5 Natural Ways to Improve Your Eyesight

Here at FOCUS eye centre we encourage you to follow our five natural ways to improve your eyesight.

1. Get enough key vitamins and minerals

Vitamins A, C, E, and mineral zinc, contain antioxidants that can help prevent macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a condition in which the macula deteriorates.

These nutrients can be found in vegetables and fruits, such as:

  • Carrots
  • Mangoes
  • Spinach
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Red peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potato
  • Citrus

We also recommend foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts, sardines, tuna and flaxseed for better eye health.

Don’t forget the carotenoids

Lutein and zeaxanthin can also improve your eyesight. Eat leafy green vegetables, broccoli, brussels sprouts, corn, nectarines, oranges, squash, zucchini, and eggs to improve your eyesight.

Lutein and zeaxanthin can also be taken in supplement form. These carotenoids help protect the macula by improving pigment density in that part of the eye and absorbing ultraviolent and blue light.

2. Stay fit

Exercise and maintaining a healthy body can improve your eyesight. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the eyes.

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the tissue at the back of the eye. Poorly controlled blood sugar is a risk factor.

Checking your blood sugar levels regularly and staying fit can lower your odds of developing type 2 diabetes and its many complications.

3. Manage chronic conditions

High blood pressure and multiple sclerosis can affect your eyesight. These conditions are linked to chronic inflammation.

Inflammation of the optic nerve can cause pain and even complete vision loss. Multiple sclerosis cannot be prevented however, you can try to manage it with healthy habits and medications.

High blood pressure can be effectively treated with a heart-healthy diet, exercise and antihypertensive medications.

4. Wear protective eyewear

Wear tough, protective eyewear if there is a possibility of chemicals, sharp objects, or materials making eye contact with you.

Most protective goggles are made with a type of polycarbonate, which is ten times tougher than other forms of plastic.

That includes sunglasses

Sunglasses are cool and the right sunglasses can block out 99 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.

Sunglasses can protect your eyes from conditions that stem from eye damage, such as; cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium.

Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can also help protect your eyes from sun damage.

5. Follow the 20-20-20 rule

Your eyes work very hard and need a break now and then. The strain can be especially intense if you work at a computer for long stretches at a time. To ease the strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule.

Every 20 minutes stop staring at your computer and look focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Most of us do not associate eating vegetables, managing chronic conditions and resting our eyes as key steps toward avoiding eye problems and improving our vision, but they all play a role.

Focus Eye Centre Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Despite the unfortunate escalation of COVID-19 in NSW, we are continuing to provide our patients with essential ophthalmic care during this pandemic. 

The Focus Eye Centre will remain open with our specialised Ophthalmic Team running clinics for patients that require ongoing care at both our Double Bay and Kingsford rooms. 

We are modifying our work environment in line with directives from the Department of Health and RANZCO. 

  • We are not seeing ‘high risk’ patients
  • We have put in place high-standard hygiene practices for the safety of patients and our staff with extra cleaning of our practice and equipment
  • Our clinic numbers are markedly reduced to avoid prolonged waiting times
  • The waiting rooms have been altered to comply with ‘social distancing policies’ and we ask that where possible, only the patient enter the clinic, with accompanying persons waiting outside the clinic 
  • We are deferring any non-urgent appointments and investigations until later in the year.
  • We are offering Telehealth services if appropriate (though this applies to a limited number of ophthalmic conditions) 

Myths of LASIK

Myths of LASIK Surgery

Afraid of laser vision correction? Many people are unsure of laser eye surgery due to the many myths and poor information on the internet. We are here to bust the myths and shed some light on laser vision surgery.

Myth: The procedure will hurt

Our patients say they feel nothing more than a minor sensation during laser vision correction, if anything at all. At Focus Eye Centre we prepare you before your procedure by giving you numbing eye drops to ensure that the experience is as painless as possible.

Myth: I could go blind

Focus Eye Centre surgeons have performed thousands of procedures, and no one has ever gone blind at our clinic. Our track record of safety speaks for itself.

Myth: LASIK is too risky

LASIK is one of the safest elective procedures in modern medicine. At Focus Eye Centre the procedure yields high levels of patient satisfaction. Is it time for you to be one of our satisfied patients?

Myth: I’m too young or too old to have the procedure

You don’t have to wait to be a certain age in order to be considered a candidate for one of our procedures.

Myth: The procedure will be scary

We make sure your time with us from start to finish is as easy and comfortable as possible. As soon as you make contact with our friendly team, we answer all your questions, walk you through your options and work to ensure that any fears you may have are addressed.

