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Eye care for the elderly with Panoptic Vision

Natasha Barnard-French, Behavioural Optometrist and Julie Currie, Vision Therapist of Panoptic Vision share about eye issues in the elderly.

Elderly eye issues

As our eyes age, it is important to be aware of any symptoms and to get the eyes checked as soon as possible.

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Dry eye

Whether it’s due to a windy day, extra fans or air conditioners, air vents in the car, or blinking less as we work on digital devices, dry eye is becoming a much more common problem. For some people it is a mild irritation that can be managed easily by the right type of tear replacement drops but for some people their dry eye is not only uncomfortable but interferes with clear vision. Many dry eye treatments are available including in office heat and lid massage treatments which help the eyes to produce better quality tears.


Normal, slow growing cataracts are seen in everyone over the age of 65 and most people will find that they need their cataracts removed sometime in their 70s. Age-related cataracts are not a sign of an eye health problem - just a sign of “TMB” - too many birthdays! In the early stages they cause increased glare sensitivity, especially the glare from oncoming headlights when night driving but also outdoor sunlight. At the same time, vision in lower lighting can be more difficult and faint writing like the labels on food packaging can be very hard to see.

As they progress, vision is reduced and when the changes can no longer be helped enough with spectacles, they need to be removed. Eye surgeons replace the cataract with a clear implant that can be adjusted to match the shape of eye so that even people who have worn glasses since childhood can find they no longer need glasses to see into the distance, only needing glasses for reading help. It’s actually an operation that you can almost look forward to - blurry, cloudy vision one day, crystal clear vision the next.

Sometimes other types of cataract can form quickly (even for younger people due to an injury or certain medications) and all cataract changes can be detected via a routine optometrist eye exam. There is no "right" time to remove cataracts but the optometrists at Panoptic Vision will take the time to discuss the options and refer when necessary.


Glaucoma is caused by increased eye pressure in the eye. High pressure, which normally

measures between 10-20 mmHg, will reduce the blood supply to the optic nerve at the back of the eye . This damages the nerve slowly but permanently and causes a loss of peripheral vision. Nearly always there is no pain and no way of seeing the peripheral vision loss until it is very advanced which is why glaucoma is known as the "silent thief of vision". More common as we get older glaucoma can affect anyone at any age. Treatment is usually simply an eye drop each night and glaucoma is preventable if caught early. ❋

Contact Panoptic Vision

Panoptic Vision Lake Cathie

Panoptic Vision Lake Cathie

1459 Ocean Drive, Lake Cathie, NSW 2445

Tel: (02) 6584 8900

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

Saturday By appointment only

Panoptic Vision Bellingen

Panoptic Vision Bellingen

2/58-60 Hyde St, Bellingen, NSW 2454

Tel: (02) 6655 2768

Opening Hours:

Monday - Thursday 9:30 am - 5:30 pm


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