eye strain

What kind of Eye Strain do you have?

Eye strain can be painful and frustrating to say the least However, what actually causes eye strain and what makes each type of eye strain so different? Here at Focus Eye Centre we are passionate about treating all conditions of eye strain and therefore have put together a list of the various causes of eye strain. By checking each different cause, you’ll then be able to find out what is causing your eye strain and what you can do to start fixing it.

Overworked Eyes

Just like any muscle, when the eyes are overworked, they can become both tired and strained. It’s important to give your eyes breaks when doing extensive amounts of computer work, reading or driving, as this can cause eye strain over time. If you think this is the reason for your eye strain, that is good news and you should be able to fix this yourself over time by changing your lifestyle habits. However, it’s impossible to verify 100% if this is the case, so the best thing to do is to adjust your lifestyle, as well as check in with your optometrist for an overall check-up.

Fussy Eyes

Have you noticed your eyes are completely fine when doing most activities, but suddenly they will feel very strange when doing another activity? Eyes that are more compatible with certain activities, e.g. driving rather than computer work. This could be a sign of long/farsightedness (hyperopia) or short/near sightedness (myopia). If you think this is the case of your eye strain, you should see your optometrist as soon as possible for an appointment.

Aging Eyes

It’s not common knowledge, but it certainly is a common issue. As you age, just like every other part of your body, your eyes may become weaker or cause some pain. People normally experience eye strain due to age after they hit their forties – sometimes earlier or later, depending on the person. With age, our eye muscles do have to work harder to achieve the same task as they did when they were younger, so strain is the result of this. However, it is reassuring to know that this is very normal and actually has a name – presbyopia. If you think age is what may be causing your eye strain, it’s a good idea to book in with your optometrist and get a check-up.

Our team at Focus Eye Centre are the experts in eye care and can resolve your eye strain issues. Contact us today by calling (02) 9663 3927

pink eye

What is Pink Eye and is it Contagious?

What is pink eye?

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, causes swelling and redness in the inside of your eyelid and the white part of your eye.

ALERT WARNING: Pink eye in newborns. Pink eye can cause serious health problems for newborn babies. Call a doctor now if your baby has:

  • Unusual fluid (discharge) coming from the eye
  • Puffy red eyelids

What are the symptoms of pink eye?

The most common symptoms of pink eye are:

  • Pink or red eyes
  • Itchy or burning eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • White, yellow, or green discharge
  • Crust along your eyelids or eyelashes

Pink eye may also cause:

  • Swollen eyelids
  • A feeling like something’s stuck in your eye
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Blurry vision
  • A lump in front of your ear

If you wear contact lenses, you may notice that they feel uncomfortable or don’t stay in place.

Am I at risk for pink eye?

Anyone can get pink eye. It’s one of the most common eye problems for both children and adults.

What causes pink eye?

Most of the time, pink eye is caused by a virus or bacterial infection. Viral pink eye is the most common type.

You’re more likely to get pink eye if you:

  • Come in contact with someone else who has pink eye
  • Have recently been unwell
  • Wear contact lenses
  • Have allergies

How can I prevent pink eye from spreading?

Viral and bacterial pink eye spread very easily from person to person — but you can take steps to keep pink eye from spreading.

If you’re around someone who has pink eye:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Wash your hands after you touch the person with pink eye or something that person used.
  • Don’t share personal items that the person with pink eye has used — including pillows, towels, makeup, or glasses.

If you have pink eye:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Be extra careful about washing them after you touch your eyes or use eye drops or medicine.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.
  • If you have discharge, wash the area around your eyes 2 or 3 times a day. Use a clean, wet washcloth or a fresh cotton ball each time. Be sure to wash your hands before and after washing your eyes.
  • Don’t share personal items with other people — including pillows, towels, makeup, or glasses.
  • Clean your glasses regularly.
  • If you wear contact lenses, follow your eye doctor’s instructions for cleaning, storing, and replacing them.

You can also take steps to prevent getting pink eye again:

  • Throw away any makeup that you used while you had pink eye. This includes eye makeup, face makeup, and brushes or sponges.
  • Throw away contact lens solution, contact lenses, and cases that you used while you had pink eye.
  • Clean your glasses and cases.

Do I need to see a doctor?

