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Focus on Ability Film Festival

Posted in 'General' on July 30, 2017 by Stuart Macfarlane

http://www.focusonability.com.au/FOA/films/Blind_Ambition_1228.html

Help support the profile of the visually disabled and Blind Cricket. Here is a link to vote for Lachlan Macfarlane's Blind Cricket Documentary, a finalise in the Focus on Ability film festival. Voting closes shortly! Please register your vote for Lachlan's Documentary to help promote Blind Cricket and give him the support he deserves for doing such a great job with this film.


Migraine

Posted in 'General' on March 2, 2017 by Stuart Macfarlane

Migraines are a recognised neurological medical condition.  They include various autonomic nervous system symptoms including headache, nausea, photophobia, vomiting, numbness or paresis, and sensitivity to noise and smell.

Migraines are generally accepted to be a neurovascular condition with the latest research considering that it starts with cortical depression spreading to the vascular system. 

Migraine can be preceded by various symptoms during the prodromal phase. These prodromal symptoms most commonly include a visual aura. This can involve a flickering zig zag light which usually enlarges over several minutes, a scotoma or patchy loss of vision, and hallucinations. The symptoms generally progress in severity over several minutes. 

 

Prodromal symptoms can also include difficulty speaking and thinking (known as aphasia), and confusion. Some migraine sufferers also notice a tingling sensation in parts of their body as well as irritability and fatigue. Sometimes these symptoms can occur in isolation without a progression of the migraine to the acute headache phase. 

If the migrainous episode progresses to a headache, this usually affects one side of the head and typically begins above the eyes. The pain is generally severe and throbbing and can have a duration between 3 hours to 3 days.

Although the cause of migraine is uncertain, it is thought to have both a genetic and enviromental component.  Some researchers postulate that it can be related to low levels of serotonin.  There also seems to be contributing physiological factors such as diet, stress and fatigue. 

Several years ago Harvard researchers discovered that specific wavelengths of light caused intensified pain in migraine sufferers. They postulated that "the mechanism of photophobia must involve the optic nerve, because in totally blind individuals, the optic nerve does not carry light signals to the brain." Subjects in the group were found to be particularly sensitive to short wavelengths like blue or grey. They also stated that "We also suspected that a group of recently discovered retinal cells containing melanopsin photoreceptors (which help control biological functions including sleep and wakefulness) is critically involved in this process".



Marijuana and glaucoma

Posted in 'General' on January 26, 2017 by Stuart Macfarlane

In news that will be underwhelming for some people, it has been found that marijuana is not an effective treatment to control glaucoma. 

Marijuana

 

The research by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in the USA found that  "there is limited evidence that cannabinoids are an ineffective treatment for improving intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma." Marijuana was found to have only a transient, short-term effect on intraocular pressure with the effect not of a long enough duration for it to be medically helpful. 


Colour Blind

Posted in 'General' on January 19, 2017 by Stuart Macfarlane

Colour Blind  

Colour Blind



Blind Ambition | Blind Cricket Documentary on Ray Moxly

Posted in 'General' on October 26, 2016 by Stuart Macfarlane

Ray Moxly is the Chairman of Blind Cricket Australia and Secretary General of World Blind Cricket. This is his story. By Lachlan Macfarlane. 







Bleach in my eye! First Aid for Chemical Burns.

Posted in 'General' on August 27, 2016 by Stuart Macfarlane

Bleach, oven cleaner, ammonia, detergents, pool cleaner and vinegar: we are all familiar with these useful chemicals for cleaning and use them often. However if any of these chemicals spatter into your eye it is a true ocular emergency that can possibly lead to blindness or visual impairment and requires treatment IMMEDIATELY. 
 

About two-thirds of chemical eye injuries occur in industries where dangerous chemicals are used, and the remainder occur at home mostly from cleaning products. 

Here is a list of chemicals that are harmful to your eyes:
Alkali
-Bleach
-Lye
-Cements
-Plasters
-Airbag powder
-Ammonia
-Solvents
-Potassium hydroxide
-Sodium hydroxide
-Magnesium
-Lime
-Fertilizer
 
Neutral Irritants 
-Mace, pepper spray
-Household detergents
 
Acidic 
-Battery acid (automobile battery)
-Pool cleaner
-Vinegar
-Glass polish (hydrofluoric acid)

Alkali burns are the most dangerous and harmful to the ocular surface as alkalis penetrate the cornea (the clear window in front of the eye) more deeply and rapidly than acids and will cause more severe injuries. 

Symptoms of chemical burns include pain, redness, tearing, blurred vision, difficulty with keeping the eyes open, irritation and swelling of the lids. 

The first and most important treatment for chemical burns is to irrigate and wash the injured eye copiously with water or saline for at least 20-30 minutes. The longer the chemical remains in the eye the more devastating harm it causes. Also it is very important to open the eyes as wide as possible to effectively wash off the chemical. It is often useful to hold the lids with both hands to keep the eye open. 

It would be ideal if irrigation can be performed with an irrigating solution such as Eye Stream or saline, but tap water is also appropriate.  
 

When seeking medical help or calling an ambulance, it is essential to inform the health care practitioner what chemical was splashed in the eye and if in an industrial setting to provide a MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheet. Irrigation must be continued until the ambulance arrives or you arrive at a hospital emergency department. 

The types and duration of treatment depend on severity of the burn, which is graded from Grade 1 to Grade 4. 
Grade 1: Clear cornea, only epithelial damage and no limbal ischemia 
Grade 2: Hazy cornea, iris details visible, less than 1/3 of limbal ischemia
• Grade 3: total loss of corneal epithelium, stromal haze, 1/3-1/2 limbal ischemia
• Grade 4: Opaque cornea, more than ½ limbal ischemia

Overall chemicals must be used and treated with great care and protective goggles used. If chemical spatters into the eye remember two things: IRRIGATE COPIOUSLY and SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY. 







If you have diabetes eating fish may save your sight

Posted in 'General' on August 20, 2016 by Stuart Macfarlane
 
Regular intake of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids obtained from oily fish was associated with a reduced risk of sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy in middle-aged and older patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study conducted in Spain.

The study's finding that consumption of at least 500 mg/d of dietary long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC3PUFAs) decreased the risk of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in patients with diabetes corroborates experimental models and the current theory of DR pathogenesis, according to the report.

The prospective investigation included 3,482 patients with a mean age of 67 years diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who had participated in the PREDIMED study, a randomized clinical trial that tested Mediterranean diets supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts vs. a control diet for primary cardiovascular prevention.

Among the 3,482 patients, 2,611 (75%) consumed the recommended amount of at least 500 mg/d of LC3PUFA, which could be achieved with two servings of oily fish per week.

Blind Cricket

Posted in 'General' on August 17, 2016 by Stuart Macfarlane
 
Steve Palmer, Ricky Segura and Matt Cameron (on debut), all with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), were the standout performers for Australia in Adelaide during the Australia vs England Lord's Taverners International Blind Cricket Series earlier this year. Unfortunately Australia lost the ODI series 4-1 but split the T20 series 1-1.  England ODI captain Matt Dean (RP with Ushers) dominated the series and was awarded the Vision Australia 'man of the series' and an iPad Pro.

Blind Cricket Australia Chairman and Australian fast bowler Ray Moxly (who has ocular albinism) said, "Blind Cricket is a sport for people who are legally blind at all levels but those who just qualify as being legally blind tend to have the greatest impact on a match.  Australia needs to find more well sighted (but legally blind) athletes if it wants to remain competitive at the international level."  A blind cricket 11 is comprised of 4 partially sighted (B3) players, 3 poor partially sighted (B2) players and 4 totally blind (B1) players.  Batsmen hitting 4's and 6's is a common occurrence, there are plenty of classic catches taken and the best bowlers deliver the ball at 100kph!!
 

Queensland Blind Cricket is currently looking for new players as it heads into a Summer of Cricket.  The Queensland Squad for the upcoming National Championships will be selected in the next two months and the Australian team will head to India in January to take part in the T20 Blind Cricket World Cup.

There is an indoor cricket version of Blind Cricket too.  This game is called Vision Impaired Indoor Cricket, it is suitable for players with a reasonable level of vision and is played every Monday night at Toombul, Brisbane.

For more information on Blind Cricket or Vision Impaired Indoor Cricket contact Ray Moxly chairman@blindcricket.org.au or Facebook Vision Impaired Indoor Cricket and Queensland Blind Cricket.

Polarised sunglasses

Posted in 'General' on July 16, 2016 by Stuart Macfarlane

Living in Australia, we are subjected to glare and ultraviolet light on an almost constant basis. The harmful effects of ultraviolet light are well-known  and include an increased risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, ocular surface disease such as pterygium, and dry eye. It also increases the risk of developing cancers on the eye surface. Obviously the way to reduce your risk is to wear sunglasses. However what about glare and flare reflecting off surfaces? Normal tinted lenses and sunglasses will reduce the general amount of visible light and ultraviolet light that enters your eye. Only polarised lenses will specifically reduce the amount of reflected light. This is a particularly important in cases such as fishing and boating where there is a lot of light reflected off the water's surface.

Polarised lenses rely on a polarising filter in the lens which cuts out a large proportion of the polarised reflected light. The one disadvantage of polarised sunglasses is that you see stress patterns in glass such as windscreens, however this is minor and generally does not disturb people.

