Kids back at school? Take time to correct your eyesight

School holidays are a lot of fun for the young ones, but they can be stressful times for parents.

How would you like to go into the next school break not having to worry about glasses or contact lenses?

We know that time is a valuable thing for parents and even with the kids safely deposited back in class there are precious few minutes in a day.

But you can have LASIK eye surgery to repair a range of refractive errors in less time than it takes to find a lost library book.

NewVision Clinics can complete your surgery in less than 30 minutes, for both eyes, and have you seeing a dramatic difference almost immediately.

And the entire procedure is virtually pain free, so you ditch those glasses or contacts for good while you have a spare moment with the kids back at school.

How LASIK eye surgery can help.

LASIK eye surgery can be used to correct a range of refractive errors in the cornea, including astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea), hyperopia (farsightedness), and myopia (nearsightedness). There are surgical options available to treat cataracts as well.

We know the term laser can be daunting to some, but think of it as a cool beam of light rather than a science fiction weapon.

It is safer and much less painful than traditional scalpel surgery with virtually no risks and no pain.

The procedure involves a thin flap being crafted on the eye, the corner being reshaped by the cool laser and then the flap restored as a natural healing shield for your eye.

It only takes approximately ten minutes per eye and is performed under local anaesthetic. When the procedure is complete, you may feel some sensitivity towards light but you will also notice a dramatic change in your vision.

What you will need to know

As we know time is a balancing act for parents, here are the numbers you need to know.

After your initial consultation to determine your eligibility, the process is extremely rapid.

You will need to allocate about 30 minutes for the procedure itself, but we recommend you organise someone to drive you to and from the clinic as you might not be able to operate a vehicle because of the sensitivity to light.

You will need 48 hours away from work, but you will not be bedridden in that time. We provide a special pair of sunglasses to protect your sensitive eyes so you can get about your daily business.

There should not be any pain or major discomfort in that time, just a little light sensitivity as your eyes adjust to their new form.

Contact NewVision Clinics on 1800 20 20 20 to begin your journey towards being free from glasses through a no-obligation and no cost to you consultation.

15 times you’ll say ‘OMG’ after laser eye surgery

Ready for life as you know it to change?

Have you been sitting on the fence about having LASIK laser eye surgery? Maybe you’re worried you won’t like the ‘new you’ that will be staring right back at you in the mirror after the surgery. Or do you think it’s unaffordable? Does your calendar not have any suitable openings? The good news is, you’re not alone in finding reasons to put it in the too-hard basket.

Whatever your reasons for wanting it, it’s perfectly normal to be a little apprehensive about laser eye surgery. But if you’ve lived most of your life with limited vision, it’s likely that glasses or contact lenses have played a huge role in simply letting you see. And probably at considerable cost.

So in the long run, taking steps to cut back that cost and vastly improve your vision quality in the process, is a no-brainer. Expert and caring professionals look after you from the first assessment right through to surgery; it’s actually a very smooth process that takes very little time. And you can probably claim some of the cost on your health fund.

To really get you in the mood, we’ve put together a list of everyday things you can expect to change and will have you screaming ‘Oh my God!’ with glee, after your surgery.

Everyday life becomes clearer

Morning

  1. Roll over in the morning and actually see where the ceiling meets the wall. We kid you not, it’s quite the revelation. There’s likely a whole community of daddy long legs you never knew you shared your space with.
  2. Usually step out of bed and do that weird step-hop-skip because you suddenly can’t remember where on the floor you left your glasses? No need for that anymore with the floor now crystal clear!
  3. Hop out of the shower and, instead of the usual blurry figure, truly see yourself in the mirror – warts and all.
  4. When you’re lounging around on the couch, watch Netflix without your glasses frame digging into your face and leaving a nice big indent.
  5. Wear makeup? Get this, it is possible to see, and correct, patchy foundation or bad colour choices.

