Springvale VIC

Optometrist Springvale (Melbourne) Member of Optometry Australia

Welcome to Eyecare Plus Optometrists Springvale

At Eyecare Plus Optometrist Springvale in south east Melbourne, we provide a complete range of eye care and optometry services, including comprehensive eye tests,...

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Welcome to Eyecare Plus Optometrist Springvale - An independent practice since 1996

At Eyecare Plus Optometrist Springvale in south east Melbourne, we provide a complete range of eye care and optometry services, including comprehensive eye tests, and eyewear for the whole family. The focus of our clinic is the specialised treatment of dry eye disease, orthokeratology and children's vision.

We also have a great range of fashion sunglasses, spectacles and colour contact lenses - including some of the most comfortable contact lenses you're likely to find.

Location

We're located in the Springvale commercial area, right near the intersection of Buckingham and Windsor Avenues.

Our optometry practice is open six days a week, from Monday to Saturday, not including Victorian public holidays.

Sunday appointments are also available - just give us a call on (03) 9558 4499 to arrange a date and time.

Our Optometrist

Denise Lee
BOptom(UMelb), GradCertOcularTher(UNSW), MOptom(UNSW), Certified to Fit Paragon CRT Orthokeratology Contact Lenses, Certified to use E-Eye IPL and Lipiflow for Treatment of Dry Eye (including Meibomian Gland Dysfunction)

Health Funds

We proudly supply members of all major health funds, including:

  • BUPA
  • MBP
  • HCF
  • Defence Health
  • NIB
  • CBHS

Ask about our price match guarantee.

Our Optometrist

Denise Lee
BOptom(UMelb)
GradCertOcularTher(UNSW)
MOptom(UNSW)
Certified to Fit Paragon CRT Orthokeratology Contact Lenses
Certified to use E-Eye IPL and Lipiflow for Treatment of Dry Eye (including Meibomian Gland Dysfunction)

Optometrist Denise Lee graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Optometry in 1995. She has spent the majority of her career working in private practice, and is experienced and confident in all aspects of optometry.

Denise obtained a postgraduate degree in ocular therapeutics in 2009 from University of NSW, which qualifies her to prescribe ocular medication to diagnose and treat ocular disease. She continued further study at UNSW, completing a Masters in Behavioural Optometry in 2012 and Masters Optometry in 2014.

Denise has an interest in managing red eyes, cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease. Her passion is in the areas of dry eye treatment, myopia control (orthokeratology contact lens), children's vision and behavioural optometry.

She works closely with local family doctors to screen for a range of ocular complications associated with systemic health problems. Denise also works with local school nurses, speech therapists and paediatricians to help children with vision problems. She is certified to fit Paragon CRT Orthokeratology Contact Lenses and specialises in treatment of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Dry Eye Disease with the E-Eye IPL device among other treatment options.

About Us

The team at Eyecare Plus Springvale focus on providing a friendly, caring service and attending to you and your family's eye care needs. Our optometrist Denise invites you to come in and discuss any concerns or questions you may have about your vision and eye care.

We pride ourselves on providing quality spectacles, prescription sunglasses and contact lenses. Most health fund claims can be processed instantly and we have a great range of offers, including a price-matching policy to ensure you get quality products at the best price.

Our Services Include:

  • Detection and treatment of eye disease, including cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.
  • Latest technology in treatment of Dry Eye disease
  • Orthokeratology / Corneal Refractive Therapy
  • Digital Retinal Imaging and Anterior Segment Imaging
  • Visual Field Testing
  • Contact Lenses (disposable, conventional, rigid, scleral and coloured)
  • Sunglasses, including prescription sunglass lenses
  • Behavioural Optometry and Vision Therapy
  • Ocular coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Other languages spoken - Chinese & Vietnamese
  • We are open 6 days

What is Dry Eye Disease (DED)?

Dry Eye Disease occurs when the normal flow of tears over the eyes is interrupted, or the tear film is abnormal. It affects about 1 in 5 people. A normal tear film functions to protect the ocular surface by acting as a shield against wind, heat, foreign particles, and infection.

The tear film is simplified into three layers. The innermost layer is the Mucin layer which helps bind the watery layer of the tear film to the ocular surface. The middle layer is the Aqueous (watery) layer which comprises the bulk of the tear film. The outermost layer is the Lipid (oil) layer and its main function is to reduce evaporation.

