sunglass standard

New Mandatory Sunglass Standard

From 1 July 2019, sunglass and fashion spectacle suppliers must comply with mandatory requirements set out in the Consumer Goods (Sunglasses and Fashion Spectacles) Safety Standard 2017. The mandatory standard is based on sections of the voluntary Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1067.1:2016 eye and face protection – sunglasses and fashion spectacles (available from SAI Global).

The mandatory standard for sunglasses and fashion spectacles applies to non-prescription sunglasses mounted in a spectacle frame; rimless sunshields and one piece visors; clip-on and slipon type sunglasses; children’s sunglasses, and fashion spectacles and light tint sunglasses.

It does not apply to prescription and readymade spectacles; safety glasses and safety goggles intended to provide protection against optical radiation other than from the sun; eyewear for protection against radiation in solaria; eye protectors for sport, and glasses for use as toys and clearly and legibly labelled as toys.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

Following is an overview of the safety standards requirements, this is intended as a guide only. The legislation should be consulted for detailed information.

Ultraviolet Radiation 

The mandatory standard requires that sunglasses must protect users from ultraviolet radiation (UV) from 280 and 400 nanometres.

Testing 

The mandatory standard specifies marking and labelling requirements as well as testing procedures to ensure sunglasses and fashion spectacles meet specific performance, construction, and labelling requirements. Suppliers need to arrange this testing through specialist laboratories.

MARKING AND LABELING

Marking or labelling must not be obscured by other important information, eg. price labels. All assembled sunglasses must be labelled with the identity of the manufacturer or supplier; the lens category number; the lens category description and usage information; and if applicable, the symbol ‘Not suitable for driving and road use’. Category symbols are optional, if used they must comply with Table 5 AS/ NZS 1067.1:2016.

CLASSIFICATIONS

Sunglasses and fashion spectacles are classified into five categories by their performance suitability for use in certain conditions as follows:

  • Lens category 0: Fashion spectacles – these are not sunglasses as they have a very low ability to reduce sun glare. They provide limited or no UV protection.
  • Lens category 1: Fashion spectacles – like category 0 lenses, these are not sunglasses, however they do provide limited sun glare reduction and some UV protection. Fashion spectacles with category 1 lenses are not suitable for driving at night.
  • Lens category 2: Sunglasses – these sunglasses provide a medium level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection.
  • Lens category 3: Sunglasses – these sunglasses provide a high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection.
  • Lens category 4: Sunglasses – these are special purpose sunglasses that provide a very high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection. Lens category 4 sunglasses must not be used when driving at any time.

Finola Carey is the CEO of Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association. For the full article, visit mivision.com.au.

Macula Month

May is Macula Month!

Macula Month – 1 to 31 May 2019

Macula Month is an initiative of Macular Disease Foundation Australia and runs for the month of May. It is an annual campaign designed to raise awareness of macular disease, which includes age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease, along with other less common diseases of the macula. Macular disease is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in Australia.

Macula Month 2019 calls on Australians to reduce their risk of developing macular disease by following four simple steps:

Step 1: See your optometrist for a comprehensive eye examination including a macula check;

Step 2: Adopt an eye healthy diet and lifestyle;

Step 3: Have a conversation with your family about eye health; and

Step 4: Order a free information kit.

To order a kit or find out more contact Macular Disease Foundation Australia on 1800 111 709 or visit www.mdfoundation.com.au/resources

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australians over 50, with 1.29 million people having some evidence of the disease [1]. Age-related macular degeneration causes progressive loss of central vision, leaving the peripheral or side vision intact.

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease refers to a range of conditions, the most common being diabetic retinopathy. Over one million Australian adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. Nearly as many are believed to have diabetes but are undiagnosed. The prevalence of diabetes is climbing rapidly posing major public health and economic concerns [2]. Diabetes can result in a number of serious complications including diabetic eye disease. Most people with type 1 diabetes and over 60 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes will develop diabetic eye disease within 20 years of diagnosis. The significant increase in diabetes prevalence is expected to increase the number of people with diabetic eye disease [3]. Early diagnosis and intervention can dramatically reduce vision loss.

