Common Eye Conditions

For any condition where there is loss of vision, particularly sudden, seek the optometrist's advice - conditions neglected can lead to serious problems with your sight. Flashing lights and 'shadows' across the vision should also be investigated urgently.

Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes don't make enough tears to keep the surface of the cornea moist, or when the tears that you produce are inferior and prone to evaporate or drain away too quickly.

Every time we blink the eyelid spreads tears across the surface of the eye. These tears drain away through the puncta (small openings in your eye lid) into your nose where they evaporate.

If tear production is reduced or inhibited in some way your eyes will dry out and cause a painful irritation.

Read more about Dry Eye Syndrome.


Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions which affect the optic nerve and disturbs your peripheral vision. If left untreated glaucoma can lead to total loss of sight.

An estimated half a million people suffer from glaucoma in England and Wales alone with people aged 40 and over at greatest risk of being affected by the condition. Studies have shown that half of all cases of glaucoma remain undiagnosed.

Read more about Glaucoma.


A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye. The lens focuses light onto the retina at the back of the eye to form a clear image. Any imperfection or clouding of this lens will prevent light from reaching the retina and affect the quality of your vision. A cataract can cloud part or all of the lens and can develop in one or both of the eyes.

An estimated 2.4 million people aged 65 and older in England and Wales have a visually impairing cataract in one or both eyes. Every year over 300,000 cataract operations are performed on the NHS.

Read more about Cataracts.