What are the symptoms of DED?

There are a range of symptoms for DED, and in some cases particularly in patients with long-standing DED there may be no symptoms, as the ocular surface has been damaged significantly.

Here are some of the common symptoms:

  • Burning
  • Stinging
  • Grittiness
  • Scratchiness, grittiness or a "foreign body" sensation
  • Dryness
  • Itching
  • Sensitivity to bright light (photophobia)
  • Mucous secretions in the eye (can be soft, dry or string-like discharge)
  • Watery eye
  • Fatigue
  • Red eyes
  • Blurred or fluctuating vision
  • Rubbing eyes and feeling better afterwards

What are the causes of DED?

DED is a multifactorial disease. There are numerous causes. These include but are not limited to:

  • Digital device use
  • Low blinking rate
  • Heating/cooling systems (decreases humidity)
  • Poor diet (low water intake, excess caffeine and/or alcohol intake, low amounts of fatty acid intake, vitamin A deficiency, etc)
  • Preservatives contained in some bottled products for use in the eye, such as eyedrops or artificial tears. Frequent use of these products can aggravate dry eye conditions.
  • Medications (antihistamines, antidepressants, diuretics, psychotropics, cholesterol lowering agents, beta-blockers, oral contraceptives, arthritic)
  • Age (weakened immune system)
  • Gender (post menopausal females are a large risk group due to decrease in hormonal levels leading to loss of anti-inflammatory protection)
  • Asian ethnicity
  • Allergy, Eczema
  • Changes in hormone (chronic androgen deficiency, menopause and hormone replacement therapy)
  • Cancer (systemic chemotherapy, radiation therapy)
  • Systemic disease (such as Diabetes, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rosacea, hepatitis C infection, HIV infection, Sjogren's syndrome, sarcoidosis) can lead to abnormal tear production
  • Dysfunction of the lacrimal (watery) gland
  • Dysfunction of the meibomian (oil) glands
  • Previous eye surgery (such as refractive laser surgery, corneal transplantation)
  • Previous eye injury (eg chemical burns) or infection
  • Irregularities of the conjunctival surface (outer white layer of eye) such as pingeculae or pterygia
  • Lid aperture and lid/globe disorders (leads to reduced ability to blink adequately to coat the ocular surface). Common conditions include stroke or Bell's palsy which makes closing the eyelid difficult.
  • Contact lens wear
Tearscope analysis

What are the signs of DED?

Your optometrist will diagnose Dry Eye by taking a thorough targeted history, as well as evaluate:

  • tear production
  • tear evaporation
  • quality of the tear film and its components
  • quality of lid margins and eyelashes

Diagnostic tests for dry eye disease include:

  • Schirmer's test
  • Phenol red thread test
  • Tear film break up time
  • Staining tests: Fluorescein, Lissamine green
  • InflammaDry MMP testing
  • Tearscope analysis
  • Meibography

Dry Eye Treatments

Dry eye treatment for Meibomian gland dysfunction

Blephasteam is a thermal steam goggle treatment. It is used to warm the oil glands to an optimal temperature for several minutes to liquefy harden oils. This is followed by manual in-office Meibomian (oil) gland expression. Generally 3-4 treatments per patient are required initially on a monthly basis. Additional treatments are performed as needed.


Blepharosteam goggles

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Therapy

This uses brief bursts of light (not laser) to melt meibomian gland secretions and stimulate the nerves to the meibomian glands. IPL also works by closing abnormal blood vessels that release inflammatory components to into the eye. After IPL therapy, in-office therapeutic meibomian gland expression is performed for increased effectiveness.

The use of IPL to treat dry eyes was first used (pioneered) by Dr. Rolando Toyos in USA in 2002. France Medical E-eye IPL device obtained Australian TGA approval in 2013. Dr. Brendan Cronin, an ophthalmologist in Brisbane has been using the E-eye IPL machine since Jan 2014.

The effects of IPL are cumulative as the number of treatments increase. Three treatments are recommended (Day 1, Day 15 and Day 45) with an additional treatment a month later for longer effectiveness. After this, patients should have a maintenance treatment every 6-12 months. According to the E-eye IPL website, the study showed 86% improvement in patients after 3 treatments.