Macular Disease Foundation Australia

Macular Disease Foundation Australia’s (MDFA) vision is to reduce the incidence and impact of macular disease in Australia through education, awareness, research, support services and representation. It is the national peak body for the macular disease community providing independent, free, expert advice on preventing and living well with macular disease. For more information call 1800 111 709 or visit www.mdfoundation.com.au

References:

1. ‘Eyes on the future – A clear outlook on age-related macular degeneration’. Report by Deloitte Access Economics & Macular Degeneration Foundation, 2011. 2018 prevalence estimates are derived from a straight line extrapolation between 2015 and 2020 estimates in this report.

2. Guidelines for the Management of Diabetic Retinopathy. NHMRC 2008.

3. “Out of Sight – A Report into Diabetic Eye Disease in Australia”. Baker IDI and Centre for Eye Research Australia 2013.- See more at: https://www.mdfoundation.com.au/Macula-Month-Links-background-info#sthash.UehwwLmx.dpuf

advanced optical biometry

Advanced Optical Biometry

On Saturday 13th April 2019 a small group of the Focus Eye Centre clinical team attended an Advanced Optical Biometry course, organised by Carl Zeiss and held at the University of Technology’s Discipline of Orthoptics.

The program for the day covered requirements and tips for successful cataract surgery. The course was based on the IOL Master 700, just one example of some of the latest technology on offer to our patients at both our Kingsford and Double Bay clinics.

An interesting and fun day was had and the course has helped our clinical team further enhance existing knowledge in optical biometry and cataract surgery planning to ensure best patient outcomes.

pterygium

Clinical trial investigates new eye drop therapy for pterygium

Australian researchers are trialing eye drops that could have the potential to replace current surgical methods to treat pterygium of the eye.

Lions Eye Institute (LEI) researchers have entered the recruitment phase to test a new drug, called AG-86893, on patients with pterygium. Also known as ‘surfer’s eye’, pterygium affects 270,500 Australians.

Pterygium is a fleshy growth on the surface of the eye caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors, including excessive exposure to sun, dust or wind. As it progresses, the condition can obscure the optical centre of the cornea, causing a visual impairment that requires surgery.

The LEI Clinical Trials team, led by ophthalmologist Dr Jean-Louis deSousa, in Western Australia will test whether the newly-developed eye drops can reduce eye redness associated with the condition, and its potential to replace surgery as a treatment option.

deSousa said Australia had one of the highest rates of pterygium in the world, affecting 1.1% of the population, and rising to 12% in men over the age of 60.

“We will be testing the potential of a medication called AG-86893, which is a reformulation of an existing drug called nintedanib, to reduce eye redness associated with pterygium with short-term use as well as reducing new blood vessel growth and fibrosis that may contribute to the growth of pterygium with longer-term use,” he said.

“We need Western Australians with pterygium to participate in this important trial.”

The SURPH (StUdy of the Response to AG-86893 in patients with Pterygium Hyperemia) Trial is recruiting participants in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland until 31 May.

Article appeared on Insight, 27/03/2019

uv risk

UV risk to eye health an Australian Survey

Survey: Australians lack awareness of UV risk to eye health

The mainstream media’s focus on blue light filters and consumer confusion may be contributing to Australian’s poor understanding of the risks associated with ultraviolet (UV) light exposure.

According to a national survey conducted by Carl Zeiss Australia, many Australians do not recognise the full effect UV light has on eyes.

In findings that the company described as “alarming”, its recently published MyEyeQ Report found that 73% of respondents were unaware most eye-related UV damage happened before the age of 18, and 45% were not aware of the level of UV protection their sunglasses provided.

Additionally, 71% of spectacle wearers did not know the level of UV protection their lenses offered.

