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Patients’ questions answered:

Ophthalmology: – is the highly specialized medical field which deals with the eye, eye diseases and eye operations.


Here follows the most frequent asked questions and their relevant answers:

• What is an Ophthalmologist?

An Ophthalmologist is an eye specialist. He/she is a medical doctor who has completed the additional 4 years of full specialist training in Ophthalmology. He/she is therefore described as an eye specialist and has an equivalent training to a heart specialist, a neurosurgeon, a gynecologist and all other medical specialists.

• Does the Ophthalmologist remove the eye during eye surgery?

No. During eye surgery the eye is handled very gently and delicately and is usually easily accessible from the front, provided the eyelids are held wide open. This is done with a small instrument called an eye speculum.

• Do I cause injury to my eyes if I read in inadequate light?

No, although very strong light like sunlight can cause damage to the eyes.

• Can wearing wrong spectacles cause damage to my eyes?

Only if it is warn by children under the age of ten years. After that age the wrong glasses will only cause blurred vision while wearing them but will cause no damage.

• Can working on a computer or watching TV ruin my sight?


• Will ingesting carrots and using vitamins improve my sight or prevent loss of sight?

When eating a well balanced diet, vitamin supplements are not needed. After the age of 55 the use of ocular vitamin supplements may reduce the incidence of age related dry macular degeneration.

• Are there exercises to improve vision?

No, in exceptional cases exercises can be prescribed to improve eye position.

• What is Glaucoma?

This is an illness that affects the optic nerve, it is most commonly associated with elevated pressure in the eye.   This pressure increases because the fluid in the eye increases, it adversely affects the optic nerve and influence sight. If it is not treated a person can develop tunnel vision and eventually become blind. Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness in the world.

• What is an intra ocular lens?

It is a synthetic lens which is placed in the eye after the removal of the patient’s cataractous lens.

• Can contact lenses cause injury to my eyes?

Yes, if using incorrectly it can cause injury to the cornea. When used correctly contact lenses are quite safe.

• What is nearsightedness, farsightedness and presbyopia?

Nearsightedness is when a person can see close up but not far.

Farsightedness is when a young person [under age of 45] can see better far than near.

Presbyopia is where a person over the age of 45 loses the ability to see nearby, but retains good distant vision. Presbyopia develops in all people with normal eyes.

• What is astigmatism?

It is an abnormal condition of the eye in which light rays cannot be focused clearly because the curvature of the cornea is not equal horizontally as vertically.  A patient can treat astigmatism with glasses or contact lenses, or it can also be rectified by eye laser surgery.

• Is it necessary to stay overnight after an operation at Ocumed?

The operations performed at Ocumed enable patients to go home the same day. Competent nursing staff attends to patients until the medication they have received in theatre has worn off. Because of the sedation and the fact that the eye or eyes may be covered, a patient must have transport arranged as he/se will be unable to drive him/herself.

• Does my medical aid cover consultations and treatment at Ocumed?

The Ocumed Eye and Laser Institute is fully accredited with all medical aids. If a motivational letter is required by medical aid, your Ophthalmologist’s consulting rooms will be able to assist you.

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