Most cases of pink eye get better on their own. Go to the doctor if:

  • You have a lot of pain in your eye
  • Your eye is very red
  • You notice a lot of mucus coming from your eyes
  • Your vision is blurry or you’re sensitive to light — and it doesn’t get better when you wipe away discharge from your eye
  • Your symptoms don’t get better after a few days — or they get worse
  • You have a health condition that weakens your immune system, like cancer or HIV
  • You have symptoms of pink eye and you wear contacts, or you recently scratched your eye

The doctor will look at your eyes and ask you some questions to find out what caused your pink eye and decide on the best way to treat it.

What is the treatment for pink eye?

Viral pink eye often gets better on its own after 7 to 10 days. Bacterial pink eye may require antibiotics. 

There are some things that help relief discomfort such as:

  • Non-preserved artificial tears – these can help with comfort and flush out the virus. 
  • Cold compresses – applying a cool pack to closed eyes regularly throughout the day can reduce inflammation and bring symptomatic relief. 

For more information, or if you have any questions you can always contact us at Focus Eye Centre on: (02) 9663 3927

adjusting new glasses

Top Tips for Adjusting to Your New Glasses

Prepare for the change

When it comes to any kind of change in life, preparation is key, and the adjustment to new glasses is no exception.

If you’ve been diagnosed with an eyesight issue that requires glasses moving forward, then you will need to both mentally and physically prepare for this change. As for physical adaptation, the eyes actually go through a process of neural adaptation in which new nerve fibres become hardwired in after a period of time. This change can be uncomfortable for some, and that’s where the mental preparation comes in.

It’s important to realise that a new change in your life, especially with the physical adaptation that entails, might be a little stressful and feel as if it’s not ‘you’. However, if glasses are prescribed, then that means they are a crucial aspect of your health moving forward, and the sooner you become comfortable with this new part of your life, the better.

These adjustments may include; remembering to take the glasses with you if they are only prescribed for certain activities, getting used to socialising with the glasses on and working with the glasses.

Be aware of the challenges

With new glasses, like any kind of accessory that assists our health, comes new challenges. As your eyes and brain adjust to the glasses, there may be a few common issues you face. These include; eye strain, changes in perception and general distortion.

Eye strain is the most common factor that people encounter and is usually most common in the first week, as your eyes begin to adjust. If you’re aware in advance about the eye strain, you can prepare with some easy remedies like massages and adjusting the brightness on your smartphone and TV screens. As for distortion, only some people experience this, however if you’re one of them, it’s important to know so that you don’t mistake the dizziness or lack of balance for another condition – it’s most likely your new glasses. If the distortion becomes worse over time, it’s a good idea to visit your optometrist for advice.

Perception can be another challenge with many people experiencing ‘depth perception’ in which they have a lack of ability to judge how far away an object is. This is an important factor to keep in mind if you’re using the new glasses whilst driving as you will have to take extra precaution and be more aware of your surroundings.

Choose the right frame

The correct frame for you is very important, and it’s vital to choose the right frame to avoid headaches and discomfort. Your eyes are already adjusting to the new lenses, so you can make it easier for yourself if you choose a style of lenses and frame that are the most comfortable, no matter how tempting it may be to choose the most fashionable in store!

When you’re trying out the different frames, keep in mind that glasses are a long-term commitment and you may be wearing them every day for several hours of the day. Usually, a lighter frame is an effective way to take the weight off from behind your ears and choosing the correct size is also crucial for your comfort.

The plus side to all of this is that the glasses will provide more clarity and comfort to your life in the long-run, so hang in there! If you have any questions about adjusting to your new glasses, you can always contact us at Focus Eye Centre on: (02) 9663 3927

screen time

Is too much screen time bad for kids?

You go into your child’s room and they are playing the latest gaming app, you look in your review mirror and your child is watching YouTube, you check if your child needs help with their homework and they are busy texting friends.

Children and their phones are inseparable in today’s society, and all that reading and playing games on their handheld devices can harm their vision.

To reduce screen time, some parents ban phones at dinner time, cap screen time to certain days or limit screen time to a certain amount of time per day. 

These days’ children under just 2 years old are spending an average of 42-minutes per day using digital devices. As kids grow, their screen time tends to grow with them.

