Eye Conditions

An estimated 65% of all New Zealanders over the age of 65 experience some form of problematic visual condition. Understanding this figure is often the first step towards diagnosis and treatment.

The vast majority of us will either be afflicted by (or have a loved one afflicted by) some form of visual disability. As daunting as that may sound many of these complaints can be cured, managed or seriously improved with specialist care. 

Our highly skilled team of eye-care specialists and clinical assistants not only provide and perform a wide range of services and treatments, but can arm you with the knowledge and information which will help you make informed decisions, and hopefully allay some of your fears and concerns.


A cataract is where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. The lens of the eye is just like the lens of a camera. If the eye becomes cloudy it stops light being able to be focused on the retina.


Glaucoma is caused by an imbalance between the in-flow and out-flow of fluid in the eye, which leads to the loss or degradation of peripheral vision and creates what is commonly known as ‘tunnel vision’.

Epiretinal Membranes

An epiretinal membrane is from scar tissue that has formed on the surface of the eye’s macula, located on the retina. It causes blurred and distorted central vision

Macular Degeneration

The macula is the small area near the middle of the retina that controls the central part of our vision and allows us to appreciate colour and clarity. In New Zealand one in seven over the age of 50 will experience macular degeneration in some form.

Macular Hole

During the aging process a part of the eye called the vitreous membrane changes from a gel to a liquid structure and eventually collapses, causing a separation between the posterior surface and the retina. When this separation does not occur smoothly or completely a macula hole can occur, which subsequently affects vision.

Retinal Detachment (Floaters & Flashes)

Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition that can lead to vision loss if left untreated. Typically occurring in the middle-aged and elderly, treatment of retinal detachment will always require eye surgery. Flashers and floaters and sudden loss of vision can all be symptoms of retinal detachment.


A pterygium is essentially scar tissue on the surface of the eye. Pterygia vary greatly from minor lesions that cause little, if any, visual loss to large, rapidly growing lesions which seriously reduce the clarity of vision.

Watery Eye (Epiphora)

Watery eye is the common name for a condition called Epiphora, where the eye produces too many tears or is unable to drain the tears it produces.


Blepharitis involves an inflammation of the eyelids, usually affecting both eyes. It is a common, often persistent condition that has no cure, but symptoms can be reduced with daily eyelid hygiene. A 3-step process is recommended, first applying warmth, then performing massage to remove any oily secretions from the glands around the eyelid before finishing with careful cleansing.

Diabetic retinopathy

Affecting up to 60% of long-term type II diabetes patients, diabetic retinopathy is a disorder of the retinal blood vessels. The disorder usually progresses gradually, but left unchecked, it can cause vision loss or even blindness. Symptoms include blurred vision, floaters or flashers, and a sudden loss of vision.

Ectropion and entropion

These two conditions prevent the eyelid from closing properly, causing pain and discomfort. Entropion happens when the eyelid is inverted causing the eyelashes to rub against the eye causing irritation and potentially damaging the cornea. Ectropion is caused when the lower eyelid turns outward, which causes the eye to become dry and sensitive.


An inherited condition, Keratoconus is caused by the cornea becoming thin, distorted and cone shaped. This prevents light entering the eye from being focused correctly on the retina. Symptoms are often a blurring or distortion of vision as well as sensitivity to glare and light.

Posterior capsule opacification

Posterior capsule opacification can occasionally occur after a cataract operation. It is the result of a hazy membrane forming behind the intraocular lens implant and can cause blurred, hazy vision and excessive glare from lights.

Refractive error: myopia, hypermetropia and presbyopia

Myopia is commonly referred to as near-sightedness, and its opposite is Hyperopia (long-sightedness). Both are often inherited and treatable with glasses or contact lenses. Presbyopia is a more severe refractive error in which the lense hardens and thickens, resulting in an inflexibility which makes it difficult for the eye to focus.


Also known as a Meibomian cyst, a Chalazion is caused by a blocked meibomian gland in the eyelid. These glands are located behind the eyelashes and open onto the back of the lid. Sometimes, oil can build up and block the opening of the gland, creating a cyst. This causes inflammation and tenderness at the site, as well as unsightly swelling and sometimes infection.

Dry Eye

Dry Eye is caused by a lack of lubrication in the eye, either due to limited secretion of oil from the meibomian glands in the eyelids, which causes tears to evaporate too quickly, or due to inflammation of the eyelids or the skin around the eye. Symptoms include light sensitivity, blurred vision, a burning sensation or discomfort in windy or dry weather.

Eyelid skin cancer

The thinnest skin on the body, eyelid skin is particularly susceptible to sun damage. Most eyelid skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas, which are slow- growing cancers that do not spread around the body, but other more aggressive forms can occur. Early detection is essential.


Thought to be caused by excessive exposure to UV light, a pterygium is a raised, wedge-shaped growth on the eye’s surface. It tends to occur more often in areas with high sunshine hours. While not cancerous, cancers can develop in the same area if left untreated.


Caused by the upper eyelid drooping over the eye, Ptosis can be slight and harmless, or in severe cases it can completely cover the pupil and block normal vision. It can be symptomatic of nerve damage, problems with muscle strength or from a swelling of the lid.

Retinal vein occlusion

Sometimes referred to as an ‘eye stroke’, a retinal vein occlusion is when the blood vessels to the retina are blocked. Without oxygen and nutrients reaching the retina, a haemorrhage can occur, resulting in sudden and severe vision problems.


An inflammation inside the eye, uveitis affects the uvea, which consists of the iris, ciliary body and choroid. There are different types of uveitis depending on which parts of the uvea are inflamed, and each has different symptoms, but most result in blurred vision and discomfort.