LipiFlow

This is a thermal pulsation system that has shown to be very effective at clearing blocked oil glands. The treatment involves placing an eyecup over a closed eye. The device works by gently warming and simultaneously massaging the lower eyelids.

According to the LipiFlow website, a dry eye study reported 79% of patients showing a 10-100% improvement in their dry eye symptoms at 4 weeks after treatment. One treatment can last 9-12 months and sometimes longer.

DUAL THERAPY:

Both these treatments can be used together for increased effectiveness. With each maintenance treatment of either IPL or Lipiflow, the effectiveness generally lasts longer, such that some patients can go for 24 months between treatments.

More Information

For more information on Dry Eye Disease and the treatment options available at Eyecare Plus Optometrist Springvale you can download our comprehensive patient fact sheet here.

To be assessed for possible treatment or just to see if the severity of your condition might benefit from specialised treatment, please call us on (03) 9558 4499 or click here to organise an appointment with Denise, our dry eye disease specialist.

References

For a list of references used in writing this information please click here.

DRY EYE REFERENCES - in order of most current studies

  1. Greiner JV. Long-term (3 year) effects of a single thermal pulsation system treatment on meibomian gland function and dry eye symptoms. Eye & Contact Lens 2016; 42: 99-107
  2. Vora GK and Gupta PK. Intense pulse light therapy for the treatment of evaporative dry eye disease. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2015, 26: 314-318
  3. Arman A et al. Treatment of ocular rosacea: comparative study of topical cyclosporine and oral doxycycline. Int J Ophthalmol 2015; 8(3): 544-549
  4. Palamar M et al. Evaluation of dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction with meibography in patients with rosacea. Cornea 2015 May; 34(5): 497-499
  5. Craig JP, Chen YH, Turnbull PR. Prospective trial of intense pulsed light for the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015; 56(3): 1965-1970.
  6. Tyos R, McGill W, Briscoe D. Intense pulsed light treatment for dry eye disease due to meibomian gland dysfunction; A 3-year retrospective study. Photomed Laser Surg. 2015 Jan; (33)1: 41-46.
  7. Waduthantri S, Tan, CH, Fong YW, et al. Specialized moisture retention eyewear for evaporative dry eye. Curr Eye Res. 2015; 40(5): 490-495.
  8. Korb DR, Blackie CA, Finnemore VM, et al. Effect of using a combination of lid wipes, eye drops, and omega-3 supplements on meibomian gland functionality in patients with lipid deficient/evaporative dry eye. Cornea 2015 Apr; 34(4): 407-412.
  9. Foulks GN, Forstot L, Donshik PC, et al. Clinical guidelines for management of dry eye associated with Sjogren disease. Ocul Surf. 2015; 13(2): 118-132.
  10. Kashkouli MB et al. Oral azithromycin versus doxycycline in meibomian gland dysfunction: a randomized double-masked open-label clinical trial. Br J Ophthalmol 2015; 99: 199-204.
  11. Finis D, Konig C, Hayajneh J, et al. Six-month effects of a thermodynamic treatment for MGD and implications of meibomian gland atrophy. Cornea. 2014 Dec; 33(12): 1265-1270.
  12. Hussain M, Shtein RM, Sugar A, et al. Long-term use of autologous serum 50% eye drops for the treatment of dry eye disease. Cornea. 2014 Dec; 33(12): 1245-1251.
  13. Schultz C. Saftey and efficacy of cyclosporine in the treatment of chronic dry eye. Ophthalmol Eye Dis. 2014; 6: 37-42.
  14. Zhou XQ, Wei RL. Topical cyclosporine A in the treatment of dry eye: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Cornea 2014 Jul; 33(7): 760-767.
  15. Bilkhu PS, Naroo SA, Wolffsohn JS. Randomised masked clinical trial of the MGDRx eyebag for the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction-related evaporative dry eye. Br J Ophthalmol 2014; 98: 1707-1711.
  16. Lin H, Yiu SC. Dry eye disease: A review of diagnostic approaches and treatments. Saudi J Ophthalmol. 2014; 28: 173-181.
  17. Korb DR, Blackie CA. Debridement-scaling: a new procedure that increases meibomian gland function and reduces dry eye symptoms. Cornea. 2013 Dec; 32(12): 1544-1557.
