glasses

Do glasses weaken your eyes?

The popular belief that glasses weaken your eyes is a myth.

If you wear glasses, chances are you’ve wondered from time to time if they’re making your eyesight worse. Not while you’re wearing them, but when you take them off.

Pretty much everyone will need glasses at some point in their lives. And when it happens to you, you’ll probably ask yourself the question on the lips of specs wearers everywhere: do glasses weaken your eyes?

Struggling to focus on printed matter is an unfortunate sign of ageing. Changes to the lens of the eye as you get older mean you have to move the page further and further away before you can see properly. It’s called presbyopia and it strikes us all, usually by our mid 40s. And most of us end up having to wear glasses.

If you think your eyesight’s got worse since you’ve started wearing glasses, you’re far from alone. But the truth is many eye conditions, including presbyopia, get worse over time by themselves, specs or no specs.

In other words, it seems harder to read things without your glasses because it is. But it was going to happen anyway, and your glasses aren’t to blame.

What your specs have done is got you used to seeing more clearly. So when you take them off, the contrasting blurriness is more noticeable.

Glasses don’t change the process of presbyopia or other eye conditions. But take them off, and your eyes might seem a tad lazy at mustering any remaining focusing power. That’s because the muscles that bend and straighten the lens of your eye haven’t worked as hard when your specs have been doing some of the job.

But your glasses haven’t made your vision worse. The real problem isn’t weak focusing muscles; the real problem is your eye’s lens has become less flexible so it can’t focus as well. And there’s not much you can do about that.

Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV light might help delay the stiffening of the lens that causes presbyopia. But the only way to escape it completely is to die young. Not a great option!

So if you want to see well throughout life, wearing glasses or contact lenses is pretty much inevitable – and not harmful. You might as well just accept it (and blame your high school careers adviser for not steering you into the lucrative field of optometry!)

Thanks to Professor David Atchinson, Queensland University of Technology for expert information and Jordan’s Seafood Restaurant and HineSight Optometry for filming assistance.

 

Article appeared on ABC Health & Wellbeing 

by Cathy Johnson

Published 01/07/2008

eyesight

5 things you’re doing every day that could be hurting your eyesight

Your eyes are precious, but people often take them for granted. Even those with perfect vision should visit an eye doctor regularly to get checked for common eye diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. To take care of your eyes, its important to visit an eye specialist regularly, wear sunglasses, avoid smoking, and eat healthy vegetables. Luckily, staring at a screen all day won’t damage your eyes permanently, but it can cause strain on the visual system.

We know we shouldn’t look directly at the sun, because it can cause serious eye damage even after a few seconds, according to Healthline. But there are plenty of other everyday habits that can hurt our eyes over time.

Business Insider spoke with Christopher Quinn, president of the American Optometric Association, to get some insight into how we may be damaging our eyes without even realizing it.

Here are FIVE common ways people damage their eyesight every day, and how to avoid them.

1. Staring at screens for too long

Fortunately, all those hours of screen time probably aren’t causing physical damage to your eyes, according to Christopher Quinn, president of the American Optometric Association. However, looking at screens for too long can cause stress in the visual system.

“That stress can result in eye strain, headaches, difficulty with focusing – a number of things that can impact quality of life overall,” Quinn told Business Insider.

It’s probably impossible to avoid screens all together. Instead, Quinn suggests practicing the 20-20-20 rule, which calls for you to look away from the screen every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds and look instead at an object that’s at least 20 feet away. It gives you an opportunity to refresh your eyes, he said.

In a single day, think of all the screens you may encounter – your smartphone, GPS, computer, TV, tablet, and more.

Fortunately, all those hours of screen time probably aren’t causing physical damage to your eyes, according to Christopher Quinn, president of the American Optometric Association. However, looking at screens for too long can cause stress in the visual system.

“That stress can result in eye strain, headaches, difficulty with focusing – a number of things that can impact quality of life overall,” Quinn told Business Insider.

It’s probably impossible to avoid screens all together. Instead, Quinn suggests practicing the 20-20-20 rule, which calls for you to look away from the screen every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds and look instead at an object that’s at least 20 feet away. It gives you an opportunity to refresh your eyes, he said.

2. Not wearing sunglasses

Whether the sky is sunny or overcast, the sun’s harmful rays can still impact our eyes. You don’t have to stare directly at the sun to experience damage. In fact, sun exposure over time can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of vision loss in older

adults, Quinn said.

Sunglasses can help protect against that damage, but it’s important to wear ones that protect against ultraviolet (UV) light, according to the National Eye Institute.

“UV light-absorbing sunglasses mitigate that risk substantially,” Quinn said. “Normally, high-quality sunglasses will filter 95% or more of the harmful rays of the sun.”

 

3. Smoking cigarettes

Aside from increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer, smoking cigarettes can also affect eye health, according to theCentres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Just like sun exposure, smoking can increase the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

4. Not eating your veggies

A diet rich in vegetables can help maintain the health of certain parts of the eye.