Noon

  1. Live in fear of knocking yourself out when you run out of lane? Your lunchtime lap swim will never be the same again.
  2. Afternoon snorkels on the weekend become a visual smorgasbord. You’ll see fish, sand and know just how far you’ve drifted.
  3. We dare you. Go into any shop, with the new ability to pick up any pair of sunnies. No more ‘is the frame too round for prescription?’ conversations.
  4. Meeting your bestie for coffee? You’ll see her coming from a mile away.
  5. Hot, humid days (or that surprise rain shower) will no longer wreak havoc and fog up your glasses.

Night

  1. You know that difficult squint to read road signs, particularly at dusk and in the evening? It’s all so much easier and less stressful when you can see properly.
  2. Caught out after work without your contacts and you hear ‘knock, knock’? Shut the front door, now you’ll now be able to see who your surprise guest is.
  3. No more sliding glasses down your nose as you cook up a storm with pots and pans. Or worse, a contact drops into your soup (true story!).
  4. If you’re up to check on the kids countless times in the middle of the night, that’s a hard enough gig. But imagine a world where you can see the lego before you step on it! Or you can read the dosage on the paracetamol bottle. Life-changing.
  5. And last, but not least, let’s not forget falling asleep in your contacts and losing one behind your eyeball. It’s a nightmare you’ll never need to deal with again.

Plenty to be grateful for

Of all the possible reasons, you’ll get most joy from waking up and simply being able to see clearly. So go on, take the plunge! You’ll quickly realise there’s a whole load more where they came from. Call 1800 20 20 20: Our friendly staff will help you see what your future looks like (see what we did there?!)

Author Bio: Heather Woods is an Australian freelance writer living blissfully in New Zealand.

Use your tax return to ditch the glasses this EOFY

Are you tired of wearing glasses but haven’t been able to find room in the budget for LASIK eye surgery?
The end of financial year is fast approaching, which presents a golden opportunity for you to have 20/20 vision using your tax return.
The entire process takes less than the time it would take you to put together your return, including the surgery itself and recovery.
Through this procedure you can permanently correct most eye conditions and go into the new financial year with confidence and without the need for glasses or contact lenses.

How LASIK eye surgery works

LASIK eye surgery can be used to correct a range of refractive errors in the cornea, astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea), hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), LASIK uses a cool laser beam and is performed under local anaesthetic, usually only taking about 10 minutes per eye.
The process involves a flap being made out of the outer layer of the cornea, then the laser corrects the refractive error before returning the flap as a natural protective seal.
You will feel a little bit sensitive to light after the procedure, but the majority of clients report that there is no pain and they can see dramatic improvement in the vision straight away.
The recovery period
You should notice the difference mere minutes after the procedure.
The recovery period is extremely rapid, although we do recommend 24 hours to rest and to organise someone to drive you home after the procedure is complete.
We will issue eye drops and protective sunglasses as part of your aftercare. Most patients can return to work within 24- 48 hours and you will be able to throw your glasses away immediately.

About the surgeon

NewVision Clinics has one of the best surgeons in the business in Prof Noel Alpins who will guide you through the entire process, from consultation through to recovery.
Dr Alpins founded NewVision Clinics in the early 1990s and has been performing cataract and refractive surgery ever since.
He is a world leader in myopia and astigmatism surgery and has been published across the globe.
Contact NewVision Clinics on 1800 20 20 20 to begin your journey towards perfect eye health through a free, no-obligation consultation.

Why laser eye surgery is the perfect Christmas gift for yourself

With the Christmas period and summer holidays fast approaching, many of us will have the time to take stock and consider what measures we can take to improve our quality of life and wellbeing.

For some, this will involve a medical procedure. The gift of vastly improved vision – potentially 20/20 – is a tantalising prospect for anyone with eyesight issues. Laser eye surgery is the perfect Christmas present to yourself if this is the case.

The thing is, though, that it isn’t just a gift for you. Whatever stage of life you are at, the benefits of laser eye surgery can be enjoyed by your friends and family as well. And here’s why.

