Eye Diseases

Diabetes eye care

It is highly recommended that patients with diabetes visit their optometrist for regular eye exams. This chronic disease can harm your eyes, but most people don’t realise it until it has become really bad.

Diabetes can damage the small blood vessels in the retina, leading to a condition called diabetic retinopathy. Furthermore, this condition can also increase an individual’s risk of developing glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye problems.

If you have diabetes and experience any of the below symptoms, you should book an appointment with your optometrist:

  • Poor vision in dim lighting
  • Blind spots
  • Double vision
  • Vision is hazy, blurry or unable to focus
  • Eye pain
  • Headaches
  • Spots floating in eyes
  • Poor peripheral vision
  • Seeing shadows

There are several other medical conditions that could lead to the deterioration of an individual’s eye health, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Lyme disease
  • Shingles
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Rosacea
  • Liver disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Sickle cell disease

De Smedt Optometrists is Discovery and CDE accredited for our diabetes eye screening.

What are some other common eye diseases that De Smedt Optometrists treat?

Our top priority at De Smedt Optometrists is to take care of your eyes through regular eye health evaluations and effective treatment of any eye diseases you might have.

Some common eye diseases that we provide treatment for include:


Cataracts are progressive conditions that occur naturally as a result of the ageing process. They are caused when the natural lens in the eye begins to cloud over and obstruct vision. The cloudiness can be a tiny part of the eye or large opaque areas that obstruct vision entirely.

A full comprehensive eye exam can help pinpoint early signs of cataracts.

Symptoms of Cataracts

Some common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurry or foggy vision
  • Decreased night vision
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • Colours appearing dull or muted
  • A sensation of a “film” covering your eye
  • Increased sensitivity to light


Glaucoma is a progressive, degenerative eye disease that can lead to damage to the optic nerve, affecting your sight. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss.

Glaucoma often develops gradually with no noticeable symptoms. This is why it is so crucial to have regular eye examinations to detect and diagnose glaucoma in its early stages. While there is no cure, early treatment could save your vision.

There are four types of glaucoma, including:

  • Primary open-angle glaucoma
  • Secondary glaucoma
  • Angle-closure glaucoma
  • Normal-tension glaucoma

The specific cause of this eye disease is unknown, but they are generally associated with elevated intraocular pressure. During most eye exams, your eye doctor will evaluate your eye’s internal pressure.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Typically, our eyes produce enough quality tears to keep our eyes moist, but when they do not make enough, dry eye syndrome can occur. Dry eye disease can feel very uncomfortable and can make it difficult for a person to perform daily activities.

What are the causes of dry eye syndrome?

Some common causes include:

  • Changes in hormones due to ageing
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Exposure to windy or very dry climates
  • Prolonged exposure to artificial warm or cold air
  • Allergies
  • Laser eye surgery
  • Medications, like antihistamines or antidepressants
  • Long-term contact lens wear
  • Digital eye strain
  • Not blinking enough

What are the symptoms of dry eye syndrome?

  • A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes.
  • Stringy mucus in or around your eyes.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Eye redness.
  • A sensation of having something in your eyes.
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses.
  • Difficulty with nighttime driving.
  • Watery eyes, which is the body's response to the irritation of dry eyes.


Conjunctivitis, or “pink eye,” is an inflammation of the thin, transparent layer covering the whites of the eyes, called the conjunctiva. When the eye is irritated, the conjunctiva’s blood vessels dilate, causing the red or pink colour associated with conjunctivitis.

There are a few different types of conjunctivitis, most of which are contagious. They include:

  • Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by a bacterial infection transmitted from contaminated makeup, unclean hands, or insects. Bacterial conjunctivitis is incredibly contagious but is generally mild and can be treated with antibiotics.
  • Viral conjunctivitis is caused by a virus, like an upper respiratory infection. Viral conjunctivitis is also very contagious and is typically transmitted through the body’s mucous membranes or airborne exposure.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by an allergic reaction to various irritants. It can be seasonal or year-round, depending on the allergy and prevalence of the allergen. Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious.
  • Chemical conjunctivitis is caused by exposure to irritants like pollution or chlorine in a swimming pool. This type of conjunctivitis is not contagious.

Age-related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative condition that affects the central part of the retina, called the macula. When the macula deteriorates, central vision is negatively affected and can become completely obstructed. AMD is typically related to the natural ageing process

There are two types of AMD:

  • Dry AMD is the milder type. It develops gradually as the central retinal tissues degenerate.
  • Wet AMD is more severe than dry AMD. It develops suddenly when abnormal blood vessels leak or bleed into the eye and obstruct vision.