  18. Labbe A, Want YX, Jie Y, et al. Dry eye disease, dry eye symptoms and depression: the Beijing Eye Study. Br J Ophthalmol. 2013 Nov; 97(11): 1399-1403.
  19. Uchino M, Yokoi N, Uchino Y, et al. Prevalence of dry eye disease and its risk factors in visual display terminal users: the Osaka study. Am J Ophthalmol 2013; 156: 759-766.
  20. Hom MM, Mastrota KM, Schachter SE. Demodex. Optom Vis Sci. 2013 Jul; 90(7):e198-205.
  21. Guillon M, Maissa C, Wong S. Eyelid margin modification associated with eyelid hygiene in anterior blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction. Eye Contact Lens. 2012 Sep; 38(5): 319-325.
  22. Kaido M, Ishida R, Dogru M, et al. Visual function changes after punctual occlusion with the treatment of short BUT type of dry eye. Cornea. 2012 Sep; 31(9): 1009-1013.
  23. Lemp MA, Crews LA, Bron AJ, et al. Distribution of aqueous-deficient and evaporative dry eye in a clinic-based patient cohort: A retrospective study. Cornea. 2012 May; 31(5): 472-478.
  24. Lee SY, Tong L. Lipid-containing lubricants for dry eye: A systematic review. Optom Vis Sci. 2012 Nov; 89(11): 1654-1661.
  25. Lane SS, DuBiner HB, Epstein RJ, et al. A new system, the LipiFlow, for the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction. Cornea. 2012; 31(4): 396-404.
  26. Pult H, Riede-Pult B, Purslow C. A comparision of an eyelid-warming device to traditional compress therapy. Optom Vis Sci. 2012, Jul; 89(7): 1035-1041.
  27. Brignole-Baudouin F, Baudouin C, Aragona P, et al. A multicentre, double-masked, randomized, controlled trial assessing the effect of oral supplementation of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids on a conjunctival inflammatory marker in dry eye patients. Acta Ophthalmol. 2011 Nov; 89(7):e591-597.
  28. Nichols KK, Foulks GN, Bron AJ, et al. The international workshop on meibomian gland dysfunction: executive summary. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011; 52: 1922-1929.
  29. Korb DR, Blackie CA. Meibomian gland therapeutic expression: quantifying the applied pressure and the limitation of resulting pain. Eye Contact Lens. 2011 Sep; 37(5): 298-301.
  30. Wojtowicz JC, Butovich I, Uchiyama E, et al. Pilot, prospective, randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled clinical trial of an omega-3 supplement for dry eye. Cornea. 2011 Mar; 30(3(: 308-314.
  31. Bowling E, Russell G. Topical steroids and the treatment of dry eye. Review of Cornea and Contact Lenses. 2011.
  32. Bron A, Knop E, Geerling G, et al. A new eyelid warming device: blephasteam. Ophthalmology Times Europe. 2011 Dec; 2-7.
  33. Blackie CA. Korb DR, Knop E, et al. Nonobvious obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction. Cornea. 2010 Dec; 29(12): 1333-1345.
  34. Maskin SL. Intraductal meibomian gland probing relieves symptoms of obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction. Cornea. 2010 Oct; 29(10): 1145-1152.
  35. Sullivan BD, Whitmer D, Nichols KK, et al. An objective approach to dry eye disease severity. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010; 51: 6125-3160.
  36. Kent C. Intense pulsed light: for treating dry eye. Review of Ophthalmol 2010.
  37. Korb DR, Blackie CA. Meibomian gland diagnostic expressibility: correlation with dry eye symptoms and gland location. Cornea. 2008 Dec; 27(10): 1142-1147.
  38. Papageorgiou P, Clayton W, Norwood S, et al. Treatment of rosacea with intense pulsed light: significant improvement and long-lasting results. Br J Dermatol. 2008; 159: 628-632.
  39. Foulks G, editor. ,ed. 2007. Report of the International Dry Eye Workshop (DEWS). Ocul Surf 2007; 5(2).
  40. Fitzpatrick T. The validity and practicality of sun-reactive skin Types I through VI. Arch Dermatol. 1988; 124: 869-871.

Orthokeratology

What is it?

Orthokeratology contact lenses are hard contact lenses worn only when the patient is sleeping. They is not worn during the day. Like retainers for our teeth, the lenses gradually change the shape of the cornea while the patient sleeps and taken out upon waking. In this way the patient can have clear vision during the day and only wear the lenses overnight.