The problem with too much screen time:

Children who are exposed to more than two hours of screen time per day can experience:

  • Headaches
  • Neck/shoulder pain
  • Poor posture
  • Eye strain, dry or irritated eyes
  • Reduced attention span
  • Poor behaviour
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbances

These symptoms affect academic performance and social interactions.

The rapid rise of myopia, or nearsightedness, worldwide has been linked to increased use of and exposure to electronic devices.

What you can do:

  • Encourage your child, if needed, to wear eyeglasses with lenses that reduce the amount of blue light that enters the eyes from digital screens or polarized sunglasses.
  • Purchase a protective blue light filter that can be applied to the surface of your child’s digital device. Examples include InvisibleShield Glass + VisionGuard screen protectors from ZAGG.
  • Use the blue light filtering features on certain devices (like Apple’s Night Shift), or multi-platform apps that block blue light, such as f.lux and Iris.
  • To reduce sleep disruptions, create a “no-screens” rule at least two hours before bedtime.
  • Encourage frequent visual breaks with the “20-20-20” I spy game. Every 20 minutes, encourage them to take their eyes off the screen, look at something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds and guess what they spy for 20 seconds. This simple game relaxes the focusing and eye alignment muscles, reducing the risk of many of the symptoms of digital eye strain.
  • Encourage frequent posture checks. The time taken to follow the 20-20-20 rule is also a good time to encourage your child to sit up straight and realign the head, neck and shoulders. Moving the head slowly to the right and left and also up and down can relieve strained muscles and reduce fatigue. Encourage to walk and stretch the entire body also is a good idea to reduce the risk of non-visual symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
  • Set a time limit on your child’s phone use. Apple, Google and other tech companies have recently introduced time management features and apps that allow you to monitor your child’s daily screen time. Visit your phone vendor’s website or store to learn more.
  • Schedule annual eye exams with an eye doctor to monitor your child’s vision and eye health. Ask your eye doctor about blue light protection options.

Children and technology are the future. Taking these simple measures can go a long way towards keeping your tech-savvy children seeing clearly and comfortably for years to come.

To find our more information about our services here at FOCUS, give our friendly team a call today on: (02) 9663 3927

Amsler grid

Save your Sight with an Amsler Grid: Free macular degeneration test

Save your Sight with an Amsler Grid: Free macular degeneration test

Macular degeneration (age related macular degeneration) is the leading cause of blindness in Australia. It is possible to reduce the risk of losing sight from macular degeneration by living a healthy lifestyle and having your macula checked regularly by an eye health professional.

The Amsler grid is an easy to use self- monitoring tool that can detect changes in your vision. The changes in your vision may be signs of macular degeneration or other eye diseases. The Amsler grid has a printed grid with a dot in the center.

Click Here For Image Source

If you’re at risk for macular degeneration or other eye diseases, or over the age of 50, you can use the chart once a week at home to monitor your vision. Early detection means early treatment.

Macular Disease Foundation Australian advise people that have been diagnosed with early signs of macular degeneration to use the Amsler Grid every day to determine any deterioration.

How to use the Amsler grid :

  • Wear the glasses or contact lenses you normally use for reading
  • Hold the Amsler grid at normal reading distance in a well-lit room
  • Fully cover one eye then use the uncovered eye to focus on the centre dot
  • Repeat the process with the other eye.

When used in this way, one eye at a time, potential issues can be identified in individual eyes. These changes may include distortion of lines – straight lines may appear wavy or bent. Additionally, dark or empty spaces may appear.

The Amsler grid should not be used in place of seeking advice from a medical professional. It should be used to detect early changes that should then be immediately reported to your eye doctor. Your doctor will then perform a comprehensive eye exam.

You can request an Amsler grid from your eye doctor or order a free Amsler grid from Macular Disease Foundation Australia.

You can contact the Macular Disease Foundation Australia on the National Helpline: 1800 111 709 and Focus Eye Centre on (02) 9663 3927 for more information.

cataract considerations

Cataract Considerations

Cataracts are a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision caused by cataracts can make it more difficult to read, drive a car (especially at night) or see the expression on a friend’s face.

Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision. According to Medibank Better Health Index there is an increase in Australians living with cataracts, particularly women aged over 80.