Polarised sunglasses are available in prescription and non-prescription forms. Prescription polarised sunglasses are available in single vision, bifocals and multifocal glasses. The most effective polarised sunglasses are permanently tinted and do not change colour. You will require one clear pair for inside and night-time driving and the polarised pair for use outside.

So if you do activities that involve a lot of reflected light such as boating, fishing, surfing or snow skiing then come in and ask for polarised lenses and your eyes will thank you for it.


Lady Cilento Children's Hospital (LCCH) Eye Clinic's Paediatric Optometry Alignment Pilot Program

Posted in 'General' on June 6, 2016 by Stuart Macfarlane
Both Stuart and Geraldine have been invited to participate in the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital (LCCH) Eye Clinic's Paediatric Optometry Alignment Pilot Program. This innovative program plans to establish a network of dedicated and specialised eye health clinicians (Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and Orthoptists) with up-to-date knowledge and skills to deliver an exceptional level of care for children with eye-related problems. The program will provide aligned optometrists with access to education resources for effectively treating children as well as a direct communication link with the clinicians of the LCCH Eye Clinic in order to seek advice in the care of individual children where necessary. This ensures your child will be treated by an optometrist who is in partnership with some of Queensland's leading children's eye health clinicians with a charter to deliver the best possible care.

Owning a cat could damage your eyesight.

Posted in 'General' on February 24, 2016 by Stuart Macfarlane
Owning a cat could damage your eyesight.

Kitten
 
 
Exposure to cats and cockroaches may be associated with an increased risk of glaucoma, however exposure to dogs may reduce the risk of developing the eye disease. This was the finding in a 2015 paper published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

It was discovered that people diagnosed with glaucoma had higher levels of immunoglobulin E than the standard population. 

This is an allergic antibody which is found in immunological conditions such as asthma or hayfever. However generally raised levels of this antibody were not associated with glaucoma. It was specifically cat and cockroach allergens associated with this antibody that were related to the development of glaucoma. Glaucoma sufferers had approximately twice the levels of immunoglobulin E than someone without the condition.

Levels associated with dogs were elevated in just six per cent of glaucoma patients, compared with nine per cent of those without the eye disease. 

It is thought that exposure to dog allergens are mildly protective of glaucoma because the allergens behave differently since dogs spend more time outside.










Eating green leafy vegetables could save your sight from glaucoma

Posted in 'General' on January 17, 2016 by Stuart Macfarlane
I am often asked if there are any other factors that will slow the progression of glaucoma or reduce the risk of developing glaucoma. The primary treatment for glaucoma consists of lowering the eye pressure and this is generally achieved with the use of eye drops or sometimes laser or surgery.

A recent study of over 100,000 patients which was published in the January 2016 edition of the Journal of American Medical Association, found that an increased consumption of green leafy vegetables was associated with a 20 to 30% reduction in the risk of developing glaucoma. It also found the increased intake resulted in a reduction in the progression of glaucoma.

An impaired regulation of optic nerve head blood flow has been associated with glaucoma. Nitrate is a precursor for nitric oxide which has been found to improve blood circulation. Green leafy vegetables are the most common source of our dietary nitrate so it stands to reason that increasing the intake of green leafy vegetables will improve blood circulation. 

The green leafy vegetables used in the study include iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, kale, mustard, spinach and chard greens.

So if you have glaucoma or have risk factors for glaucoma such as a family history, are greater than 40 years of age or have sleep apnoea then it would be recommended to increase your intake of green leafy vegetables. As well is being healthy for you it could help save your sight!
 
The study can be found here




Glaucoma and pillows - a novel treatment

Posted in 'General' on October 31, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

The most effective way of treating glaucoma is by reducing the intraocular pressure. This is generally done with the help of eye drops or surgery. Recent studies have found that elevating the head 20 degrees with the aid of a wedge shaped pillow will reduce the intraocular pressure during sleeping hours. By reducing the pressure inside the eye this should help control glaucoma. Compared to sleeping on a flat bed on their back, sleeping with the head raised gave a 9.3 percent reduction in intraocular pressure in the glaucoma group. So if you suffer from sub-optimally controlled glaucoma it might be worthwhile investing in a wedge shaped pillow.











Weight gain is related to light exposure.

Posted in 'General' on October 28, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane
Recent research conducted at Brisbane's own QUT has found that pre-schoolers exposed to more light earlier in the day tend to weigh more. Cassandra Pattinson, a PhD student and her colleagues (part of the Sleep in Early Childhood Research Group) studied 48 children aged three to five from six Brisbane childcare centres over a two week period, They found moderate intensity light exposure earlier in the day was associated with increased body mass index (BMI) whereas children who received their biggest dose of light in the afternoon had lower body mass index and were slimmer.
 
Interestingly physical activity was not associated with the body mass of the children but timing of sleep and light exposure was. This is the first time light has been shown to contribute to weight in children. With an estimated 42 million children around the globe under the age of five being classified as overweight or obese, this is a significant breakthrough. Modern advances in technology such as tablets, mobile phones, night lights, and television mean that our children are exposed to more environmental light than any previous generation and this has paralleled global increases in obesity. Clearly and as highlighted by QUT's  Sleep in Early Childhood Research Group, exposure of our children to different types of light at different times now needs to be part of the conversation when dealing with weight issues.
https://www.qut.edu.au/news/news?news-id=98439 
 



Amblyopia or Lazy Eye can be treated by watching movies

Posted in 'General' on October 21, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane
Though there are several types of amblyopia, the end result is a reduced vision. Glasses may improve visual acuity to some extent, but usually not completely.

However, now researchers have discovered that there could be a treatment as simple as just watching movies!
 
Researchers reached to this conclusion after they found increasing research investigating the use of dichoptic therapy as a treatment for amblyopia that involves presenting different images to each eye individually. Dichoptic therapy is usually combined with perceptual learning task or game. While the research conducted so far has shown such therapy to be effective for improving vision in children with amblyopia, researchers of this study noted that children often become bored of these tasks or find them too complicated, and home-based compliance to the treatment is low. Therefore, they investigated the efficacy of something that would have more fun and be an engaging approach - something like watching popular animated movies.

They conducted a small study in which they enrolled 8 children with amblyopia between the ages of 4-10 years; and made them watch three dichoptic movies each week for 2 weeks on a passive 3D screen while wearing 3D cinema glasses. The images shown to the amblyopic eye were high contrast, while those shown to the stronger eye were low contrast that helped to prevent suppression of the amblyopic eye and allow binocular vision.

By the end of the 2-week period, all children showed a significant improvement in visual activity. "Children achieved one to four lines of improvement in visual acuity with just six sessions (9 hours) of dichoptic movie viewing over 2 weeks," comments the researcher.

Easy and simple non-medical treatment that deserves further study...








Play outside and reduce short-sightedness?

Posted in 'General' on August 9, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane
 
Recent findings on the cause of short-sightedness might eventually mean less dependence on contact lenses. 

For centuries, scientists like Kepler have speculated about the relationship between near work and the onset of myopia. There have been multiple studies to review the relevance of potential factors associated with the onset and/or progression of myopia.

Donald Mutti states that lack of time outdoors presents a more significant and robust risk than near work. Observing 4500 children over a twenty-year period, Zadnik et al. (2015) found no association between near work and risk of myopia, whereas increasing the time children spend outdoors was found to have an impact. While children with two myopic parents are typically reported to have a higher risk for developing myopia than children with just one (or no) myopic parent, the risk appears to decrease if these children spend more time outdoors.

According to studies carried out in Asia, although increasing time outdoors reduces the likelihood of myopia onset, it may or may not impact its rate of progression in a child who is already myopic. Mutti explained that the physiological process behind the onset and progression of myopia may be different.

The mechanism behind the "outdoors effect" is still unknown, and theories including the effects of improved image quality, ultraviolet radiation, increases in physical activity and higher exposure to Vitamin D have only shown small effects. Instead, Mutti suggested that the most promising hypothesis relates to higher levels of illumination, which may stimulate the production of dopamine, in turn inhibiting ocular growth.

Research worldwide continues to confirm the benefits of outdoor exposure, including the development of strategies for taking advantage of this finding, such as increasing the amount of time children spend outdoors and developing specialised classrooms with better access to natural light. 



Infant Vision Development (Birth to 2 months)

Posted in 'General' on July 16, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane
Infant Vision Development (Birth to 2 months)

Have you ever wondered what your baby sees in his or her first few blinks on this earth? Though infant vision development happens overtime in stages after birth, your baby certainly sees you, just maybe not as you'd imagine. 

BabyIn their first week of life, babies don't see in much detail, more so in fuzzy shades of gray. Nerve cells in the eye aren't fully developed yet, so babies also aren't able to focus in on objects. So don't worry if it doesn't seem as if your baby is zoning in on you. But all of this doesn't mean they aren't able to recognise their mother or father in their first few days of life! In fact, studies show that after the first few days, infants begin to show signs of positive recognition to their mother and father's face (with the help of the sense of smell, to be sure). Scientists say the mother's face in relation to her hair is an important factor in recognition, so it helps to keep your hairstyle consistent to aid your baby in recognising you. 

At about 2 months, infants become much better at focusing on objects, and begin to start reaching out to touch objects around them. Babies also begin to learn to move their eyes as they look at new objects, moving their head less and less as they focus in on the things around them. 

Helpful Tips

Infant eyes also aren't sensitive to light, so there's no need to have them sleep in complete darkness! Leaving on a light in the nursery won't bother your child, and may keep you from stubbing your toes when you go to check on them. Sensitivity to light begins to increase at about 2 months though, so dimming the lights after this time may your baby associate dim lighting or darkness with nap time. 

