Eye Conditions D – P

Dry Eyes

DeMorsier’s Syndrome

A rare disorder, present at birth, in which the optic nerve is underdeveloped, the pituitary gland does not function properly, and often a portion of brain tissue is not formed. DeMorsier’s Syndrome may cause blindness in one or both eyes and is also often accompanied by nystagmus and various other symptoms. Some children with DeMorsier’s Syndrome have normal intelligence, while others may be developmentally delayed, learning-disabled, or mentally retarded. Some symptoms of this disorder can be treated, but the visual impairment usually cannot be corrected. Visual devices, such as a magnifier or a computer designed for vision impaired users, may benefit some people.

Diabetic Retinopathy

In Australia, nearly one third of diabetics suffer from damaged vision in which the focusing ability of the eye is weakened or fluctuates. The longer someone has had diabetes, the greater the persons chance of the disease. Changes in the eye may occur in the retina, blood vessels in the eye may leak causing blurred vision or even turn images to red. Laser surgery can treat diabetic retinopathy to stop it from spreading.

Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome occurs when there aren’t enough tears on the front of the eyes. Symptoms include itching, irritation and grittiness. People with dry eyes find it difficult to wear contact lenses. There is no cure, but the symptoms can be minimised. Ageing, menopause, medical conditions such as arthritis, some medications and climactic conditions can cause dry eye syndrome.

Floaters and Spots

Specks or strands that seem to float across the field of vision. Floaters and spots are actually shadows on the retina cast by tiny bits of gel or cells inside the clear fluid that fills the eye. Floaters and spots usually are normal and harmless. However, in some cases they may warn of serious conditions such as retinal detachmentdiabetic retinopathy, or infection. Someone who experiences a sudden decline in vision accompanied by flashes and floaters or a sudden increase in the number of floaters should consult an ophthalmologist urgently.

Fuch’s Dystrophy

Fuchs’ dystrophy is an uncommon, slowly progressive disorder that affects the cornea.Fuchs’ dystrophy is a type of corneal dystrophy, a group of conditions that may cause a hazy deposit to build up over the cornea.

Normally, the cells that line the back surface of the cornea prevent excess fluid from accumulating. This helps the cornea maintain its transparency. But with Fuchs’ dystrophy, those endothelial cells slowly deteriorate, lose function and die. Resulting in a fluid build up in the cornea. This may cause swelling, cloudy vision, pain and loss of corneal transparency.

Fundus Flavimaculatus

Fundus Flavimaculatus

Stargardt disease or fundus Flavimaculatus is a progressive form of juvenile macular degeneration with considerable clinical and genetic heterogeneity.  It may be considered a syndromal cone-rod dystrophy because of overlapping clinical features such as loss of colour vision and photophobia in some patients. 

There is no treatment for this disorder but low vision aids can be helpful especially in the early stages of the disease.



© Lighthouse Guild


Blindness affecting half of the field of vision. Hemianopia usually results from a stroke or brain injury. It may affect either the right or left side of the visual field and is usually permanent. Hemianopia can produce various effects, from minor to severe. For example, a person may be able to see only to one side when looking ahead, or objects that the person sees may differ in clarity or brightness. There is no specific treatment for hemianopia. In addition, some people with hemianopia benefit from the use of magnifiers or special prism lenses.


© Lighthouse Guild


A common vision problem, also known as farsightedness, occurs when light rays entering the eye focus behind the retina, not directly on it. People with hyperopia are usually able to see distant objects well, but close objects appear blurry. May cause eyestrain or headaches, especially with reading. Eyeglasses or contact lenses can correct hyperopia. Laser vision correction is sometimes possible.


Rare condition, often inherited, in which the cornea becomes progressively thinner and gradually bulges outward, causing blurred or distorted vision. Usually affects both eyes. Most people with Keratoconus will not experience severe visual impairment. However, as many as one in five will eventually require a corneal transplant (surgical replacement of the old cornea with a new one).

Laurence-Moon-Bardet-Biedl Syndrome

Rare, inherited disorder affecting many parts of the body. People with this condition have retinitis pigmentosa accompanied by mental retardation, paralysis of the legs, and various other symptoms.

