graham A Lee

Background

Ocular disease in its early stages may be asymptomatic and insidious. Three of the leading causes of visual loss are cataract, age related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Objective/s

This article discusses the presentation and treatment options for, and the management of, cataract, age related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Discussion

Few primary prevention strategies are available as these ocular diseases are degenerative. The focus for reduction of visual loss is early detection and regular ophthalmic examination. The aim of management is to improve or maintain vision so as to preserve patient quality of life.

Vision loss can be defined in two categories of severity: ‘legal blindness’ and ‘visual impairment’. Legal blindness is defined as ‘a visual acuity (VA) worse than 6/60 and/or a visual field of <10 degrees in the better eye’. Visual impairment is defined as ‘a VA worse than 6/12 and/or a visual field of <20 degrees in the better eye or a homonymous hemianopia’.1

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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