It's also important to stimulate your child's vision by exposing them to bright, cheerful colours. Decorating their nursery with bright colors like orange, green, red, and blue in a variety of different shapes helps introduce new sights into their world. Placing a colorful mobile above or near their bed is also a great way to do this. 

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that you frequently change the bedding in your infants crib with different colorful patterned fabrics and add or remove different objects from their room so that your baby doesn't become accustomed to the same environment around them. The AOA also recommends that after about 2 months, you begin to walk around the room while talking to your baby. This helps your baby pair both sound and sight senses as they follow you and your voice around the room. 

For more information on infant vision development, check out this awesome resource written by Dr. Gary Heiting, or read more from the AOA about vision development from birth to 24 months.











How honey can help your dry eye

Posted in 'General' on July 16, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

Manuka honey (Optimel drops) has long been known and used for its medicinal properties and in ancient Egyptian times was incorporated in most medicines. The last 100 years it has been well accepted as a treatment alternative in the management of chronic ulcers and burns. Honey from the Australian and New Zealand Leptospermum species (Manuka, tea tree or jelly bush) is the most widely used honey in clinical studies as it has consistently been found to have the greatest level of antibacterial activity. 

OptimelOptimel-drops
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
More lately there have been several articles published about the application of Manuka honey for ocular conditions such as dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction.  Featuring a low pH and high sugar content, Manuka honey is both antibacterial and hyperosmotic. It reduces bacterial flora and also reduces fluid that has accumulated in corneas suffering from corneal oedema due to conditions such as Fuchs' corneal dystrophy. The reduction in bacterial flora helps treat eyelid conditions such as dry eye secondary to blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction.

The downside is that Manuka honey stings upon insertion - a lot. This lasts 30-60 seconds.  Some people find that the stinging lessens with use however others find that the stinging becomes intolerable. We tend to first place a trial drop of Manuka honey in patients eyes to see if they can tolerate the temporary irritation. 

Manuka honey is marketed as Optimel drops and is available in two strengths. The original Optimel drops are 980mg/g and very viscous - more like a gel. It tends to sting more on insertion and should only be used after consultation with us. Most patients use it 1-2 times daily. The more recently released Optimel drops are 160mg/g and less viscous. They tend to not sting as much and are generally used 3 times daily. 

Optimel is yet another tool to aid blepharitis and dry eye sufferers. 

Do not use Optimel Manuka if you are allergic to honey. 

We carry Optimel at the practice so make an appointment to see us to determine if you are a candidate. 






Dry Eye Blinking Exercises

Posted in 'General' on June 10, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

Blinking is an important process. It cleans the ocular surface of debris and spreads fresh tears over the ocular surface, supplying the ocular surface with nutrients and oils.  A quality tear film prevents infection, ocular surface dehydration, and sharpens the image received at the retina. 

Failure to blink completely and regularly will result in an unstable tear film. Maintaining too short a contact time with the cornea can lead to corneal surface breakdown and dry eye symptoms. If you aren't blinking fully or often enough then oil is not being expressed from the Meibomian glands. This oil is necessary to prevent your tears from drying too quickly. In patients with evaporative dry eye, blinking exercises can help decrease partial blinking and improve meibomian gland function by training the lids to be stronger, and the brain to do a full blink. Correcting partial blinking is an essential part of the treatment regieme of evaporative dry eye therapy. Recent studies have proven that you can improve the function of the muscles involved in blinking; similar to any muscle exercise - use it or lose it! 

It is however relevant to consider that regardless of your blink quality and rate, if the meibomian and lacrimal glands are dysfunctional and not secreting, then very limited improvement in your dry eye symptoms will be obtained.


Here are some useful exercises to incorporate into your daily routine to help reduce partial blinking, increase the strength of your lids, and reduce evaporative dry eye symptoms. 
 
Dry Eye Exercises

Try to do these exercises a few times per hour throughout the day.

Eyelid Twitching (Myokymia)

Posted in 'General' on April 19, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

 

Eyelid twitching is also know as eyelid myokymia. It generally occurs in one eye at a time and usually involves the inferior eyelid. There will occur an intermittent twitching, jumping or quivering of the lower lid. Occasionally the superior lid can be involved. Eyelid myokymia results from fascicular contractions of the orbicularis oculi muscle and may occur intermittently for days to months. 

Rarely the eyelid contractions can be so severe that they cause the eyeball itself to occcilate or quiver, intermittently blurring the vision. 

The condition is benign and self-limiting. 

Contributing factors are fatigue, excessive caffeine or alcohol and stress. There is also sometimes an association with ocular allergies. Modifying the contributing factors should help resolve the myokomia and some patients find that applying a warm pack to the eyelid helps reduce the symptoms. 

If the twitching or myokymia extends to the face then advice should be sought immediately. 
 




How to navigate when you are blind.

Posted in 'General' on April 15, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

Daniel Kish has been blind since he was 13 months old, but has learned to "see" using a form of echolocation. He clicks his tongue and sends out flashes of sound that bounce off surfaces in the environment and return to him, helping him to construct an understanding of the space around him. In a rousing talk, Kish demonstrates how this works and asks us to let go of our fear of the "dark unknown".


 


 



Can my prescription fit in a stylish frame?

Posted in 'General' on February 1, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

If you have worn prescription eyeglasses your entire life you know just how much the styles have changed. In the 1980's and 1990's glasses with thin wire frames were very popular. As the new century rolled around Y2K brought in the trend of wireless or rimless frames. More recently, thick solid frames in dark colours have become more fashionable. No matter what your style it is important to understand what frames are available for your prescription.

 

Having a very strong prescription means the lenses will be thicker, all things considered. The latest technology we utilise has allowed us to offer aspheric and high-index lenses to make these as lightweight and thin as possible.  However, there are still some very strong prescriptions that are less suited for metal or rimless frames. 

 

We strongly encourage those with a stronger prescription to look at the new stylish thick frames. When watching movies from Hollywood or anywhere else in the world most people will immediately recognize these types of frames. You can find some of the options at our designer eyewear page. If you need advice on which frames look best on your face do not hesitate to come in and try on a specific frame type.

 Justin Timberlake Rayban

There are some stylish individuals that purchase frames without needing prescriptions. If this is something you desire we have those types of offerings. Stylish brands like Oakley, Ray Ban, Prada, SALT, Versace and Vogue are available today. Reach out to us at this page if you want to learn more about your options.


We currently have package deals that will help you save money if you are looking to purchase both prescription eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses at the same time. Find much more about our package deals at this resource.






What Type of Sunglasses Does Adam Scott Wear?

Posted in 'General' on February 1, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

What Type of Sunglasses Does Adam Scott Wear?

  

One of the most popular Australian athletes is professional golfer Adam Scott. Scott has won The Masters golf tournament and has been ranked as high as #1 in the world over the last two years. When fellow Aussie Steve Williams started to caddie for Adam Scott his professional golf career took off. Williams had previously been the caddie for none other than Tiger Woods. It was quite a dramatic switch that ended up great for Adam Scott.

 

One of the most recognizable features of Adam Scott happens to be his sunglasses. Below is a photo of the famous Oakley Sunglasses

Adam Scott Oakley Sunglasses 


 

Please note that we sell prescription Oakley sunglasses so if you are looking for something similar please feel free to check out our sunglasses page. You can also contact us if you would like more information about the prescription sunglasses we have. Not all strengths of prescription lenses will fit into this particular frame so we encourage you to give us a call or stop by today.

 

If you would like to know more about getting the correct prescription sunglasses to improve your golf game make sure to check out our eye blog. Instead of staring into the sun on those short iron shots and hurting your eyes it would be best to make the investment of prescription sunglasses today. There is a reason most professional golfers wear sunglasses while they are on the course. We strongly suggest you consider doing the same thing.

 

Getting an eye exam prior to purchasing a pair of prescription sunglasses is strongly suggested. Even if your vision has not changed in the last two or three visits you never know when you may need a different prescription. Feel free to reach out to us at any time to set up an eye appointment. We can discuss prescription sunglasses at the same time we discuss any type of adjustment needed in prescription eyeglasses.

 

 


Why prescription sunglasses are essential

Posted in 'General' on February 1, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

Any golfer with prescription glasses has been there. Should I get prescription sunglasses or continue to fight the battle against the sun when I am out on the links? Most rounds of golf take between three and a half and five hours. During the spring, summer and fall months the majority of the time on the golf course is spent with the sun beating down on the tee boxes, fairways and greens. This can be brutal for anyone that has sensitive eyes.

 

At certain times of the day there always seems to be that one par 3 that looks directly into the sun. If you are wearing prescription eyeglasses it can make the sun even more powerful. Most people would simply look away as they carried on. You cannot do this because you are trying to hit a golf shot into the green. After addressing the ball and swinging you look up and the sun is staring you straight in the face. You do your best to shield out the sun but it does no good as your ball flight is right in the path of the sun.

 

Most of the time you have no idea where the ball went or your eyes are extremely photophobic. Rather than having to fight this battle on the golf course it is strongly suggested that instead order prescription sunglasses. They will be well worth the investment as you will not only enjoy your golf game more, you will save your eyes. We all know that staring into the sun is extremely dangerous so why not protect our precious eyes as much as possible.

 

There are a multitude of prescription sunglasses available for those that do not have perfect vision. Instead of hurting your eyes every time you try to look up at your ball flight it is suggested that you invest in prescription sunglasses today. While having prescription sunglasses during the summer months is desirable remember that the spring and fall months will have many days in which the sun is extremely bright on the horizon.