Leber’s congenital amaurosis

Inherited condition, probably caused by degeneration of the retina, in which an infant is born blind or develops severe vision loss soon after birth. Children with Leber’s congenital amaurosis typically also have nystagmus, and some also have mental retardation and hearing disorders. At present, there is no treatment for this condition.

Macular Degeneration

The macular is the small central area of the retina, responsible for fine detail vision and colour differentiation. The condition is commonly known as age related macular degeneration (AMD) and is the leading cause of vision impairment among older people. Deterioration of this area, known as macular degeneration, may occur very suddenly, resulting in impaired central vision and can lead to complete loss of vision. There is no cure, but drug therapy, laser surgery or other medical treatment may be able to slow the progression or prevent further vision loss.  Reading lenses and magnifying devices can compensate for loss of detailed vision.


© Lighthouse Guild

Macular hole

A full thickness hole in the central part of the retina called the macula. It may be caused by injury or inflammatory swelling of the retina, but most commonly occurs as an age-related event without any predisposing conditions. Macular holes are thought to be caused by tractional forces associated with the vitreous gel separating from the retina in the macula and around the central macula called the fovea. Surgery is the treatment of choice.

Marfan Syndrome

Disorder of the connective tissue, affecting the heart and blood vessels, skeletal system, eyes, and other parts of the body. The condition is present at birth. Symptoms vary, ranging from mild to severe. People with Marfan syndrome are often nearsighted and about half have dislocation of one or both lenses of the eye. There is no cure. Treatment depends on which body systems are affected. Early eye examinations can detect vision problems related to the disorder, which can usually be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses or eye surgery.


A rare disorder, usually inherited, in which one or both eyes are abnormally small. The degree of visual impairment varies, from reduced vision to blindness. Extreme microphthalmia resembles some forms of anopthalmia. There is no treatment or cure for micropthalmia. In certain cases, artificial eyes can be used to promote proper growth of the eye sockets and to help with cosmetic appearance.

Myopia and Hyperopia

Hyperopia or farsightedness is a common eye deficiency which inhibits the ability of the eye to focus on close objects. This is due to the eyeball being shorter than normal, causing light rays to focus after they reach the retina and blurring images close to the eye. Glasses with convex lenses are required.

Alternatively, if the eyeball is too long, the lens brings light into focus before it reaches the retina, blurring images in the distance. This condition is known as myopia or near sightedness and requires glasses with concave lenses.


Involves involuntary, rapid, repetitive movements of one or both eyes from side to side, up and down, or in a circular motion. It may be present at birth or, less commonly, may result from disease or injury. In some cases, it can reduce or interfere with vision. For example, children with nystagmus may frequently lose their place when reading. Placing a cut out reading window over words or using a card to “underline” text can be helpful.

Optic nerve atrophy

Degeneration of the optic nerve, which carries vision information from the eye to the brain. May cause dimmed or blurred vision, a reduced field of vision and difficulty seeing contrast and fine detail. Vision loss through optic nerve atrophy is permanent. However, if the underlying cause can be identified and successfully treated, further vision loss may be prevented. Bright lighting, high contrast, and bold colours can help to see more clearly.

Optic nerve hypoplasia

Condition, present at birth, in which the optic nerve is underdeveloped, so that adequate visual information is not carried from the eye to the brain. Effects vary from little or no visual impairment to near-total blindness. The condition may affect one or both eyes. There is no treatment or cure for optic nerve hypoplasia. A person may benefit from the use of devices for low vision.


The eye’s gradually decreasing ability to focus on nearby objects. Presbyopia is a normal part of aging and affects virtually everyone, usually becoming noticeable after age 40. People with presbyopia typically hold reading materials at arm’s length in order to bring the words into focus. They may experience headaches or eyestrain while reading, viewing a computer screen, or doing close work. Presbyopia can be corrected with reading glasses, bifocal or variable focus lenses, or contact lenses. Using bright, direct light when reading is also helpful.