Is it a permanent effect like laser surgery?

No. Refractive laser surgery is similar in that it also changes the shape of the cornea to correct myopia and astigmatism, but it is a permanent and invasive procedure.

Orthokeratology is reversible simply by the patient no longer wearing the contact lenses while they sleep.

How do I know if I am suitable for it?

Orthokeratology works best for short sighted (myopic) people where their prescriptions lie in the range between -1.00 - -4.50 dioptres. Small degrees of astigmatism are treatable too. In addition your optometrist will check the shape of your corneas to make sure their shape is suitable for the treatment.

How much does it cost?

Orthokeratology consultations initially require the patient to come in multiple times during the year. It is a complex procedure and for that reason, the initial consultations involve some cost to the patient. This includes an initial fee where the optometrist determines if the patient is suitable for the treatment or not.

The contact lenses are also more advanced than normal disposable contact lenses and therefore more expensive, however they can also last for 1-2 years if handled with care.

Find Out More

Please contact us to find out more or simply request an appointment by calling Eyecare Plus Springvale on (03) 9558 4499 or click here to request an appointment via our online form.

Myopia

  • Myopia is a global health risk. There is no 'safe' level of myopia. By 2050 it is predicted that myopia will affect 50% of the world's population.
  • Any amount of myopia is associated with risk of a number of eye diseases that can lead to permanent vision loss; the risk increases with increasing amount of myopia and age.
  • Risks include but are not limited to: cataract, retinal tears and detachments, myopic maculopathy, glaucoma.
  • Early detection and intervention is KEY!
  • Most children and young adults are prescribed single vision spectacles and contact lenses; however these DO NOT control myopia progression.
  • More Information: www.myopiacontrol.org

Myopia Control Options

Orthokeratology (Corneal Reshaping Therapy)

  • 32-100%; several studies have shown consistent reduction of at least 50% in myopia progression with orthokeratology in children.
  • It involves the use of special-designed rigid gas permeable contact lenses worn overnight to temporarily reshape the cornea and correct myopia, enabling clear vision during the day without spectacles or contact lenses.
  • More Information: Our Orthokeratology page here or www.oso.net.au

Atropine Eye Drops

  • 30-77%; Eyedrops are used once, nightly
  • At the 1% concentration they are very effective at controlling myopia progression by about 77%, however they come with several side effects (glare sensitivity, temporary loss of accommodation, possible long-term UV related damage due to increased pupil size).
  • At the lower concentration of 0.01%, the side effects are minimal (about 3% children experience a mild allergic conjunctivitis) and effective control on myopia is about 50%.

Soft Contact Lenses - Bifocals, Multifocals

  • 29-70%; average over most studies showed about 50% effectiveness for myopia control.

Spectacle Lenses - Bifocals, Multifocals (PALS)

  • 12-55%; average over most studies showed 30% effectiveness

Vision Therapy

  • Behavioural optometrists can design a program of activities or eye exercises, in combination with therapeutic lenses (glasses or contact lenses) for myopia control.
  • More Information: www.visiontherapy.org, www.acbo.org.au

Visual Hygiene

  • Minimize near work. After about 20 minutes at near, look as far away as possible for 20 seconds.
  • If indoors, choose large open spaces to work in.
  • Spend a 1:1 ratio of indoor 'fun' activity with an outdoor activity such as sport.

Behavioural Optometry

A Behavioural optometrist has a more holistic approach in the treatment of vision and visual perceptual problems.

A Behavioural optometrist believes that your visual status and the way you interpret what you see is not just dependent on how clear your eyesight is. Consideration must be given to all your visual, visual motor and visual perceptual skills.

In this way your Behavioural optometrist will consider not only the remediation of any eyesight difficulties but also the benefits of prevention, protection and enhancement of your visual system in order to improve all aspects of visual performance.

Treatment regimes include the utilisation of lenses and prisms, along with visual hygiene instructions.

Interested to know more? Call, drop in or make an appointment online and speak to Denise, our behavioural optometrist.