 

If you have any questions about getting prescription sunglasses or getting fitted for the correct sunglass frames for your face do not hesitate to reach out to us today. We have several options that could help your vision and your golf game. Make sure to check out our sunglasses page to learn more about what we have to offer. Some of the most popular brands include Oakley, Ray Ban and Espirit.


We also offer package deals if you are looking to purchase prescription eyeglass and prescription sunglasses at the same time. Learn more about these offers here.


If My Child Squints Do They Need an Eye Exam?

Posted in 'General' on February 1, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

If My Child Squints Do They Need an Eye Exam?

 

Time and again we, as professionals, get asked this question. "If my child squints, do they need contacts or glasses?" Unfortunately, there is no magic answer to this question. As someone that wants everyone to see with 20-20 vision I strongly urge parents to bring their children in for an eye exam even if they are not squinting. As parents, we sometimes get caught up in our own lives and we do not notice some of the things our children are doing.

 In fact, we are often told that teachers or babysitters are the ones that first see that a child is squinting when they are trying to read something far away or close up. Most people have probably seen a movie in which a child is struggling to read the chalkboard or blackboard from the back of the room. The child may be struggling in school or a particular class for no other reason than they cannot see what the teacher or professor is writing down.

 Rather than having your child go through these tough times it is best to get a yearly eye exam. Even if your child had 20-20 vision during the last exam it does not mean their vision is not going to change. In fact, during the first 15 years of a life, the vision of a human being changes the most. This is why LASIK eye surgery is not available to children. LASIK eye surgeons recognize the eye continues to change, grow or adjust all the way up to age 18 and sometimes all the way into ones 20's.

 If you want to know if your child needs glasses the best way to find out is to bring them to a professional. There are plenty of eye charts that you can print out online but a professional optometrist knows how to administer the proper tests to determine what types of eyeglasses or contacts are needed for a correction of vision. Hopefully your child does not have vision impairment but you can alleviate a lot of stress by bringing them to an optometrist sooner rather than later.


Getting behind in school because of vision is not what we want any child to go through. The investment of glasses and/or eye exams will be well worth it as it can help your child stay ahead when it comes to academics and school work. If you would like to schedule an eye exam for your child today please feel free to use this page.

Spectacle and Eyeglass Frames

Posted in 'General' on January 20, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

You might not get to choose the prescription of your lenses; however, you can choose your frames.

If you are located in the Logan Central, Springwood, Daisy Hill, or nearby area and looking for new frames feel free to visit us; we have a wide variety of spectacle frames available.

Choosing the right frames 

There are a few technical aspects to selecting frames. For example, certain frames may allow more light to enter the lens. A trained optician can assist you with making sure you get the best type of frames. Technicalities aside, choosing the right frames for you has a lot to do with your personal preference.

Facial shape

Many people like to select frames that contrast their facial shape or balance out certain facial features.

The 7 most common facial shapes are oval, heart (aka inverted triangle), long (aka oblong), round, square, diamond, and pear (aka triangular).

Typically people with oval faces can get away with most any frame. Many of our patients with rectangle faces are happiest with large, square frames with decorative edges. Some people with square faces enjoy round or oval glasses to reduce angular appearance.

FacialShapesforEyewear

Frame Color

Hair colour, eye colour, and skin tone are always a factor when selecting the frame colour of your new glasses.

Some of our patients like eyeglass frames that match their skin tone. This is usually the most important or first factor used in selecting spectacle frames, and complexions fall into a 'cool' or 'warm' undertone.

There are a wide variety of eye colours. People usually want a frame colour that will complement their eye colour.

Hair colour is also an important factor. Hair colours are also considered warm or cool. As a brief example, people with brown hair and dark undertones may like black, blue, or pink frames, and people with brown hair and light undertones may select red, cream white, green or purple frames.

Need help deciding?  

 We will be happy to assist you in your selection of frames, just let us know how we can help. We carry a variety of designer eyewear for you to choose from.

 






Prescription Sunglasses

Posted in 'General' on January 20, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

We're always keeping up with the latest fashionable sunglasses from the top names in eyewear and bringing them right here to Logan Central for you. 

Ray-Ban, Oakley, Espirit, Bill Bass, Guess, Trent Nathan, and Charlie Brown are just a few of the brands that we carry.

When driving or spending time at the beach or lake, a good pair of prescription sunglasses is a huge convenience and allow you to see the world with clarity. 

Prescription sunglasses are available for practically any lens prescription, just like regular spectacles.

All the sunglasses we carry offer UV and glare protection. UV protection is the most important aspect to getting any type of sunglasses, prescription or non-prescription. For a comprehensive explanation please visit our page on UV radiation.

We also carry transition tinted lenses. Customers from Brisbane, Springwood, Daisy Hill, and all around Logan Central come in for the latest trends. 

For more information please give us a call or stop by today and take a look. Be sure to ask about our current package deals as well. 



What is Acanthamoeba Keratitis?

Posted in 'General' on January 20, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

Acanthamoeba are microscopic one celled parasites which are most often found in water such as tap water, well water, hot tubs, lakes, sea water, swimming pools, HVAC systems, humidifiers, and dirt. They can cause a rare but serious infection of the eye called Acanthamoeba Keratitis and most cases involve wearers of contact lenses.

Symptoms of Acanthamoeba Keratitis

 Symptoms vary from patient to patient and closely resemble other eye issues. The most common symptoms are:

  • Eye pain
  • Red eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Foreign body sensation (the feeling of something in your eye)
  • Excessive tearing

Treatment of Acanthamoeba Keratitis

Left untreated, Acanthamoeba Keratitis may lead to corneal scarring and the need for a corneal transplant. Early treatment is key to treating Acanthamoeba. Diagnosis can be difficult as the symptoms closely resemble those of conjuctivitis.

Prevention

Follow your optometrist's tips regarding contact lens care. Remove contacts before swimming or going into a hot tub. While anyone can get this infection, the vast majority of infections are limited to people who wear contact lenses.

 

 





What is a stye? Identifying and treating hordeolum

Posted in 'General' on January 10, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

One of our patients from Brisbane came in to our Logan Central office last week with a bump on his eyelid. The bump was tender, red, and irritating. This patient was due for an eye exam as well, so we were able to tend to the irritating bump and get his eye exam completed in one consultation. The bump was diagnosed as a stye which is also known as an hordeolum. 

What is a Stye?

Stye
A stye, also known as a sty, is swelling at the edge of an eyelid. The medical term for stye is hordeolum. An internal hordeolum occurs whereby the bump is a bacterial infection of a (meibomian) oil gland.  With an external hordeolum the infection is centred on an eyelash follicule.  Nearly everyone will get at least one stye once in their lifetime. Occasionally, a stye will make the entire eyelid swell. Styes should not affect vision; if you are experiencing vision problems please contact your optometrist immediately.

 Causes

 Styes are a bacterial infection generally caused by staphylococcal bacteria. This bacteria is transferred to the eye when people rub their eyes and can also be associated with blepharitis. Staphylococcal bacteria is found in the human body, including the nose.

 Symptoms

 Styes typically start with pain, redness, tenderness, or swelling, then advance to a bump at the edge of an eyelid. The stye may resemble a pimple. Other symptoms which may accompany a stye include swollen eyelids, swollen eyes, or watery eyes.

Diagnosis & Medical Treatment

 Most styes are self-limiting and go away all by themselves. To speed the process apply a hot compress on the stye for 5-10 minutes several times daily. This can be followed by light massage of the area. Eventually the stye should rupture and drain itself. If your stye lasts over a month or is causing excessive discomfort, contact us. Very occasionally styes may need to be surgically drained, or we may prescribe an antibiotic eyedrop. Sometime other bumps around the eyelid are mistaken for styes, including chalazia, milia, and xanthelasma. If you have frequent styes, please inform your optometrist.

 If you develop an increased temperature, marked pain, or the swelling is spreading to involve the entire eyelid or surrounding tissue then seek attention.

 Sometimes styes are related to a lid condition called blepharitis.  Using lid hygiene with a commercially available preparation such as "lid care" can control blepharitis, reduce the bacterial load on the lid margin and reduce the frequency of styes.

 






Do I need an Eye Exam for Reading Glasses?

Posted in 'General' on January 10, 2015 by Stuart Macfarlane

It usually starts around age 40 and happens to everyone. The natural lens in your eye becomes less elastic with age. Focusing on object or text near you becomes more difficult or results in eye fatigue. This is completely normal. The medical term for this is called Presbyopia. Presbyopia comes from the Greek word "presbys” meaning "elder” and the Greek word "ops” meaning "eye”.

 Reading Glasses

Reading Glasses

Local patients looking for reading glasses (also known as "readers”) in Brisbane typically call their optometrist or visit the drug store. Sometimes, a pair of magnifying glasses work adequately; however, it is definitely in your best interest to take this time to get an eye exam.

Get an eye exam before buying reading glasses.

While presbyopia is a normal age related condition, similar symptoms can sometimes be related to something more serious such as macular degeneration. Also, headaches and eye strain can result from wearing reading glasses that are not prescribed correctly to your prescription. Eye exams should also be taken annually; if you have not had one please visit our page on comprehensive eye exams to learn why they are so important. Early detection is always key in eye care. After you have consulted with your optometrist you can make an educated decision on your next pair of readers. 



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.

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.