Summer activities

Glasses and contact lenses can be an annoyance in the hotter months as you enjoy holiday activities with the family. If you wear glasses, perhaps you have to worry about where to store them as you spend time in the surf or the pool. If you wear contact lenses, there is the constant problem of them falling out as you wipe water from your eyes.

The summer months are also a time when allergies can hit, making contact lenses uncomfortable. Then there is the potential of things being trapped underneath them.

All of this can get in the way of enjoying quality time with family and friends. More importantly, if you are a parent it can interfere with the supervision of young children as they engage in summer water activities.

Laser eye surgery can make all of these problems disappear. Crystal-clear vision in the summer, in essence, can mean freedom and peace of mind for both yourself and those around you.

Enjoying grandchildren

For those of us of a certain age and in the swing of retirement, one of the most meaningful things we can do is spend time with the newest members of the family: grandchildren.

Unfortunately though, poor eyesight as we age (either through cataracts, myopia or general eyesight debilitation) can get in the way of this. A gift to yourself of laser eye surgery can, therefore, not only enrich your experiences with your grandchildren, but also ensure they will always carry special memories of time spent with their grandparents.

Maybe it’s backyard cricket, maybe it’s reading a bedtime story, maybe it’s driving them to school: LASIK surgery can help with all of these, and can be a decisive factor in forming special bonds with grandchildren.

Driving

Summer can be a time of long car trips to reach holiday destinations, as well as frequent family journeys to the local pool or beach.

Improved eyesight thanks to laser eye surgery can make driving safer and more efficient. In particular, driving at night can be made less hazardous by the procedure (Wavefront-guided LASIK especially), according to research.

Additionally, the inconvenience of having to find and polish glasses before driving becomes a thing of the past, as does the careful maintenance of contact lenses for driving purposes.

Help with New Year’s resolutions

As we welcome a new year, many of us are motivated to commit to making positive changes in our lives. Laser eye surgery can assist with these.

If your resolution is to lose weight or get fit, the procedure will ensure you can exercise free of the burden of glasses or contact lenses. If you plan to read more, the surgery can reduce the need for reading glasses and eliminate that uncomfortable squinting at small text.

Maybe your New Year’s Resolution is to travel more, in which case the days of having to pack glasses and contact lenses, and equipment for their upkeep, may be long gone.

The festive period itself

Christmas is a time when poor eyesight can be a real hindrance. Not only does good eyesight mean you can see the look of joy on children’s faces on Christmas morning, it means you can better help out (if you’re up for it) with the cooking, cleaning and general hard work that is often required to make the festivities as special as possible.

And again, that’s not just for you, but everyone around you, too.

To find out more about LASIK and PRK surgery, call New Vision clinics today on 1800 20 20 20.

Byline: Alexander Smith

Can you afford NOT to have laser eye surgery?

More than half of the Australian population wears glasses or contact lenses — even though there are options and they may not need to resort to prescription lenses.

Roy Morgan Research has shown that 65.2 percent of Australian women over the age of 18 wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, compared with 54.8 percent of men.

So what is stopping the majority of Australians from having this procedure done? Cost is an issue, with the process costing several thousand dollars.

While this number can look high on face value, you might actually be paying more by not having the procedure in the long run.

The ongoing costs of wearing glasses and contacts

While the initial fee for the surgery can be daunting, the costs of caring for your eyes without having LASIK add up to be  even higher.

The average cost for a pair of glasses is $300 in Australia, and it is recommended that you replace them every couple of  years.

That means after 18 years of wearing glasses you would have paid more than the one-off fee for LASIK eye surgery.

This timeframe shortens if you wear contacts. The average annual cost of contacts in Australia is $640, which means the investment may be better directed towards a more long-term solution, like LASIK.

Many people combine glasses with contacts for different activities in life as well, which inflates the costs even further.

And as well as the costs, there is the hassle of caring and maintaining glasses and contacts —  a hassle which is eliminated by having LASIK surgery.