FAQ

Eye Conditions and FAQs

Click one of the following topics to jump to its entry on this page:


Symptoms of Vision Problems

Following is a partial list of symptoms in children and adults which indicate the need for a complete vision analysis:

  • headaches, nausea or dizziness after visual concentration
  • blurred or double vision at any time
  • crossed or turned eyes
  • blinking or eye rubbing after visual concentration
  • dislike or avoidance of close work
  • short attention span
  • placing head close to book when reading or writing
  • frowning while looking at the TV or blackboard
  • difficulty reading small print
  • difficulty adjusting focus between near and far objects.

Normal vision


Hyperopia (long-sightedness)

Hyperopia causes a person to see clearer at far than at near.

Extra effort is required to try to clear the focus at all distances, resulting in eye strain and fatigue. This "strain" can manifest itself as headaches after close work, blurred near vision, tired eyes, difficulty adjusting focus from distance to near and near to distance, avoiding close work and short attention span for near tasks.

Common symptoms are associated with tasks which require continued visual concentration. It becomes a problem to maintain a clear focus on near objects; causing headaches and tired or aching eyes.

In some age groups a prescription for hyperopia often works to relieve the strain, rather than clearing the vision.

 

Hyperopia

 


Astigmatism

Astigmatism is an out-of-roundness of one or more surfaces in the eye's optical system.

An eye with no astigmatism is spherical in shape, like a marble. On the other hand an eye with astigmatism has a distorted shape, slightly like a grape.

In lesser degrees this can cause strain and discomfort after visual concentration; while in higher degrees astigmatism causes images at all distances to be distorted or blurred.

Astigmatism


Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a gradual loss in the focussing ability (accommodation) of the eye and is part of the normal vision changes we all experience.

This is caused by a natural hardening of the eye lens, so that by the early 40's it does not respond as well to the muscles intended to change the focus of the eye. As a result, people in this age group start to have difficulty with near tasks like reading small print, threading a needle, etc.. This is especially true at the end of the day when lighting levels are poorer and the individual is more likely to be tired. Correction consists of reading spectacles, bifocals or the newer progressive lenses.


Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration (MD) is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys central vision. Central vision occurs at the macula on the retina, at the back of the eye. Because it is the central part of vision, it is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common everyday tasks such as reading and driving.

In some cases, MD advances so slowly that people fail to notice the gradual deterioration of their vision. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a permanent loss of central vision.

While there is presently no cure for Macular Degeneration, there are steps that you can take to prevent or slow the progress of the disease.

MD is present in 15% of people between the ages of 70-75 and is now the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australia.


Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Amblyopia is a reduced vision, generally in only one eye. The condition usually results from poor eye co-ordination, from having a turned eye, or after having one eye which requires a far greater lens power.

The reduced vision occurs because, for one or more of the above reasons, one eye is being used less than the other. When detected early enough, patching, vision training and lenses may help to reverse or prevent permanent damage to the vision.


Eye Muscle Inco-ordinations

Eye muscle inco-ordinations occur when the eyes do not align or focus together as a team. This improper control of the eye muscles can result in crossed-eyes, poor focussing ability, or simply discomfort and headache from the extra effort required.

Common remedies are vision training, prisms, therapeutic spectacles, bifocal or progressive lenses.


Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease where the pressure within the eye is typically increased (although not always). This can damage parts of the eye, and if left untreated may result in blindness.

Many times the symptoms are not noticeable until damage to the eye has already occurred. Diagnosis consists of having regular eye examinations which include a pressure measurement (usually every 2 years for patients over 40), to enable early detection of possible problems.

Glaucoma


Cataract

Cataract is an opacity or clouding of the lens inside the eye, then distorting the light as it enters. Cataract is often confused with pterygium but cataract cannot be seen on the surface of the eye.

Symptoms of cataract may include a gradual painless decrease in clear vision, hazy vision, increased sensitivity to glare, and even double vision.

Special tints or filters can often improve vision and UV protection can help to slow development of this condition.

The eventual "cure" is surgical removal of the lens with cataract and replacement with an artificial lens (intra-ocular lens implant).


Pterygium

Pterygium is a triangular growth of degenerative tissue on the white of the eye (sclera), usually on the nasal side, that may extend onto the clear window of the eye called the cornea.

A pterygium results from irritation due to long term exposure to ultra-violet light (UV), wind, glare or dust. Treatment is by eliminating the irritation with protective eyewear, eye-drops or surgery.


Spots & Floaters

Spots and floaters are semi-transparent specks of natural materials inside the eye, which sometimes can be seen floating in the field of vision.