 


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.)



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.

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. 




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.


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.











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.




Brisbane's Fruits and Vegetables and Your Eye Health

Posted in 'General' on November 23, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

Time and time again we have been told "eat your vegetables". Deep inside you know that they are good for you; after all, you are what you eat. But how and why are fruits and vegetables good for you? While all fruits and vegetables have a health benefit, below are some of the more popular foods known to promote eye health, the vitamins they contain, why they are good for your vision, and a few places where you may purchase them in the Brisbane area. 

Strawberries

 
The fruits and vegetables:

Spinach, Kale, Swiss chard and other leafy greens are not only good for you; they are good for your eyes. They contain Vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These greens are great prepared raw in salads. 

Carrots. Carrots will not instantly improve your vision but they do contain beta-carotene (vitamin A), and lutein. Carrots are a bit over-hyped as vitamin A is found in many foods. 

Broccoli. Broccoli contains vitamin B2, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A. Broccoli is great eaten raw, steamed, or in a variety of other ways. 

Sweet Potato. This root vegetable contains vitamin A, potassium, fiber, beta carotene. They are good boiled, baked, or grilled. 

Capscium/Peppers. Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and other nutrients are found in various bell peppers. Peppers are tasty raw, steamed, or baked. 

Avacado. This fruit is good for your eyes because it contains vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and beta carotene. Avacados have many benefits to your overall health. They are a great addition to salads, sandwiches, or in guacamole. 

Blueberries. Some people call blueberries the vision fruit. They are full of antioxidants, nutrients, and help improve your eyes on a cellular level. They contain a concentrated amount of anthocyanin. They also have vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C, fiber, and other nutrients. 

Strawberries. Strawberries contain vitamin C and offer folate (A B vitamin). Strawberries are eaten in a variety of ways. 

Why these vitamins help your vision:

Vitamin A protects the cells in your eye (and throughout the rest of your body). Healthy cells in your eye help you maintain a clear cornea. 

Vitamin B deficiencies lead to a variety of problems. There are several vitamins in the B family, all of which are important. One of these vitamins is vitamin B2. A B2 deficiency can cause light sensitivity, which can lead to inflammation, blurred vision, or ocular fatigue. Vitamin B2 also plays a role in cataract prevention or delaying their progress. 

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and assists your body in making connective tissues and promoting healthy blood vessels. Maintaining healthy connective tissue strengthens collagen found in the cornea. Vessels and capillaries are in your retina. Long term consumption of vitamin C and other antioxidants may reduce the risk of cataracts and age related macular degeneration by supporting healthy cells and tissues in your eyes, protecting the macula and macular pigment. Healthy cells also assist in preventing vision impairment such glaucoma

Vitamin K. Vitamin K is great for your body and some people say that it helps remove dark circles from under your eyes. 

Lutein increases pigment density in the macula lowering the risk for age related macular degeneration.

Manganese has many health benefits and contributes to collagen production and helps strengthen connective tissues in your eyes. 

Where to get these vegetables:

There are several places around Queensland to get fresh fruits and vegetables, including the markets. A few of the markets located near us in Logan Central are: 

Logan Central Markets. Logan Central Plaza, Wembly Road, Logan Central. This market is open Sunday mornings from 6am-noon. In addition to fruits and vegetables they have a variety of other goods as well. 

Saturday Fresh Market. This market is the largest fresh food and lifestyle market in Brisbane. The Brisbane marketplace is open on Saturdays from 6am-noon. A wide variety of produce is available here. 

Brisbane Produce Market. This is the centerpiece for selling and distribution of produce featuring several wholesalers of fruits and vegetables. 

The bottom line: 

Fruits and vegetables will not help you see better instantly but they do play a very important role in eye development and your vision as you age. 

Capscium
 







Eye Dilation - Logan Central

Posted in 'General' on November 15, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

Eye Dilation - Logan Central

People from Logan Central and Brisbane getting an eye exam often make one of two requests: An eye exam with no dilation, and an eye exam with dilation.

Reasons people request eye dilation:

Our local patients specifically request eye dilation when they have new vision problems, if they have been referred to us by their General Practitioner for dilation, or if they have diabetes. Other patients want early detection of other health problems; early detection is actually one of the best reasons, and sometimes the most important reason, to have your eyes dilated. A few of the diseases and conditions caught by a dilated fundus examination are: diabetes, eye tumours, brain tumours, high blood pressure, infectious diseases, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and vasculitis.

Reasons people do not want their eyes dilated:

Nobody particularly enjoys having their pupils dilated. It results in blurry vision, sensitive eyes, and leaves you unable to drive for a few hours. When you outside, sunglasses are needed to protect your dilated eyes.

A comprehensive eye exam usually includes dilation:

We use special eye drops to dilate people's eyes. The drops cause the centre of your eye (the pupil) to widen. This allows us to properly view the back of your eye.

Aside from the obvious benefits above, there are many factors involved with determining if eye dilation is necessary during your eye exam, such as your age, your eye's health, your overall health, eye symptoms, vision problems, family history, medical history, and the results of your previous eye exams.

If you are located near Logan Central or Brisbane need an exam please visit our eye examination pageor make an appointment today.


Flashes and Things Floating in your Vision may need Immediate Attention

Posted in 'General' on November 15, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

If you are experiencing flashes of light or floaters in your vision it is recommended that you get a comprehensive eye exam.

Dangerous, painless symptoms may lead to vision loss.

If you are experiencing flashes of light or things floating in your vision that you have not previously seen before it is extremely important that you come in for an eye exam immediately. These may be signs of a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment will not have any pain associated with it. Some people also experience darkening of their peripheral vision (side vision). Detached retinas can lead to permanent vision loss. People at risk for detached retinas include those who are severely nearsighted, have had a previous eye injury, had a cataract surgery, or have had other family members who have experienced a retinal detachment.

Most floaters and flashes are harmless.

If you randomly see things floating in your vision, especially while looking at a bright, light, or plain coloured backgrounds, you are not alone. These are called "floaters" and nearly everyone sees them. Everyone describes these floaters a bit differently. Common nicknames for floaters include: dots, worms, specs, streaks, debris, bubbles, threads, clumps, and "thingies". For more information on this please see our detailed page on floaters.

If it has been over a year since your last visit to the optometrist please schedule a checkup today.


Eye Allergies in Brisbane

Posted in 'General' on November 15, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

Eye Allergies in Brisbane

Eye Allergies we encounter here at our Logan Central location are problems that people all over Brisbane may be suffering from. We can diagnose and treat any eye allergies that you may be suffering. 

Eye Allergies

Some people get irritated eyes year round. Indoor allergens may come from pet dander, dust mites, cosmetics, or eye drops. Other people have seasonal allergies; the most common allergen in Brisbane is pollen. Common eye irritations include watery eyes, inflamed eyes, red eyes, or itchy eyes. Other symptoms of pollen allergies include fever, headache, sinus, or runny nose. Eye allergies may also trigger pink eye.

Eye Allergies and Rubbing

Treating Eye Allergies

There are different allergens in all parts of Australia. In Logan Central and Brisbane the relief for irritated eyes is usually the same as it is everywhere else. Some ways people get relief is by avoiding allergens, removing their contacts, or with over the counter eye drops. Antihistamines may help combat itchy or watery eyes. Decongestants may assist with red eyes. When these steps do not help, or if allergic reactions are more severe, it is time to visit the optometrist. Anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, and prescription anti-histamine and mast-cell stabiliser eye drops are sometimes used to relieve the problems associated with eye allergies.

If you are located in the area and need relief from eye allergies please mention this up during your next eye exam or make an appointment today.

You may also find these resources helpful:

The Brisbane Pollen Forecast.

ASCIA's page on Pollen Allergy.




Where should I go for Pink Eye Treatment?

Posted in 'General' on November 10, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane
Pink Eye, or conjunctivitis, is a very common eye disease, particularly in children. 

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. People with this disease often have symptoms such as a red eye, pink eye, an irritated eye, or wake up with discharge in their eye and eyelid.

Conjuncivitis
Conjunctivitis can be caused by allergies, bacteria, or viruses. The treatment is different for these different forms of the disease. For a complete description of these forms and treatments, and preventing future outbreaks, please visit our conjunctivitis page

Many people go see their general practitioner when they suspect pink eye. And, sometimes, all that is needed is some drops.  At Stuart Macfarlane Optometrist we are able to prescribe drops for your conjunctivitis. 

Stuart Macfarlane Optometrist is an independently owned Optometrist, located in the Logan City Centre, Logan Central, Brisbane which has served this community since 1984.

Preschool Eye Exams - Logan Central

Posted in 'General' on November 9, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

We have been serving the residents of Logan Central since 1984 and we would like this message to reach as many people as possible: preschool eye exams are extremely important for children here, and worldwide.

Recent studies suggest that as many as 25% of children may have vision problems which affect their learning. This is not necessary at all. Vision screenings only catch so many things; preschool aged children need a comprehensive vision examination by an experience optometrist. These are non-invasive and pain free. 

Preschool Eye ExamUndetected vision defects affect children's learning in a variety of ways. Sometimes these issues are not evident even to parents who pay very close attention to their children. For example, a child with Hyperopia, more commonly known as long-sightedness, may be able to recognise letters and even write just fine at the preschool age, then, as he or she progresses in school, letters and numbers get smaller as the books get bigger leaving them frustrated. Many behavioural problems actually stem from undetected vision defects, which could all be prevented with an eye exam. 

