Hyperopia or long-sightedness is when the image is focussed behind the retina. A convex lens is required to  treat it.


Myopia or short-sigthedness often developes between the age of about 8 and 20. The eye grows too long for the focussing mechanisms and the image is in front of the retina. It can be corrected by a concave lens.


A condition where the image falling on the retina is not equal in all meridians, causing blurring. It is caused by either the cornea or the lens being having a different radius of curvature in different meridians ie rugby ball shaped. This can be corrected by the use of  toric spectacle lenses or toric contact lenses.


The lens within your eye that changes shape to enable the eye to focus at different distances in young people, becomes increasingly cloudy with age. This happens more rapidly in some people that others. This cloudiness is referred to as a cataract. Symptoms of cataracts are glare and blurred vision. Cataract surgery involves replacing the lens with  an artificial one. This is usually very successful and often the patient is left not needing spectacles for distance vision. 

Detached Retina

A condition in which part of the Retina (the layer within the eye which receives the image) becomes separated or detached from the inside of the eye. Early symptoms are part of the vision disappearring as if a curtain is coming down. This can be preceded by new flashing lights or new floaters. You must see an Optometrist urgently or go  to Eye Casualty if you experience these symptoms. Prompt treatment can often correct the condition.


Poorly controlled diabetes causes damage to small blood vessels throughout the body. This can cause serious complications in the eyes. This can often be detected in an eye examination and the patient referred to the Eye Hospital for laser treatment. Regular free eye examinations are recommended, but the most important thing is to try and maintain tight control of your diabetes.


Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve head caused by pressure of the eye. Optic nerve heads vary in the pressure they can withold, so that some people can have a high inta-ocular pressure with no damage (Ocular Hypertision), while others (mainly older people) can have damage while intra-ocular pressures are within the normal range (Normal Tension Glaucoma). Glaucoma can be treated very effectively by eye drops. As there are often no symptoms regular eye checks are necessary to detect it. As glaucoma can run in families it is particularly important to have regular eye checks if you have close relatives with glaucoma.

People over the age of 40 and with a mother, father, brother or sister, who have been diagnosed as suffering from glaucoma, are entitled to a free NHS eye examination.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration occurs mainly in elderly people. The macula is the small area of retina  that is used for detailed viewing such as reading. Macula degeneration impairs reading vision but never spreads very much, so while the patient may not be  able to read they are still able to see enough to  remain independent. Smoking and poor diet are associated with macula degeneration. Dark green vegetables and orange fruits are important for eyes.

© Nethercott Opticians, Station Approach, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 5AF. 01737-813600