Some patients comment that they look like cobwebs or threads, and most usually notice floaters when looking at a bright clear background like a ceiling or plain coloured wall.

They can be caused by debris left over from before birth, injury or eye disease. A full eye examination will determine the cause and whether any follow-up is needed.


Laser Surgery

Refractive surgery describes a group of procedures where surgery is used to correct the focus of vision rather than spectacles or contact lenses.

The most modern techniques use computer controlled lasers to remove a layer of the cornea (window at the front of the eye) and to reshape it to correct vision. Our practice is involved in the assessment of suitable candidates, referral of patients for this procedure, and follow up after the surgery.

Refractive surgery is best suited for patients who wear spectacles or contact lenses all the time. Most patients do not need spectacles for general wear after the surgery but it is likely that a prescription will often be needed for fine work or as focussing problems (presbyopia) develop naturally in the 40's.

Originally, laser surgery could only correct short-sightedness. Now it offers hope to those suffering astigmatism (distorted vision) and long-sightedness. Laser surgery gives speedy results with minimal pain. But this procedure is not suitable for everyone. If you are under 18 years old, pregnant, or have had changes to your prescribed corrective lenses in the past year, we usually do not recommend laser surgery.

Cost is an important factor: laser surgery costs up to $3000 per eye and is not covered by Medicare or any other private health fund (though in some cases it is partially tax deductible). Most laster clinics offer finance plans or interest-free terms.

While laser techniques in refractive eye surgery have been years in the making, only in this decade has laser surgery become truly widespread. It is estimated that up to one and a half million people worldwide have had such operations, many thousands of those in Australia.

Reputable eye surgeons emphasise that not all laser patients will attain 20/20 vision. This depends on various factors, including the severity of the patient's original vision problem. Some patients may still require glasses or contact lenses after laser surgery.

Those with presbyopia or "ageing eye" which often occurs in one's early 40's, cannot generally be treated by laser surgery, although in some cases monovision laser treatment may be used for one eye only.


Colour Vision and Colour Blindness

A routine part of our eye examinations is an assessment of colour vision, especially for children.

Colour blindness is almost always inherited, although it can be acquired condition as a result of some diseases or injuries.

The abnormality is sex linked, recessive, and carried on the X chromosomes. This means that males need only have their one X chromosome affected to be colour blind while females must carry the condition on both their X chromosomes to be colour blind. If females have it only on one X chromosome they will carry the condition but still have normal colour vision themselves.

As a result, about 8% of males and 0.5% of females have colour vision deficiencies. Almost all colour deficient people do see most colours but they will have difficulty identifying particular ones, confusing certain shades of red and green for example.

As children, few of these people will be aware that they have a colour vision deficiency but the detection of these problems is important, especially when career choices are affected.


What is "Normal" for my vision?

It is normal for most eyes to be long-sighted at birth. This usually reduces as the eye grows to full adult size during adolescence. It is then in the teens that short-sightedness tends to develop, if at all.

After a relatively stable time in the 20's and 30's another significant time for change begins in the 40's. This involves a gradual loss in the ability to finely focus the lens inside the eye. The result is a totally normal and expected change called "presbyopia", which continues into the 60's.

After 60, the eye will tend toward less long-sightedness or more short-sightedness as the inner part of the eye lens hardens. Sensitive vision drops and the retina's fine discrimination of colours is dulled. By 70 most eyes show signs of cataract and the older, harder, clouded eye lens scatters light so that glare often becomes more of a problem.


How often should I have my eyes checked?

Your optometrist will advise you of the interval between your full eye & vision examinations which is appropriate for your vision and eye health needs. This time interval does vary for different situations, so we contact our patients when their next routine check is due. Changes in vision and eye health are often quite slow and subtle, and can easily go unnoticed if not checked regularly. As a general rule, you should have a routine eye examination every two years.

Of course if a problem arises sooner, please make an appointment so that we can assess the situation for you.

Contact Us

Please use the following contact details to get in touch, or fill in the form below to send us an email.

Eyecare Plus Springvale
Phone: (03) 9558 4499
Fax: (03) 9558 4500
Address: 37A Buckingham Avenue
Springvale (Melbourne) VIC 3171
Web: springvaleoptometrist.com.au

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If you require an appointment within the next 48 hours, please call us on (03) 9558 4499 during normal business hours.


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