Early detection allows for early treatment of vision defects. Preschool aged children respond very well to treatments. Just like many other parts of the body, eyes respond to treatment best with early detection. 

Other common issues which are relatively easy to deal with include myopia, more commonly referred to as short-sightedness, and astigmatism, which is also known as distorted vision. 

If you live in the Logan area and your preschool aged child is ready for an eye exam please visit our eye exam page or make an appointment now. It is never too early to test a child's eyes.





Eye Exams for Children - Logan Central

Posted in 'General' on November 9, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane
Routine eye exams are a good idea for anyone of any age, and essential for children. The health of your child's eyes plays a very important role in their ability to learn, as children are very visual learners. Early detection and treatment of any vision problem is important to prevent negative impacts on children's development. As an example of this: children 
that are near-sighted or long-sighted may exhibit almost no odd behaviour at all even to the most caring and attentive parents; catching this early will greatly benefit your child. 

Children's Eye TestChildren never know what to expect when visiting a new doctor; some are excited, and others would rather be somewhere else. At Stuart Macfarlane Optometrist we have optometrists who love meeting and working with children of all ages and understand how to make the experience pleasant. Children's eye exams are non-invasive and pain free. 

If your child is ready for their next eye exam please visit our eye exam page or make an appointment now. We have been serving the Logan Central community since 1984 and have clients from all over Brisbane. 

Comprehensive eye exams for children should begin at 6 months of age, and have additional exams performed as recommended by their optometrist. The next exam may be sooner but typically takes place around 3 years of age. 

During a typical exam some of the things we are looking for include nearsightedness, distance vision, eye teaming, movement, and focusing skills, peripheral vision, and hand-eye coordination. 

If your child has exhibited any behaviours of concern, please tell the optometrist upon your visit. These include but are not limited to: delayed motor development, excessive eye rubbing, excessive blinking, failure to maintain eye contact, and poor eye tracking skills. 

We look forward to seeing you soon!






Stockists of Ana Hickmann eyewear

Posted in 'General' on April 27, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

 

We are happy to announce that we have been appointed exclusive stockists of Ana Hickmann eyewear.

In 2002 the internationally known Brazilian supermodel Ana Hickmann, introduced her own fashion line which includes Ana Hickmann Framesapparel, cosmetics, shoes and sunglasses and frames. Her sense of fashion and style were immediately labelled as trendy and, although only a decade has passed since the brand was launched, it is currently well received throughout the world.

The brand, simply known as ANA HICKMANN, gains by right an access to the high-end fashion world and its eyewear collection has become the most famous and interesting product even for the European market.
Class, allure, personality, vanguard. This is the signature style of Ana Hickman.

The sun and optical ANA HICKMANN frames meet the needs of a contemporary women who loves an affordable elegance every day. Carefully selected materials and fine finishes give the brand a fashionable style, good comfort and supreme quality.

Ana Hickmann EyewearCome in store to browse our beautiful collection of ANA HICKMANN frames - many of which can change their look by twisting the temples to reveal a new colour. For the woman who dares to be different.

 






Blue Light and Eye Protection

Posted in 'General' on March 5, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane
Light in the spectrum 380-500 nm, which is at the blue end of the spectrum plays an important role in regulating the internal biological clock. Some studies have indicated that a specific narrow band of this light may have a detrimental effect on ocular tissue.

 

This range of ultra-violet know as UV light increases the risk of developing cataract and macular degeneration. UV light is emitted by the sun, LEDs and computer screens. It has been shown that the band of light from 415 to 455 nm is potentially the most harmful to retinal cells. Spectacle treatments have been developed that will allow beneficial blue light to be transmitted while filtering the UV band that can contribute to macular degeneration and cataract. These lenses have been developed by Essilor and are called "Crizal Prevencia".


Can you see the man in the coffee beans?

Posted in 'General' on February 28, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane
Coffee beans

Cataract and multivitamins

Posted in 'General' on February 25, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane

A recent trial called the Physicians' Health Study II (PHS II) has investigated whether multivitamin use would decrease the risk of cataract. 

The study involved over fourteen thousand doctors aged 50 or more taking either a placebo or a multivitamin incorporating vitamin C, E and beta carotene.  The onset and progression of both cataract and macular degeneration was followed. The preliminary findings were that long term vitamin intake will decrease the risk of cataract in middle aged men by 9 to 13%. The other surprising finding was that vitamin intake did not make any statistically significant difference to the onset of macular degeneration. The authors indicated that further study of the findings regarding macular degeneration was warranted. 







Finding the balance in blue light

Posted in 'General' on February 11, 2014 by Stuart Macfarlane
The last few years there has been increased research and discussion about the ramifications of short-wavelength and blue light.  This has encouraged manufacturers to develop lenses specifically designed to block the blue end of the spectrum.  The following link is to an interesting and informative article about blue light. 
Prism















http://www.mivision.com.au/ finding-the-balance-in-blue- light-8/

prism.jpg




New findings in Age Related Eye Disease Study

Posted in 'General' on September 17, 2013 by Stuart Macfarlane

The findings of the Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2) have been recently published. 

It has been found that adding omega-3 fatty acids, and lutein and zeaxanthin, or all three to the original AREDS formula does not further reduce the overall risk of progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration.

However, adding the plant derived antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin benefits certain groups. Those with low dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin who took an AREDS supplement with lutein/zeaxanthin were about 25 per cent less likely to develop advanced AMD than patients with similar dietary intake who did not take lutein/zeaxanthin supplements.

Those given an AREDS formula with lutein/zeaxanthin but not beta-carotene reduced their risk of developing advanced AMD by 18 per cent over five years, compared with those given an AREDS formula with beta-carotene but not lutein/zeaxanthin.

The original Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) in 2001 found those taking the combination formula of high dose vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper were 25 per cent less likely to progress to advanced AMD over five years than those on placebo.

Another study found none of the modified AREDS2 versions reduced the risk of progression to cataract surgery but people with low dietary lutein and zeaxanthin gained some protection. 

The dose recommended by the AREDS2 study can be obtained by taking an MDEyes antioxidant once daily or alternatively Macuvision Plus tablets twice daily.  MDEyes antioxidants are in stock and available at the practice. 






What you need to know about Diabetes and eye conditions

Posted in 'General' on August 9, 2013 by Stuart Macfarlane


While this past November was Diabetes Month, it is always time to be proactive and understand not only how diabetes can affect your overall health as a patient, but how it can specifically impact your vision and eye health.


Many diabetic conditions do not have warning signs, so it can be difficult to work through them and understand what is going on for patients. Additionally, if you have diabetes, it is important to understand what may be likely to affect you over time, as well as what you can do to prevent it and improve your overall health and quality of life.


But what is likely to affect diabetic patients, anyway? Well, unfortunately, quite a few conditions are likely to take hold for diabetics. Let's review just a few of them and see why it is important to get checked out and maintain good health over time:


Diabetic Retinopathy

In adults, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness, believe it or not. This is because blood vessels in the retina greatly change over time, and in some patients with this condition, blood vessels may swell, leak fluid, and otherwise create major problems that lead to blindness over time. In other patients still, abnormal blood vessels can grow on the surface of the retina itself, leading to blindness and other major vision problems.


Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when fluid pressure is increased inside the eye, and in turn can lead to optic nerve damage that is irreparable over time, and then loss of overall vision. There are typically no warning signs or symptoms for glaucoma, or any signals that you may be in the early stages of the disease, so it is incredibly important to be checked out and maintain your good health over time. Annual eye exams help this process along, as they can tell you more and more about what you need to know regarding glaucoma and its related conditions for your eyes.


Cataracts

Finally, cataracts occur when the lens of your eye starts to lose vision and become cloudy over time, most typically in older patients and those with other vision issues and problems. Cataracts can also occur in patients who have suffered any sort of eye trauma or surgery, and in those who have had exposure to some type of radiation over time, as well. Diabetes remains a major risk factor for patients with cataracts, too; diabetic patients need to have consistent exams done by optometrists to ensure that their eyes are in good health, and that they are taking care of any cataract issues that may come up over time. If you have symptoms like blurry vision, poor night vision, double vision, or glare issues, you need to talk to your optometrist about it.


All in all, diabetics are affected by a host of unique eye and vision conditions, but an optometrist can help square things away and improve your health over time.








Eye see what the problem is: Part 2

Posted in 'General' on June 12, 2013 by Stuart Macfarlane

Retinal detachment sounds exactly like what it is: an eye condition where the retina peels away from the underlying tissue that normally supports it. It is important that attention is sought immediately, otherwise the retina can detach entirely and cause permanent blindness. Since immediate care is required should the retina begin to detach, it is crucial to understand the symptoms.

 

Before a full retinal detachment occurs, it is frequently preceded by a posterior vitreous detachment. This can be the first step toward retinal detachment and involves the vitreous separating from the retina.





If this occurs you will notice a variety of unusual symptoms:


- You may notice a quick flash of light (similar to a camera flash) in the periphery of your vision.  This is more noticeable at night time. 


- There may be a sudden and dramatic increase in the number of floaters in your eye. Floaters are normal and are simply deposits of various shapes, sizes and consistencies in the eyes vitreous humour. The vitreous humour is the clear gel that sits between the lens and the retina of the eye. It is perfectly transparent at birth but as we age it starts to liquefy and develop opacities or floaters. This is normal unless you notice a dramatic and sudden increase in the number of floaters.  If so, this might be a symptom of a vitreous or retinal detachment.


