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Emergency Vision and Eye Care - Logan City

Posted in 'General' on December 3, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

At Stuart Macfarlane Optometrist, we strive to accommodate emergency vision and eye care needs. If you have an emergency that can not wait until your next eye exam please feel free contact us immediately. We recommend that you call first although you can walk in and we will treat you as soon as possible. There is no additional fee for emergency eye care visits. 

Reasons that people may need an emergency eye doctor or optometrist appointment;

  • Red Eyes 
  • Eye Pain
  • Eye Discharge 
  • Flashes of Light 
  • Floaters 
  • Vision Loss
  • Foreign body sensation (things stuck in eye or under eye lid) 
  • Chemical exposures (if you have washed out your eye and are experiencing any symptoms at all it is important that you are evaluated immediately)
  • Subconjunctival Haemorrhage (appearance of the eye bleeding) 
  • Lacerations (cuts around or in the eye) 
  • Contact Lens Stuck in Eye.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms please contact us at 07 3299 3699 so that we can assist you as quickly as possible.




Computer Vision Syndrome

Posted in 'General' on December 4, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane
In today's digital world, optometrists are seeing more and more people with CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome). 

Computer Vision Syndrome

If you think that you may be experiencing CVS it is important that you get a comprehensive eye exam; this is because eyes change with time, and deteriorate with age. Uncorrected problems or new vision problems contribute to the symptoms of CVS.   
A few of the eye problems that also cause CVS symptoms include farsightedness, astigmatism, inadequate eye focusing, eye coordination, and eye aging. 

Symptoms of CVS include: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Burning eyes
  • Eye fatigue or eye strain 
  • Dry eyes 
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Headaches
  • Pain in shoulders, neck, or head

Many people cite decreased blink rate as a contributor to CVS, however, a recent study showed that computer use may lead to incomplete blinks (also know as lagophthalmos), which may be associated with visual fatigue. Complete blinks massage a layer of moisture to the eye; when the eyelid closes all the way and reopens it provides protection and comfort to the ocular surface.  

CVS is not a significant or serious problem. Sometimes symptoms are transient and exacerbated by poor lighting, screen glare, improper viewing distances, poor posture, or a combination of any of these things; everyone's eyes are a little different. 

For people who have transient symptoms, we will often recommend one or a variety of solutions. Recommendations may include adjusting the location of your computer screen, angle which you view your computer screen, working distance from your computer screen, lighting, anti-glare screen covers, seating position, rest breaks, eye rests, and/or eye exercises. 

There are several recommendations that may help. Some authorities advise that you should rest your eyes periodically. Some offer eye exercises. There is even software that reminds you to blink. All of these may be good recommendations in general, however we again stress that each eye is different and will change in time. If your eyes are bothering you be sure to get in to your local optometrist and mention your symptoms during your annual eye exam. For more information about our services, be sure to visit our eye exam page.











Can Sunglasses Reduce Panic Attacks?

Posted in 'General' on December 4, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

study recently presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress suggests that Photophobia was significantly more prevalent amongst those people with panic disorders. A panic or anxiety attack is characterised by a sudden overwhelming feeling of acute and disabling anxiety.

Photophobia can mean an irrational fear of light, but, as a medical symptom, it is defined as an extreme sensitivity to light, or an abnormal intolerance to the visual perception of light.

This is one of the first studies to show the possible association between light sensitivity and panic disorder. People with panic attacks are more likely to suffer an attack within the hours 6am to 6pm, as well as in spring and summer. Fluorescent lighting has also been known to be associated with panic attacks.

Panic attacks affect millions of people. While we can not treat them here, we can offer sunglasses. If you have a light sensitivity please visit our sunglasses page.


Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Dry Eye Treatment

Posted in 'General' on December 6, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

At our clinic in Logan Central, we treat some patients who are suffering from Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) and dry eye symptoms with Blephasteam®. These dry eye symptoms may include eye irritation, a gritty or burning sensation, and / or foreign body sensation (the feeling that something is in your eye).