According to Carl Zeiss Australia, unsubstantiated concerns about blue light risk and a lack of understanding regarding protection levels could be preventing consumers from fully comprehending the risks of UV light.

According to the survey results, 62% of parents found it difficult to understand the UV protection levels displayed on children’s sunglasses.

“To some degree, the blue light conversation has eclipsed UV concerns. While the media has latched on to blue light, there is no firm clinical evidence to suggest that blue light from digital devices poses a health risk anywhere close to that of UV,” Ms Hilke Fitzsimons, Carl Zeiss Australia general manager said.

“Australians recognise they need to protect their eyes, but they are underestimating the risks and are confused by what they see on the shelves and hear in the media.”Hilke Fitzsimons, Carl Zeiss Australia

“Australians recognise they need to protect their eyes, but they are underestimating the risks and are confused by what they see on the shelves and hear in the media. The industry has an important role to play in consumer education and purchase behaviour.”

Fitzsimons said that in some cases product labelling could be misleading. For example, some companies claim ‘full UV protection’ on lenses that only protect from light up to 380nm. To achieve full UV protection, lenses need to withstand up to 400nm.

“People are also confused by the distinction between things like UV protection and polarisation. Polarisation eliminates glare and can be more comfortable for the eyes but does not offer any additional UV protection,” she said.

The survey also stated that while 66% of Australians will develop skin cancer by the age of 70, some were not aware the eyelid region was one of the most common sites for non melanoma skin cancers.

Despite this risk, 33% of respondents indicated they were more concerned about protecting their skin from sun damage than their eyes, while almost half of Australians were only “somewhat concerned” about the risk of eye damage from UV light.

“We are fed so much information these days about skin anti-aging and sun damage, but it’s important people understand our eyes face the same risks, and the damage begins early,” Fitzsimons said.

“Photoaging of the skin around the eyes, several cancers on the skin around the eye and within the eye, cataracts, macular degeneration and preventable blindness are among the consequences of UV exposure. Consumers need to take this information very seriously.”

The survey involved 1,000 participants from across Australia.

Article appeared on Insight, 5th March 2019

VR Goggles

VR Goggles for Glaucoma Diagnosis

VR Goggles for Glaucoma Diagnosis

A wearable brain-based device called NGoggle that incorporates virtual reality (VR) could help improve glaucoma diagnosis and prevent vision loss. The device consists of head-mounted VR goggles that use light to stimulate targeted areas in a patient’s visual field. Its portability means it could be used in a variety of environments such as in an eye care professional’s office, community centre, or at home.

The VR goggles are integrated with wireless electroencephalography (EEG), a series of electrodes that adhere to the scalp to measure brain activity in response to signals received from the eyes. Within a few minutes, the NGoggle algorithm captures and analyses enough data to report how well each eye communicates with the brain across the patient’s field of vision. Diminished activity may indicate functional loss from glaucoma.

Dr Felipe Medeiros, a co-founder of NGoggle, Inc., and a professor of ophthalmology at Duke University School of Medicine, said the device’s VR capabilities can be greatly leveraged – people could be tested for glaucoma as they play a VR-based video game or explore a virtual art gallery for instance. 

“The possibilities are endless for making it an engaging experience, which would go a long way toward ensuring that people use it and receive the treatment they need,” he said.

In a partnership with Duke University, a study is being conducted to validate the diagnostic accuracy and reproducibility of the device. In addition to comparing NGoggle to standard automated perimetry, they will look at how well NGoggle discriminates among different stages of disease by comparing its assessments of the neural damage in glaucoma with standard imaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography. The investigators also plan to conduct longitudinal investigations to validate the ability of the device to detect disease progression. Results will inform an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market the device.

Article appeared on mivision, February 28 2019

dry eye

From Gut to Eye: New Approaches to Dry Eye Disease

From Gut to Eye: New Approaches to Dry Eye Disease

Scientists are embracing novel approaches to treating disease – the use of faecal implants and tablets to treat gut problems and serious conditions such as depression, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, was one of the big medical stories in 2018. Now both the gut and ocular surface microbiomes are being explored by researchers chasing a cure for one of the most common and persistent eye conditions – dry eye.