- You may complain of slightly blurred vision.  Some people describe this as looking through smudged glasses.


If you notice these symptoms it is essential for you to undergo an examination of your retina after your pupils have been dilated with drops. 


posterior vitreous detachment can sometimes cause a tear in the retina which can progress to a retinal detachment.  As well as the symptoms listed above, the symptoms of a retinal detachment can include:


- Shadows or obscuration of the vision in the periphery, similar to a curtain. 

- Straight lines may begin to appear curved and wavy.  

- Finally you will notice central vision loss.



The key is in understanding the signs and symptoms and seeking help before it's too late.









Harden up!

Posted in 'General' on June 10, 2013 by Stuart Macfarlane

The question remains for contact lens wearers hard or soft? Since hard contact lens technology preceded soft lens technology, sometimes the assumption is that soft lenses must be better. This is not always the case. In fact, there are some great benefits to wearing hard contacts and those who wear them generally swear by them!

 

Hard lenses, while once made from glass, are now made from plastic. One of the reasons hard lenses have their name hard and tend to be thought of as just that, hard and uncomfortable, is because of the materials they were once made from. But technology has kept up with hard lenses and most now incorporate some silicon to increase flexibility and comfortability.

 
Now that the issue of comfort has been addressed, the benefits of hard lenses begin to shine through. Generally speaking the vision is better. Their hardness ensures that unlike soft lenses, they retain their shape better and this has the run on affect of crisper, sharper vision. The hardness of the lens also decreases the chance of sustaining a rip or tear to the lens. And with a bit of TLC your hard contact lenses can last for years and years. Providing you don't need a new prescription, then contact lens life can be very easy with hard contact lenses.So, why not harden up and give it a go?



Eye see what the problem is: Part 1

Posted in 'General' on June 5, 2013 by Stuart Macfarlane



Pterygium is a difficult word to even pronounce let alone understand and yet is quite a common eye condition, particularly in countries close to the equator. The lay term for this eye condition is 'surfers eye' since it is associated with intense exposure to sun, wind and sand, all prominent among surfers who spend so much time in all three.

Pterygium
It appears as a small lesion sitting across the eye, usually pink and fleshy. Luckily it is benign, meaning it is noncancerous. The problem is that in some case it continues to grow, albeit slowly, throughout life. In particularly rare cases the pterygium can continue growing until it covers the pupil of the eye and actually impairs vision. Obviously in this case intervention would be required. In most cases however, pterygium is not considered a serious or concerning eye condition.

For the sufferer it is important to understand that certain symptoms will accompany it including a burning, gritty feeling, itching and sometimes the sensation that a foreign body resides in the eye. Suffice to say, it can be an irritating affliction.

An optometrist will easily determine if you have a pterygium. Unless it is exceptionally large or causing relentless discomfort or vision impairment, surgery will rarely be suggested. Usually, temporary relief is provided through the use of lubricating eye drops and ointments, sometimes the use of eyedrops or even a short course of steroid eyedrops have found to be particularly effective in the treatment of inflammation in the eye and pain relief.





Finding Relief From Eye Allergies

Posted in 'General' on May 21, 2013 by Stuart Macfarlane

People who have allergies are often quick to seek help for symptoms like sneezing, sniffling, and nasal congestion. But allergies can affect the eyes, too, causing red, itchy, burning, and watery eyes and swollen eyelids. The good news is that the same treatments and self-help strategies that ease nasal allergy symptoms work for eye allergies, too.

Eye allergies, also called ocular allergies or allergic conjunctivitis, affect one in five Americans. Though the symptoms they cause can be annoying -- not to mention unbecoming -- they pose little threat to eyesight other than temporary blurriness. But red, itchy, burning, and puffy eyes can be caused also by infections and other conditions that do threaten eyesight. So, it's smart to see your doctor if eye symptoms don't get better with self-help strategies or over-the-counter allergy remedies.

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Like all allergies, eye allergies are caused by a glitch in the body's immune system. The trouble starts when the conjunctiva (the mucous membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the whites of the eyes) comes into contact with something that, while actually harmless, is seen as a threat. In a mistaken attempt to fight off the threat, the immune system makes antibodies that cause your eyes to release histamine and other substances. That, in turn, makes eyes red, itchy, and watery. Eye allergy symptoms can happen alone or along with nasal allergy symptoms.

Allergies: Seasonal and Perennial

There are two types of eye allergies: seasonal, which are more common, and perennial.

Seasonal allergies happen only at certain times of the year, usually early spring through summer and into autumn. They're caused by exposure to allergens in the air, commonly pollen from grasses, trees, and weeds, as well as spores from molds.

Perennial allergies occur throughout the year. They're caused mostly by exposure to dust mites, feathers (as in bedding) and animal (pet) dander. Other substances, including perfumes, smoke, chlorine, air pollution, cosmetics, and certain medicines, can also play a role.

Sometimes, its easy to tell what's causing an allergy -- for example, if symptoms strike when you go outside on a windy, high-pollen-count day, or when a furry friend climbs onto your lap. If its not clear just what you're allergic to, a doctor can give you a simple test to find out.


The first approach to controlling eye allergies should be to limit your exposure to allergy triggers:

  • Stay indoors when pollen counts are highest, usually in mid-morning and early evening. Close the windows and run the air conditioner (window fans can draw in pollen and mold spores). If you go out, wearing eyeglasses or big sunglasses can help block pollen from your eyes. Driving? Keep the windows closed and run the air conditioner.
  • Limit your exposure to dust mites by encasing your pillows in allergen-impermeable covers. Wash bedding frequently in water thats at least 130 F. If your mattress is more than a few years old, consider getting a new one. Old mattresses are often teeming with allergens.
  • Clean floors with a damp mop. Sweeping tends to stir up rather than get rid of allergens. Especially if a pet shares the house with you, consider replacing rugs and carpets, which trap and hold allergens, with hardwood, tile, or other flooring materials that are easier to clean. Go with blinds instead of curtains.
  • To stop mold from growing inside your home, keep the humidity under 50%.  That might mean using a dehumidifier, especially in a damp basement. If so, clean the dehumidifier regularly. Clean your kitchen and bathrooms with a bleach solution.
  • If your pet is causing your allergies, try to keep it outside as much as possible. At the very least, keep it out of your bedroom. Don't let it share your bed.
  • Dont rub your eyes. Thats likely to make symptoms worse. Try cool compresses instead.

Allergy Medications for Eyes

What if avoiding allergy triggers isn't enough to relieve eye allergy symptoms? Over-the-counter and prescription medications can provide short-term relief of some eye allergy symptoms, while prescription treatments can provide both short- and long-term help. Remedies include:

  • Sterile saline rinses and eye lubricants can soothe irritated eyes and help flush out allergens.
  • Decongestant eye drops can curb eye redness by constricting blood vessels in the eyes. But these drops tend to sting a bit, and they don't relieve all symptoms. What's more, their effect tends to be short-lived, and using them for more than a few days can cause ''rebound'' eye redness. 
  • Eye drops containing ketotifen can relieve allergy symptoms for up to 12 hours. They wont cause rebound redness even with long-term use.
  • Refrigerating eye drops may help them provide additional relief of allergy symptoms.
  • Oral antihistamines can also help. Loratadine (Claritin) and cetirizine (Zyrtec) tend to be less sedating than some older drugs, and they provide longer-lasting relief.

If these drugs aren't enough to do the trick, a doctor can prescribe other eye drops, including combination antihistamine-mast cell stabilizers and corticosteroids. If allergies are especially severe or persistent, allergy shots (immunotherapy) can also help.





9 Signs That You Need an Eye Exam

Posted in 'General' on May 13, 2013 by Stuart Macfarlane

When should you get an eye exam?  Everyone is not the same so it is important to follow the advice your eye care provider recommends.  If you are unsure because you have not been to the eye doctor in a long time, here are seven signs that should send you to the eye doctor for an eye exam.

Unlike going to the dentist, its generally not necessary to see the eye doctor every 6 months for an eye exam.

Typically, a comprehensive eye exam every 2 years will ensure that your eyes stay healthy and your vision remains sharp.  If you have a medical condition like diabetes or other ocular disorders, previous eye trauma or surgery, high prescriptions, a lazy eye, or a family history of glaucoma or macular degeneration, you will need to have more frequent eye exams.

However, there are some signs and symptoms that should send you to the eye doctor for an eye exam even if you arent due up for one.  If you experience any of the nine symptoms below, you should schedule an eye exam as soon as possible, and in some cases, immediate medical attention is required.

1. Sudden Blurry Vision or Problems Focusing

Sudden blurry vision or focus problems can be a sign of a larger health issue and should always be taken seriously. If the blurry vision comes and goes, or is limited to one eye, you should schedule an exam with an optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

2.  Sudden appearance of visual disturbances such as floaters, flashes of light, or obstruction of vision

Sudden onset of any of these visual disturbances could be a sign of a serious, vision-threatening disorder such as a retinal detachment, retinal tear, or retinal hole.  Anyone who experiences these signs must seek immediate (within 24 hours, or sooner) medical attention by an optometrist, ophthalmologist or emergency room physician for proper diagnosis and treatment to minimize vision loss.

3. Gradual Blurring of Vision

This is the type of vision degradation that gradually happens over time. If you are noticing that youre moving a book or the computer screen further away from your eyes than you use to to improve clarity, its probably time to get an eye exam.  Same goes if you notice yourself  sitting closer to the television or bring objects closer to you to read them (like a cereal box, for instance.)