Blephasteam-dry-eye

Blephasteam® is the first eyelid warming device (goggles) which deliver a latent moist heat therapy for people with MGD. Some patients with MGD may be used to using warm compresses. The Blephasteam® goggles offer a significant advantage; they provide a consistent temperature that is safe for eyelids, yet warm enough to melt meibomian gland 
secretions and obstructions. This treatment is convenient and allows patient to have clear vision throughout the whole process, allowing them to read a book or watch TV during treatment while their eye lid glands return to a more normal lipid secretion. We usually follow the Blephasteam® treatment with manually expressing the meibomian glands. 

MGD is the abnormal function of the meibomian glands. The primary function of the meibomian glands is to secrete the lipid layer of the tear film. MGD is a common cause of dry eye disease, which is often a precursor to ocular disorders such as blepharitis, styes, chalazia, ocular rosacea, and meibomitis. MGD is one of the most common eye abnormalities that we treat. Staying on top of this treatment prevents further damage. 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to go see your local optometrist. If you would like to find out if Blephasteam® is right for you, please call us today. 

For more information on dry eye please see our page on Dry Eye

To schedule an exam, please visit our page: Comprehensive Eye Examination.




What is Bacterial or Microbial Keratitis?

Posted in 'General' on December 6, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane
What is Bacterial Keratitis?

Bacterial keratitis (also known as Microbial Keratitis) is an infection of the eye's transparent outer covering (the cornea).

Causes
Bacterial keratitis is often related to the inappropriate use of contact lenses, or from eye injuries such as scratches to the cornea. Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Staphylococcus Aureus are the 2 most common bacteria which cause bacterial keratitis. 

Symptoms 
Common bacterial keratitis symptoms include red eye, foreign object sensation (something in the eye), pain, light sensitivity, watery eyes, blurred vision, and difficulty keeping eyelids open. Usually one eye at a time becomes infected. 

Diagnosis & Medical Treatment
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms it is important to have your eyes checked with a slitlamp examination as soon as possible. Many eye infections are minor but bacterial keratitis is a medical emergency. Treatment depends on a wide variety of factors and can involve a topical eye drop prescription. Left untreated bacterial keratitis can potentially result in permanent vision loss (blindness) from corneal scarring.  This can require a corneal transplant. 




10 Eye Opening Contact Lens Care Tips

Posted in 'General' on December 6, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

Contact lenses are safely used by millions of people; however, the questions never stop pouring in on how to use them properly. Hygiene is one of the most popular topics. 

Preventing bacteria and infections such as keratitis should be a top priority for wearers of contact lenses. We see keratitis often, and it can range in severity from irritating to complete blindness in some severe cases. So, here are 10 tips on contact lens care that we hope you will find useful and save you a whole lot of trouble. 

1. Wash your hands before inserting your contact lenses, or removing them. This reduces the bacteria load on your hands. 

2. Change your contact lens case every time you get a new bottle of solution.

3. Contact lens cases must be replaced every 1-3 months. Dirty cases are the #1 cause of infection. 

4. Replace your contact lenses as prescribed by your optometrist.

5. It is safest to take your contact lenses out overnight, even if they are approved for overnight wear.

6. Rub and rinse contact lenses with disinfecting solution every time they are removed.

7. Saline solution is not a disinfectant. 

8. Contact lens solution is not a rewetting drop. 

9. Clean contact lens cases after each use and let the case air dry. It takes an extra minute but prevents the development of a biofilm on the case. A bacterial biofilm increases the risk of infection. 

10. Do not top off the old solution in your lens case with new solution.

Are tablet computers safe for children's eyes?

Posted in 'General' on December 22, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

Parents ask us all the time "Are tablet computers safe for my child's eyes?" Whether they are using them to text their friends, play Minecraft, or do homework, a large portion of kids these days have phones, tablets, or laptops. Some schools even require them. But could the amount of time spent on them affect kid's eyes?

As with many things, electronic devices are probably best used in moderation. Many of these devices are fairly new and the long term affects of using them are simply unknown at this time.

Children who have used devices for prolonged periods of time can suffer from tired eyes, blurred vision, eyes strain, headaches, or red eyes. All of these are symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS). CVS is typically cured by limiting the time spent on these devices. Kids can take breaks from using their devices, keep their screen at a safe distance, keep even room lighting while using them, and if they have a prescription they should wear their glasses. Your child may not realize their symptoms are associated with or a result of using their device, so be sure to ask.