Dr Judith Flanagan, Leader of Ocular Therapeutics at Brien Holden Vision Institute, says studies have demonstrated a link between the immune system and dry eye disease, prompting them to investigate whether probiotics taken orally will reestablish proper immune system function and combat the problem.

“There is substantial evidence associating the gut microbiome with systemic inflammation in disease states such as diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and dermatitis,” she said. “It’s also been found that taking probiotics, which act to help restore a disrupted bacterial community in the gut, can have a positive effect on both systemic and localised immune system function.

(an) avenue being explored is the use of topical treatments at the ocular surface in an attempt to ‘rebalance’ the ocular microbiome

“So, working within an ecological framework, we’re investigating whether these probiotic supplements can reconstitute a healthy microbiome, either at the site of the disease or enterically, and act to reduce the severity of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. Along these lines, another avenue being explored is the use of topical treatments at the ocular surface in an attempt to ‘rebalance’ the ocular microbiome.

“It’s possible that the microbial community on the eye’s surface plays a role in the development of meibomian gland dysfunction. A change to the balance of this commensal community may lead to eyelid inflammation, changes to the composition of the eye’s tears or to the quality of the meibomian lipids that form the upper most layer of the tear film.

Dr Flanagan said research has shown that low dose oral antibiotics are useful in treating meibomian gland dysfunction but the concentrations used are below levels needed to eliminate bacteria and the effects are instead, anti-inflammatory.

“Another benefit of low dose antimicrobials is that they inhibit bacterial lipase production, reducing the concentration in the tear film of these enzymes that can act to degrade the lipid layer of the tears.”

We’re currently recruiting participants for this trial of the topical ointment

However, with concerns that long term oral antibiotic use can diminish our bacterial communities, and that exposing bacteria to non-biocidal levels of these drugs can induce antibiotic resistance, the researchers are proposing an alternative approach.

“Rather than using antibiotics to target the lipase enzymes, we are developing a bacterial lipase inhibitor ointment derived from natural products (coconut oil) that can work to rebalance a healthy ocular microbiome and deliver increased ocular comfort and reduced dry eye disease,” said Dr Flanagan.

“We have already shown in the lab that our novel agent can inhibit production of bacterial lipase without being antimicrobial. It has also been shown by others that bacteria never develop resistance to this agent and that this lipase inhibitor does not affect the healthy bacteria that we need on the ocular surface. We hope, through a clinical trial, to provide initial evidence that this approach can reduce the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease by naturally allowing the bacterial community to find an ecological balance.

“We’re currently recruiting participants for this trial of the topical ointment (which is applied on the skin around the eye rather than in the eye) and planning for an oral probiotics study in the near future, so if there are optometrists working in the inner Sydney area who have patients that might be interested we would love to hear from them,” said Dr Flanagan.

Article appeared on mivision, 28th February 2019

Computers Digital Devices and Eye Strain

Computers Digital Devices and Eye Strain

Staring at your computer screen, smartphone or other digital devices for long periods won’t cause permanent eye damage, but your eyes may feel dry and tired. You may develop blurry vision, fatigue or eye strain. Some people also experience headaches or motion sickness when viewing 3-D, which may indicate that the viewer has a problem with focusing or depth perception.

What causes digital related eye strain?

Normally, humans blink about 15 times a minute, but studies show we blink half to a third that often while using computers and other digital screen devices, whether for work or play. Extended reading, writing or other intensive “near work” can also cause eye strain.

Eye Ergonomics Tips 

  • Sit about 25 inches, or arm’s length, from the computers screen. Position the screen so your eye gaze is slightly downward.
  • Many devices now have glass screens with considerable glare. Reduce glare by using a matte screen filter if needed.
  • Take regular breaks using the “20-20-20” rule: every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry. Consider using a humidifier.
  • If a screen is much brighter than the surrounding light, your eyes have to work harder to see. Adjust your room lighting and try increasing the contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain.