At first, stronger lighting and prescription glasses can help you deal with cataracts. When your prescription glasses can’t clear your vision, the only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery. Fortunately, modern day cataract surgery is a very safe and effective procedure with a success rate of over 95%. For most patients, having cataract surgery also provides the opportunity to eliminate glasses for some tasks.

To determine whether you have a cataract, visit our highly qualified surgeons at FOCUS EYE CENTRE. Our surgeons will review your medical history and symptoms and perform an eye examination.  Surgeons usually recommend a microsurgical procedure to remove the cataract from the eye if the cataracts affect your quality of life, interfere with your ability to perform normal daily activities, such as reading or driving at night or prevent the examination or detection of other eye diseases in the future.

FOCUS EYE CENTRE uses leading technology, the Alcon Infiniti Vision System (Phacoemulsifier) to perform cataract surgery. The clouded lens is removed using the phacoemulsification (emulsification of the lens using an ultrasonic hand piece) and is then replaced with an intraocular artificial lens. The artificial lens remains a permanent part of your eye. The implanted lens is selected very carefully so as to correct the patient’s refractive error. Some lens implants can correct astigmatism. Some implants are custom made to suit an individual need. The procedure is performed using local anaesthesia and intra-venous sedation.

Cataract surgery is safe and serious complications are rare but need to be considered. As with any surgery, there are associated risks which include cloudy vision, pressure rise, damage or dislocation of the lens, inflammation, infection, blindness, bleeding and loss of eyesight.

After the procedure, you’ll have some discomfort for a few days. Healing generally occurs within eight weeks. If you need cataract surgery in both eyes, your doctor will schedule surgery to remove the cataract in the second eye after you’ve healed from the first surgery.

If you choose not to undergo cataract surgery now, our surgeons may recommend periodic follow-up exams to see if your cataracts are progressing. How often you’ll see our surgeon depends on your situation. To book your consultation in today, or to find our more, call our friendly team on: (02) 9663 3927

laser vision correction

Seeing is Believing: Laser Vision Correction

Imagine waking up in the morning and not having to reach for your glasses or put in your contacts. Many people are either nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism. These common eye conditions are known as refractive errors. If you want clear and sharp vision, connect with our highly qualified surgeons at Focus Eye Centre, who can use advanced laser vision correction to correct and improve your vision.

Focus Eye Centre Directors

Focus Directors, Dr Richard Smith and Dr Margaret Kearns commenced practice in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs 32 years ago. Dr Smith and Dr Kearns pioneered laser eye surgery in Australia 20 years ago and continue to use the best laser eye technology available.

Dr Richard Smith believes, “The decision to have eye surgery depends on finding people you can trust. You need to feel assured that they are properly qualified and highly experienced. Moreover you hope to find people who will be highly communicative and totally honest. We aspire to these ideals”.

Leading Australia in Modern laser Vision Correction

Laser technology and medical procedures to correct refractive errors have all been scientifically validated and clinically tested.

Focus Eye Centre performs four main types of laser vision correction procedures. These procedures correct a wide range of vision errors.

The main types of laser vision correction procedures performed at Focus Eye centre include;

Our highly qualified surgeons at Focus Eye Centre will do a thorough assessment and develop the right treatment plan with you.

“We are out to give people the best vision they can possibly have, and our latest lasers do it more precisely, more easily and more safely than ever before. My greatest satisfaction is seeing someone happy with their result.”

Dr Richard Smith Focus Owner/Director, Surgeon

Focus Eye Centre uses advanced lasers that are smart, fast and gentle. Our lasers have an inbuilt patient support system that provides extra comfort and relaxation during treatment. The system continuously monitors the patient’s position during the procedure and will automatically make comfort adjustments.

Laser treatments are carried out in our licensed, accredited day surgery centre, which maintain full operating theatre standards.

Healing with minimum discomfort

In most cases, patients see clearly 2-hours after the procedure and vision stabilizes within a week. Patients are normally able to drive, work, wear makeup and participate in sports, just a few days following treatment.

If a life without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses sounds ideal and you’d like to take the first step, make an appointment with Focus Eye Centre today: (02) 9663 3927

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.


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.


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 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.


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


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.