If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms above or if you have specific questions about their eyes please bring them up at their next eye exam. (Eye exams are very important for children and their future; read why on our post eye exams for children.)



UV Radiation and sunglasses

Posted in 'General' on December 24, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

Everyone knows that you need to protect your skin from the sun because many ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a risk factor for developing skin cancers. But did you know that UV radiation has teh potential to harm your eyes as well? The three categories of invisible high energy UV rays are UVA, UVB, and UVC rays.

UVC radiation is primarily absorbed by the ozone layer in the Earth's atmosphere.

UVA radiation accounts for the highest proportion of UV radiation that we are exposed to and are able to penetrate clouds and glass. UVA is a risk factor in the development of skin cancers.

Although UVB radiation accounts for a minor proportion of the UV radiation that reaches us, it is the cause of sunburn. Exposure to UVB leads to damage of the superficial epidermis and is a primary risk factor in the development of skin cancer.

Overexposure to these types of radiation has been linked to serious eye problems such as certain types of cataracts and macular degeneration. Other associated eye problems include photokeratitis, photoconjuctivitis, pingueculae, pterygia, and other retinal damage. The best way to protect your eyes from the sun while outdoors is by wearing sunglasses. The sunglasses that you select should have lenses that block 99-100% of UV rays and absorb most High Energy Visible (HEV) rays. People have faces of different shapes and sizes, so not one size fits all. Sunglasses should protect your eyes from all angles; this may mean large lenses, a close fitting pair, or some that wrap around.

If you live near our practice in Logan Central be sure to visit our page on sunglasses. We carry a variety of sunglasses that will help protect your eyes and will assist you with finding lenses that will properly fit your face and protect your eyes. If you wear prescription glasses then we have you covered as well - ask about our prescription polarised sunglasses. Now you can see clearly and safely.




Dry Eye Supplements.

Posted in 'General' on December 24, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

Every patient with dry eye is different but most have one thing in common: the eye drops are inconvenient. If you suspect you may have dry eye, please see our page on Dry Eye syndrome. If you already know that you have dry eye, at your next appointment we will be discuss with you natural treatments and supplements as well as the doses that may help the underlying cause of your specific condition.

Some supplements which may help individuals with dry eye include omega-3 supplements, gamma linoleic acid and vitamin C.

  • Omega 3 is found in flaxseed oil and in fish oil. Flaxseed oil is found in capsule and liquid forms. Some people purchase whole flax seeds and grind them up to add to their food. Fish oil is also found in pill form, and of course getting the oil directly from fish such as tuna, salmon, and sardines works as well.
  • Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA) is found in certain vegetable oils and eye supplements.
  • Vitamin C used in combination with GLA has shown in studies to improve dry eye syndrome.   
Again, all cases of dry eye vary. Dry eye is caused by many different things and affects people differently. People's diets also affect the absorption of omega-3. While there are many health benefits to eating healthy and a well balanced diet, there are a wide variety of factors your optometrist will take into consideration before making a recommendation to help alleviate the symptoms of dry eye.

 


Contact Lenses in Logan Central

Posted in 'General' on December 24, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane
We are located in Logan City Centre near Logan Central. Our patients from here and surrounding areas such as Kingston and Springwood are often happy to discover that we provide all of the support a contact lens wearer needs. Contact lenses are found for sale more and more places these days, but not all lenses are created equally or suitable for everyone's lifestyle. Our professional optometrists can consult with you and go over your visual requirements and personal preferences. If you are looking for contacts or looking for advice or your first prescription feel free to give us a call. Also, be sure to see our "10 eye opening contact lens care tips" as well.


Can routine eye exams detect Alzheimer's disease??

Posted in 'General' on December 24, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane
Scientists at CSIRO are currently working on an eye test that can detect Alzheimer’s 17 years sooner than currently possible. Currently, people with Alzheimer's are diagnosed after symptoms begin. We can not see Alzheimer's (yet) but one day we will be able to, as explained in this YouTube video. However, during a comprehensive eye exam, an optometrist can potentially catch many diseases with dilation such as diabetes, tomours, and other infectious diseases. Routine eye exams often end in good news but are becoming more and more important each day. It is an exciting time and early detection is always a good thing with any medical issue.