Myth: Contact lenses are safer than LASIK

Research proves that long term use of soft contact lenses is riskier than LASIK. The potential for infection is high with daily contact lens wear: one person in every 100 contracts a serious eye infection due to improper cleaning and wearing habits.

So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step towards freedom with a consultation today. Just call our friendly team at Focus Eye Centre on: (02) 9663 3927

Avoid an Eye Injury

Protecting your eyes from injury is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your vision healthy throughout your life.

Protective Eyewear

Are you taking steps to prevent 90 percent of eye injuries? Wearing protective eye wear greatly reduces your risk of an eye injury and vision loss.
According to a National survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, only 35% of respondents wear protective eyewear when performing home repairs or maintenance. Even less while playing sports.

How to Care for an Eye Injury

If you have an eye injury, see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor. Some problems, like a detached retina, can only be seen during a medical examination. An increase in eye pressure or slow bleeding only become obvious once they get really serious.
Eye injuries can cause vision loss or blindness.
Common causes of eye injuries include:
• Punches
• Blows from hands, balls or other sport equipment
• Flying pieces of material from explosions or industrial work
• Flying objects like darts
• Chemical splashes
DO NOT attempt to treat a serious eye injury yourself.

Common Symptoms of Eye Injury

Possible serious eye injury signs that require medical help:
• Pain in the eye
• Blurry vision
• Cut or torn eyelid
• One eye does not move as well as the other
• One eye sticks out of the eye socket farther than the other
• Pupil size or shape is unusual
• Blood in the eye
• Matter in the eye that cannot be removed by blinking

First Aid Treatment for Eye Injuries

What To Do If You Get Sand or Other Small Particles in Your Eye:

Usually it is not an emergency if you get sand, dirt, dust or other small natural particles in your eye. Blinking and tears usually flush out natural particles.
However, metal, glass or other man-made materials can be serious. These kinds of objects can become embedded in the surface of the eye and cause ongoing irritation and more damage.
• DO NOT rub the eye.
• Blink several times and allow tears to flush out the particle.
• Lift the upper eyelid over the lashes of your lower lid to let the eyelashes try to brush the particle out.
• Use eyewash, saline solution or running tap water to flush the eye out.
• Visit your doctor or go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

For All Other Eye Injuries

Injuries other than grit in the eye or small scratches to the eye should be considered potentially serious.
• DO NOT touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye.
• DO NOT try to remove any objects stuck in the eye.
• Do not apply ointment or medication to the eye.
• Over-the-counter eye drops can be more painful or make the injury worse.
• Prescription medications should only be used for exactly the condition they were prescribed for, not for emergency treatment.
• See a doctor as soon as possible.
• If you can’t get to an ophthalmologist right away, go to the emergency room.
If You Get Hit in the Eye
• Gently apply a small cold compress to reduce pain and swelling.
• Don’t use steaks or other food items. These can get bacteria into the eye.
• DO NOT apply any pressure.
• If a black eye, pain or visual disturbance occurs even after a light blow, immediately contact your ophthalmologist or emergency room. Even a light blow can cause a significant eye injury, like a retinal detachment.
If Your Eye Has Been Cut or Punctured
• Gently place a protective cover over the eye.
• Do not press the cover against the eye.
• DO NOT rinse with water.
• DO NOT remove any objects that are stuck in the eye.
• DO NOT rub or apply pressure to eye.
• Don’t take aspirin, ibuprofen or other non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs thin the blood and may increase bleeding.
• After you have finished protecting the eye, get emergency medical help.
Chemical Burns and Splashes in the Eye
• Immediately flush the eye with plenty of clean water.
• Seek emergency medical treatment right away.
• Look for information on the chemical that got into the eye as some chemicals cause more eye damage than others.

Eye Injury Facts

• Most eye injuries happen at work- especially in factories and on construction sites.
• 40% of eye injuries happen at home- doing home repairs, cleaning and cooking.
• Many eye injuries are related to sports.
• Men are more likely to get an eye injury than women.
• Sun can damage eyes just like objects, chemicals and dust. You can wear sunglasses or UV- protective googles to prevent sun damage.

Don’t find out the hard way; Protect your vision and use the above recommendations to prevent an eye injury. If you have any further questions, contact FOCUS Eye Centre today.