“Essential antioxidants and vitamins can have a protective effect on the health of the retina – the light sensitive tissue which lines the back wall of the eye,” Quinn said.

In particular, he said leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach may help provide that effect.

However, the common belief that eating carrots helps improve your night-time vision is actually a myth dating back to British propaganda from World War II. Although the orange veggie is good for eye health, it doesn’t give you any sort of super power.

 

 

5. Avoiding the eye doctor

Even if don’t have problems with your vision, getting an annual eye exam is still important for a number of reasons.

First, progressive damage to your eyes can happen without you noticing or feeling it. For example, about half of people with glaucoma – a group of diseases that impact the optic nerve – aren’t aware they have it, according to the CDC. That’s because there are often no symptoms, especially in early stages.

Additionally, during an exam, an eye doctor may find signs of other health problems.

“They can identify not just things that impact the eye, but also a host of systemic diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, which can have manifestations in the eye before the disease becomes really clinically apparent to the patient,” Quinn said.

 

Article appeared on Business Insider Australia 

June5, 2018

SMILE

Creating Vision with a SMILE

Creating Vision with a SMILE

 
SMILE – a minimally invasive laser vision correction procedure – has been used to treat over a million eyes worldwide and is being used by an expanding number of clinics for myopia correction. During SMILE eye surgery, a lenticule is created inside the cornea using the Zeiss VisuMax femtosecond laser.

Single Step

ReLEx SMILE saves time and increases comfort for surgeons and patients alike by performing the refractive correction with one treatment plan and on a single laser. Moreover, the lenticule inside the cornea and the access incision are created in a single step.

Minimally Invasive Laser Vision Correction

To achieve the refractive correction with Zeiss ReLEx SMILE, a small incision of 2-4 mm is sufficient to remove the lenticule from the intrastromal layer of the cornea, thus preserving the corneal structure.

 

mivision | 23 May 2018
Macula month

May is Macula Month!

May is Macula Month and the ideal time to learn more about macular disease, what support is available to you, and to remind your friends and family members of the importance of looking after their vision!

Macular disease is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australia. It includes age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease, along with other less common diseases of the macula. Those over 50 are at higher risk of age-related macular degeneration, and everyone with diabetes is at risk of vision loss through diabetic eye disease.

Here at Focus Eye Centre, we have highly trained, and well respected professionals in the ophthalmology field. For more information on Macula Month, come in and see our retinal specialists, Dr Margaret Kearns and Dr Paula Berdoukas.

Learn More – A range of publications produced by Macular Disease Foundation Australia are available free of charge. Publications cover disease information, risk factors, symptoms, preventive measures, and a range of guides on low vision. Next time you visit Focus Eye Centre, ask about these free publications, or call the Foundation toll-free on 1800 111 709 to have these posted to you.

Support – Macular Disease Foundation Australia works alongside ophthalmology practices in support of patients, their family and carers. They offer free advice and support in living well with macular disease and can be contacted on the toll-free Helpline on 1800 111 709.

Having a regular eye test is the best way to detect changes in your vision, early diagnosis and timely treatment gives the best opportunity to save sight. If you, or a family member, notice any sudden changes in vision, call us immediately on 02 9663 3927.

For more information on Macula Month 2018, visit www.mdfoundation.com.au

Keratoconus Treatment Corneal Collagen Cross Linking to be supported by Medicare

Corneal Collagen Cross Linking (CCXL) for keratoconus will be added to the Medicare Benefits Scheme from 1 May 2018.

The lone awaited news has been welcomed by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO), including the RANZCO-affiliated Australian and New Zealand Cornea Society, who have been calling for this change for a number of years.

Access to rebate for CCXL through Medicare will make this important treatment available for people who were previously unable to access it due to cost and availability.

In Australia, people with keratoconus will often require corneal transplantation, which, while often necessary, is a complex and invasive procedure that requires donor corneas to be available and has a long recovery period. However, if these patients are able to undergo timely CCXL, which uses ultra violet (UV) light and drops to help slow the progression of the condition, it is likely that they can avoid corneal transplantation altogether.

“This is an important step that brings an innovative and effective treatment option to the many people living with the effects of keratoconus in Australia,” said Professor Gerard Sutton, Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Cornea Society. “From 1 May these people will have available to them a less invasive option that could mitigate the need for a full corneal transplant and that can either stop or slow down the progression of this visually impairing condition. This is a hugely positive and very welcome change.”

Keratoconus causes a person’s cornea to change shape over time, often resulting in blurry vision and impacting people’s ability to undertake every day tasks, in particular causing difficulty driving at night.

Bright lights can start to appear streaked, glare and halos can appear around lights and over time visual function can become progressively worse making it difficult to go about daily life.

“The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) endorses the federal government’s initiative in recognising the importance of crosslinking for the prevention of sight threatening disease, and in providing financial support for patients suffering from progressive keratoconus. We are delighted that this important innovation is being made more readily available for those that need it,” said RANZCO President, Associate Professor Mark Daniell.