4. Headaches

Frequent headaches can be a sign of a vision problem. Changes in vision take place slowly and are often imperceptible to the patient at first. However, headaches can be one of the early warning signs of a change in vision. If you are experiencing re-occurring headaches, you may want to consider getting your eyes checked.

5. Eye Pain or Eye Fatigue/Strain

Having some infrequent eye pain or eye strain isnt usually a big problem. Everything from the amount of sleep your getting to seasonal allergies, or the cold or flu can cause temporary eye pain or fatigue. However, if you experience ongoing eye pain for more than a few days, or if you experience ongoing eye pain with eye movements, its a good idea to get it checked out. It can sometimes be a sign of an eye infection or more serious health condition, or even a warning sign that your vision has changed. Get it checked out.

6. Squinting

Frequent squinting is the quintessential sign that its probably time for an eye exam. We squint when were having difficulties seeing because the act of squinting reduces extraneous light entering the eye and reduces light scattering, improving vision.  This is often one of the first signs in children that they may need eyeglasses.  In addition, squinting coupled with an eye turn, more commonly called a "lazy eye, is a definite red flag that a comprehensive vision exam is in order.   This is especially true in children, and if not detected and treated early enough, permanent vision loss may result.  If you notice yourself squinting more than usual, schedule an eye exam.

7. Sensitivity to Light

A sudden onset of  sensitivity to light can be a sign that you should get an eye exam. Light sensitivity can be a symptom of a number of disorders or eye diseases (as well as an eye infection.)  So if you find yourself regularly experiencing light sensitivity, get an eye exam.

8. An Eye Infection

If you experience swelling of the eyelids, itchiness, redness, a pink discoloration of the whites of your eyes, and/or discharge, you may have an eye infection.  If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an eye exam immediately to have it looked at.

9. One Bonus: If You Havent Had an Eye Exam in the Past Two Years

If you havent had a full eye exam in the past two years, you should schedule one especially if you are over the age of 40.  It is important to note that for some people, an exam sooner than every two years is critical to ensuring your eyes stay healthy.

Natural changes in the eyes associated with age makes more frequent eye exams necessary as you grow older, especially if you havent had one in a few years.

Even if you are between the ages of 20 and 40, an eye exam is an important part of maintaining your vision and overall health. Eye exams can often reveal developing health issues that arent easily found even with a physical by a family doctor. Children may require eye exams every year or sooner, as their vision changes rapidly with growth.  So get those peepers checked and please remember to follow your eye doctors recommendations for follow-up visits and annual exams!


Author: Stuart Macfarlane



Macular Degeneration Awareness Week 26 May to 1 June 2013

Posted in 'General' on April 30, 2013 by Stuart Macfarlane
Australian of the Year says it's personal-
Let's Stop Australians going blind!


Championing Macular Degeneration Awareness Week, Ita Buttrose Australian of the Year 2013,
and Patron of the Macular Disease Foundation Australia, is leading the fight against macular
degeneration.

Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness and vision loss in Australia. One in seven
Australians over the age of 50 (1 million people) show some evidence of macular degeneration and
this will rise 70%, to 1.7 million, by 2030 in the absence of prevention and treatment measures.

Logan Central Optometrist Stuart Macfarlane is reminding people over 50 years to have their
eyes tested and macula checked in the lead up to Macular Degeneration Awareness Week.

For Ita Buttrose it's personal, "I was terribly upset when my late father told me he had macular
degeneration. As a journalist and author, dad always started the day reading a couple of
newspapers, suddenly this was no longer possible. I couldn't imagine not being able to read again.

'Macular degeneration is a devastating disease' said Ita.

Optometrist Stuart Macfarlane says, "There are some key ways we can fight this disease and the
first step is to have an eye test and macula check. Secondly, do not ignore any changes in vision.
Early detection can literally save your sight. Contact your optometrist immediately if you have any
sudden changes in your vision'

CEO of the Macular Disease Foundation Australia, Julie Heraghty said, "Many people would be
surprised to know the importance of diet and lifestyle in reducing the risk and progression of macular
degeneration. In fact, smoking causes blindness, so don't smoke. Eat dark green leafy vegetables,
fresh fruit, fish and take appropriate supplements if required'

Australians should also be aware of the symptoms of macular degeneration which can include one
or more of the following:
Difficulty with reading or any other activity with fine vision
  • Distortion where straight lines appear wavy or bent
  • Distinguishing faces becomes a problem
  • Dark patches or empty spaces appear in the centre of your vision

"Every Australian over 50 should have an Amsler grid in their home to test for symptoms of macular
degeneration. The grid should never replace an eye test and any sudden changes in vision noticed
while using an Amsler grid should be reported immediately to your eye care professional,” said
Heraghty.

"Macular Degeneration Awareness Week is a great reminder to make an appointment to visit your
optometrist today and to contact the Macular Disease Foundation Australia on 1800 111 709 or visit
www.mdfoundation.com.au for a free information kit and Amsler grid,” said Ms Buttrose.


About the Macular Disease Foundation Australia

The Macular Disease Foundation Australia (formerly the Macular Degeneration Foundation) is the
national charity committed to reducing the incidence and impact of macular disease in Australia.

In January 2013 the Macular Degeneration Foundation proudly changed its name to the Macular
Disease Foundation Australia to champion all macular diseases primarily macular degeneration,
along with diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion and macular dystrophies.

For further information on macular degeneration, phone the free call number 1800 111 709 or visit
www.mdfoundation.com.au


About Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness and vision loss in Australia. All Australians
over the age of 50 years should have an eye test and make sure their macula is checked. The
macula is the central part of the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The
macula processes all central visual images and is responsible for the ability to drive, see colours
clearly, read and recognise faces. Macular degeneration causes damage to the macula, resulting in
central vision loss.

About Optometrists Association Australia
Optometrists Association Australia is the peak professional association for Australian optometrists.
Visit www.optometrists.asn.au for further information.







New Glaucoma Guidelines

Posted in 'General' on April 10, 2013 by Stuart Macfarlane

Revised Guidelines for use of scheduled medicines, which increase care choices and improve access for patients with, or who are at high risk of developing, chronic glaucoma, were released today by the Optometry Board of Australia. 


Assessment for glaucoma is a cornerstone of optometry practice. The revisions to the Guidelines enable optometrists whose registration is endorsed for scheduled medicines to prescribe topical anti-glaucoma medicines for patients diagnosed with chronic glaucoma, or who are at high risk of developing the disease.

Optometrists whose registration is endorsed for scheduled medicines have undertaken accredited training in ocular therapeutics in order to meet the Board's Endorsement for scheduled medicines registration standard, and are required to meet higher continuing professional development standards than other optometrists.

Optometrists whose registration is endorsed for scheduled medicines still have the option of either referring patients with chronic glaucoma to an ophthalmologist for ongoing management or entering into a shared care arrangement – and many practitioners are likely to continue to do so where access to specialist care is not an issue.

The Chair of the Optometry Board of Australia Mr Colin Waldron said the revised Guidelines were an important step in increasing access to quality eye health care, particularly in areas where access to specialist case is an issue due to geographic location and/or social disadvantage.

"The education and training of optometrists has changed significantly over the past decade to include core prescribing competencies. The competency standards address differential diagnosis and treatment options including when not to prescribe and when to refer. Glaucoma management in collaboration with patients' other health care practitioners is at the centre of this training", said Mr Waldron.

"These revised Guidelines allow optometrists whose registration is endorsed for scheduled medicines to practice to the full scope of their training, which means that more people will be able to access glaucoma treatment and on-going care."

http://www.optometryboard.gov.au/News/2013-03-21-media-release.aspx



World Glaucoma Week - 10 to 16 March 2013

Posted in 'General' on March 7, 2013 by Stuart Macfarlane

World Glaucoma Week

10 to 16 March 2013

 

People over 40 years are being urged to have regular eye checks for glaucoma as part of World Glaucoma Week, to be held from 10 to 16 March 2013.

Glaucoma is often called the silent thief of sight because it commonly has no symptoms such as pain or discomfort, it progresses slowly and in the early stages, it does not affect how clearly you see. You are often not aware that you have glaucoma until permanent vision loss has occurred.

Sometimes symptoms can occur, such as blurred vision, coloured haloes around lights, loss of side vision, pain and redness of the eye.

Regular eye checks with an optometrist are vital as early detection and treatment can reduce damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision. Painless tests to check for glaucoma include checking the pressure inside your eye, checking your field of vision and checking to see if there is any damage to your optic nerve.

In glaucoma, pressure inside the eye progressively damages the optic nerve. This fluid pressure may be caused by the eye producing too much fluid or the fluid being blocked from leaving the eye.

When this fluid pressure builds up, it can damage the optic nerve cells behind the eye, which carry messages from your eye to your brain. This damage to nerve cells can progress until only central vision is left or there is complete blindness.

If you are over the age of 40 years, have a family history of glaucoma, or have diabetes, high blood pressure or another eye disease, glaucoma is more likely to occur and you should have your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist.

Contact us at Stuart Macfarlane Optometrist at 07 3299 3699 to book an appointment.

Author: Geraldine Reed





Type 2 Diabetes: Diabetes and your eyes

Posted in 'General' on February 15, 2013 by Stuart Macfarlane

Stuart was invited by Diabetes Australia to present at the EXPOsing Diabetes conference at the Logan Entertainment Centre. In this video he discusses risk factors and potential ocular problems people with diabetes can encounter.

 

Author: Geraldine Reed