When smoke gets in your eyes

As smoke from the Australian bushfires spread across our beautiful country, many people are feeling the effects in their eyes, even those who live miles away from the hotspots. People with dry eye, blepharitis or allergic conjunctivitis are particularly sensitive to the pain smoke can cause.

Here are a few simple steps to reduce smoke exposure and smooth your burning eyes;

1. Over the counter artificial tears

Eye drops can rectify any discomfort or blurry vision from excessive smoke and dust particles in the air.

If you already use artificial tears, you may want to double your application until the smoke dissipates. Please seek medical advice from your specialist before increasing the dose.

2. Cool your eyes

Store your artificial tears in your fridge to keep cool. Lay down with a cold compress over your eyes to ease discomfort.

3. Reduce outdoor activities

It is best to stay inside if you’re sensitive to the smoke. Close the doors and windows to keep the smoke out. It’s the perfect time to watch that Netflix series, catch up on housework, start journaling or do home workouts!

4. Avoid inside air pollution

Smokes, such as those caused by candles and incense sticks are all sources of indoor air pollution that should be avoided at this time.

5. Use an air purifier

An air purifier with a high efficiency particle air filter will reduce the number of fine particles indoors. To work well, the air purifier must be matched to the size of the room it is in and the room must be well sealed.

6. Be alert

Watch the news and check social media sites to monitor smoke alerts and updates.

For long periods of smoke haze, it may be impossible to stay indoors all the time. Monitor your local air quality to find out when the risk of smoke exposure is low and it is the right time to go outside. Air quality information and health messages are available on dpie.nsw.gov.au

7. Spend time in air-conditioned venues

If you’re getting cabin fever, it’s time to spend some time in air-conditioned venues, like the cinemas, libraries, gym and shopping centres.

8. Wear glasses or googles

Specialist often recommend googles for people with dry eyes. Googles are helpful for anyone sensitive to the smoke. Wrap around glasses and sunglasses will provide a barrier to the smoke. Wiley X control glasses are designed to keep dust, pollen, wind and other airborne irritants at bay, while also preventing eye irritation caused by dehydration.

9. Visit your specialist

If you’re feeling the effect of smoke from the fires, make an appointment with your specialist or call our friendly team at Focus Eye Centre today: (02) 9663 3927 You can also call Health direct Australia on 1800 022 222 for advice and support.

Like all Australians, our deepest sympathies go out to everyone impacted by the bushfires and our gratitude for the firefighters that are working so hard to save our beautiful country, neighbours’ homes and extraordinary wildlife.

eye supplements

Eye Supplements: Are they Essential for Eye Health?

Eye supplements are simply the vitamins and minerals that are related to eye health and healthy vision. These include supplements like vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Are supplements essential for eye health?

These days, the supplement market is huge and there is a vitamin and mineral endorsed for every part of the body. Pharmacies are stocked full of products that claim to help you look and feel better and live a longer, healthier life. However, just like the rest of our body, with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, we are able to gain enough nutrients to satisfy our eye health.

So, are eye supplements an exception? The short answer is no. For a healthy person with a balanced diet, there is no need for any extra supplement to sustain eye health. However, there are exceptions. If, for example, you find that you are particularly low in any essential nutrient for the eyes like vitamin C, E or lutein, you have the option to take a supplement to fulfil this need.

How to know if you need eye supplements?

The best way to find out if you are lacking in any essential vitamins or minerals for eye health is to be examined by your GP. It is likely that you will undergo a blood test and find out if there are any vitamins or minerals that you are lacking in. You will then have the option of fulfilling this nutritional gap in your diet by simply eating the foods that contain this vitamin/mineral, or, if this is something you will struggle with for any reason, that is where the supplements come in. This is why all supplements exist – to fill nutritional gaps. So next time you’re thinking you need an eye supplement, the best place to go is to your GP and get a test.

Experiencing physical eye symptoms?

If you are experiencing any physical eye symptoms such as blurriness, tired eyes, dry eyes or lack of focus in short or long distance, it is important to visit your optometrist. An optometrist can undertake a full eye check to ensure you are free from any serious eye

issues and may diagnose you with something minor like short or long sightedness. This will lead to a simple solution of finding the lenses that suit your everyday life, which you will either wear for particular tasks or throughout the day.

In summary, the best thing to do if you want to get on top of your eye health is to check in with both your GP and your optometrist for a full check-up. This way, any serious diagnoses are ruled out and/or prevented early. Staying on top of eye health is just as important as any other part of the body.

If you would like to check your eye health with an optometrist, call Focus Eye Centre on 02 9663 3927 today!

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