 

mivision | 11 April 2018

Number of Aussies living with cataracts on the rise

An increasing number of Australians are living with cataracts, particularly women aged over 80, according to new data released by the Medibank Better Health Index.

More than 700,000 Australians were affected by cataracts in 2016-17, an increase of 139,000 compared with 2010-2011. The figures, released to coincide with International Women’s Day, also showed than 18.5% of women aged over 80 were affected by the condition, compared with 13.4% six years ago.

“It’s well known that the risk of developing cataracts increases as people get older, however this new data also suggests there’s been a slight rise in the number of Australians affected,” Medibank clinical director Dr Sue Abhary said.

The numbers also indicate women are more likely to have cataracts than men, with 4.4% of Australian women affected compared with 3.5% of Australian men.

According to The Fred Hollows Foundation, this gender imbalance is reflected worldwide, with women around 1.3x more likely to have a visual impairment than men. As a result, women comprise around 55% of the 36 million people who live with blindness globally.

“We know vision impairment and blindness have far-reaching implications, not just for the women affected, but also for their families and for progress towards many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” Fred Hollows CEO Mr Ian Wishart said.

“To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as targets for Vision 2020, we must eliminate all forms of inequity in access to eyecare for women and girls.”

Vision 2020 Australia has committed to working with its members both locally and abroad to help provide women and girls with access to eyecare services, and CEO Ms Carla Northam said it should be a priority for all countries.

“Gender inequality in eye health is clearly a global issue, and we strongly support all of our members doing this work locally and globally,” Northam said.

“Addressing gender imbalances in eye health will go a long way towards reducing avoidable blindness around the world.”

Insight

common eye myths

Busting Common Eye Myths

Can carrots help you see better?

I’m sure we’ve all heard it before, carrots are here to save the day and cure us of all our eyesight problems. But is it true?

We are busting this myth wide open and we are happy to report that yes carrots can contribute to better eye health. Eating carrots will provide you with the small amount of Vitamin A needed for good vision, but they are one of many natural sources of Vitamin A – which is essential for keeping your eyes healthy! Milk, fish, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and silver beet are all rich sources of Vitamin A.

Making sure your diet is jam-packed with Vitamin A can help lessen the chance of developing night blindness as well as other eye problems including vision loss. While not common in Australia, vision loss due to a lack of Vitamin A can still occur if your diet is particularly poor. Those most at risk are adults and children with restricted diets, pregnant women and those with bowel disease.

As one of the most common eye myths, eating carrots is an easy way to maintain and contribute to better eye health. Eating a healthy, well balanced diet contributes to your overall health and wellbeing as well as your eye health. Other important dietary nutrients for eye health include; Omega-3 (sources include all fish and shell fish, fish oils containing liver and butter), Zinc (sources include oysters, seafood, nuts and legumes), vitamin E (sources include nuts and whole grains), vitamin C (sources include citrus fruit, berries and tomatoes), and selenium (sources include nuts).

We welcome you to our centre for an assessment or please feel free to contact our friendly staff with any inquiries.

Donate Life

The Precious Gift of Sight – Donate Life

The Precious Gift of Sight

Did you know that the first ever successful organ transplant occurred in 1905! This was a cornea transplant performed in Austria and at a time where there were no medications and no anesthetics. Both eyes were operated on, and one of the transplants worked giving this blind man vision for over 40 more years.
Cornea donation is a gift of sight possible by most people within the community, last year in NSW / ACT the Lions NSW Eye Bank had 424 donors that made this sight saving decision. The gift from these people and the support from their families allow the gift of sight to more than 700 patients within our community. In NSW we have highly trained corneal surgeons who are able to perform sight saving surgery with these donations.
At Focus Eye Centre our surgeons also perform such transplants and we would like to thank the donors and their families also for their precious gift.
If you wish more information about eye and organ donation please follow the link to the Donate Life website. Please consider also being a organ/tissue donor.
Dr Con Petsoglou MB BS, MMed(Clin.Epi), FRANZCO
Senior Lecturer / Postgraduate Coordinator
Save Sight Institute, Discipline of Clinical Ophthalmology

Deputy Director, Lions NSW Eye Bank
University of Sydney
eye conditions, refractive error simulation, astigmatism correction

Refractive Error – Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments

What are Refractive Errors ?

If your eye is out of focus it could be due to refractive error. This occurs when light rays do not properly focus on the retina.

Read more

eye conditions, cataract simulation

Cataracts – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments

What are cataracts ?

Cataracts are a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye. This in turn affects vision. Cataracts form for many reasons but the most common is age.  It is normal for people over the age of 65 to have some mild form of cataracts. Causes of Cataract development include age, steroid use, trauma, radiation, or as a result of other eye conditions such as glaucoma.  Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes, sometimes years apart, but it cannot spread from one eye to another.

Read more