A note to contact lens users: Contact lenses can exacerbate eye dryness and irritation common to heavy users of computers and other digital devices often. Some tips: 

  • Give your eyes a break by wearing your glasses. 
  • Don’t sleep in your contact lenses, even if they are labeled “extended wear.”
  • Always use good cleaning practices.

If your eyes are consistently red, blurry or watery, or they become sensitive to light or painful, see an ophthalmologist. 

Article appeared on American Academy of Ophthalmology, March 1st 2016

world glaucoma week 2019

World Glaucoma Week 2019

World Glaucoma Week 2019 (10 – 16 March)

During World Glaucoma Week (10 – 16 March) Glaucoma Australia will launch a new risk awareness campaign targeting people who are at greater risk of developing glaucoma to encourage them to get their eyes tested.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of avoidable blindness worldwide, affecting over 300,000 Australians1, yet it is estimated that 50% of those living with glaucoma are undiagnosed1.

While nine out of 10 Australians say that sight is their most valued sense 2, over 8 million Australians are still not having regular eye tests3.


Who is at risk?

Although anyone may develop glaucoma, some people have a higher risk – they are people who:

  • have a family history of glaucoma
  • have high eye pressure
  • are aged over 50
  • are of African or Asian descent
  • have diabetes
  • have myopia (nearsighted)
  • have been on a prolonged course of cortisone (steroid) medication
  • experience migraines
  • have had an eye operation or eye injury
  • who have a history or high or low blood pressure

Abridged: NHMRC Guidelines, 2010


Get tested

Glaucoma Australia recommends all Australians 50 years or older visit an optometrist every 2 years for a comprehensive eye exam, and if you have a family history of glaucoma or are of Asian or African descent we recommend you get your eyes checked every 2 years from the age of 40.


Did you know?

  • Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease and is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in Australia
  • Known as the ‘silent thief of sight’ glaucoma develops slowly and often without any symptoms, leaving people undetected until the disease reaches an advanced stage. Left untreated, it can cause vision loss and may even lead to blindness.
  • While vision loss can’t be restored, early diagnosis and treatment can delay or halt the progression of the disease. That is why it’s so important to detect the problem as early as possible.
  • It is estimated that there are 300,000 Australians living with glaucoma, but over 50% are unaware they have it, thinking they have healthy eyes.
  • Glaucoma is hereditary – you are 10x more likely to have glaucoma if you have a direct family member with glaucoma.
  • First degree relatives of a person with glaucoma have an almost 1 in 4 chance if developing glaucoma in their lifetime, and that risk increases to 56% if their glaucoma is advanced. So knowing your family health is important.

How to get involved

Start a conversation

  • Encourage people at risk of developing glaucoma to get their eyes checked at least every 2 years.
  • Remind anyone with glaucoma to alert first-degree relatives of the benefits of early and regular eye checks.

More information

World Glaucoma Week 2019

laser eye surgery myths

10 Laser Eye Surgery Myths

10 Laser Eye Surgery Myths

1. It cannot correct long-sightedness

2. It cannot correct astigmatism

3. It cannot correct the need for reading glasses as you get older – Presbyopia

4. It hurts – it’s pain free!

5. If you blink or move during the procedure it can go wrong

6. It doesn’t last very long and needs redoing

7. If you get a cataract later on in life, you can’t have that done anymore

8. Contact lenses are safer than laser eye surgery

9. Night vision is harmed by laser eye surgery (it can be fixed by laser eye surgery)

10. My prescription is too high to be corrected (98 percent of all prescriptions can be corrected)

So guess what? None of these are true!

Contact FOCUS Eye Centre on 02 9663 3927 to book your consultation today with our friendly team to find out if you are suitable for SMILE, LASIK or PRK laser eye surgery.