 

Can I use my private health fund to cover the cost of LASIK eye surgery?

Depending on which fund you are with, there are options to have this surgery partially or full covered.

Unfortunately, HCF and NIB do not offer benefits towards laser eye surgery. But many other funds do.

HBF will fully cover the cost of the surgery, but you will need to pay upfront out of your pocket and then be reimbursed later. This is included in the Ultimate Cover package and there is a 12 month waiting period.

Medibank will reimburse you half of the surgery cost under the Ultra Cover plan, but there is a three year waiting period.

BUPA covers the surgery in their Ultimate package with a 12 month waiting period. From May 1, 2018 there will be an additional 24 months of restricted cover for those with pre-existing eye conditions.

Defence Health will cover the surgery under the Premier Health Cover plan, but you will need to consult them first to determine if you are eligible.

And AHM has a two year waiting period before you can claim $600 per eye with a lifetime limit of $1200 under the Lifestyle Extras package; or $900 per eye with a lifetime limit of $1800 under the Super Extras package.

Please always check with your health fund directly to ensure you have the right level of cover and have met waiting periods prior to proceeding with laser eye correction.  

How can I get started?

Book your appointment with NewVision Clinics for a full eye assessment from one of our senior optometrists to ensure you are a suitable candidate for laser eye correction surgery. A consultation with our leading surgeon, Prof. Noel Alpins, will follow. This is a thorough process that takes about two hours and is at no cost to you, with no commitment required. Following this consultation, you can book your surgery and be ready to enjoy life with full confidence and without the need for glasses.

Contact NewVision Clinics on 1800 20 20 20 to begin your journey.

Eye now pay later

 

Laser Eye Surgery or LASIK surgery is a revolutionary  treatment liberating thousands of Australians from chronic eye conditions like astigmatism, myopia and hyperopia. In recent years, has fast become one of the most seamless, pain free and successful procedures in modern medicine.

According to The American Refractive Surgery Council LASIK has a 96 percent satisfaction rate, results in 99 percent of patients achieving 20/40 vision, and sees over 90 percent of patients achieve 20/20 vision or better.

The idea of having Laser eye surgery might be an enticing one, but for some, the cost of the procedure might seem to make the ability to achieve 20/20…out of sight. Thankfully NewVision Clinics is committed to making this life-changing transformation more achievable. Here are some quick tips on how you too can make the most of services that are available to assist everyday Aussies.

Tap the FUNDS:

Some health funds such as BUPA, HBF and Police Health may pay a portion or the whole amount of your laser eye surgery fees dependant on your level of cover.

NewVision Clinics patients with BUPA Ultimate Cover are covered completely. With Ultimate cover patients typically receive higher benefits for dental, optical, physiotherapy, podiatry and chiropractic at Members First providers, and in most instances receive 100 percent back.

It is important to inquire with your health fund about the level of assistance they can provide prior to surgery to confirm this as post surgery the options become more limited.

Unfortunately there are a number of health funds that do not provide adequate cover despite providing rebates for glasses and contact lenses meaning there is a need for alternative options!

Worry-Free:

When it comes to money, ‘worry-free’ is hardly a term that comes to mind. But, thanks to interest-free finance options, the burden of paying everything upfront is alleviated.

Interest-free finance is a concept, whereby customers can agree to repay money for products or services over a certain period of time with no added interest. There are usually other conditions to abide by but it has set many people free!

Having corrective eye surgery may appear like a significant cost in one hit, but like many things taking a monthly finance option makes it more than palatable.

Monthly interest-free payments at Melbourne’s NewVision Clinics around start around $379.17 per month for 6 months, with half payment up front. That’s just under $100 a week, so for a period you could to cut back on the luxuries we all know we have like that extra family outing once a week, or the takeaway meals that can be easily duplicated in the home kitchen. This will greatly benefit the patient who doesn’t want to compromise on time, service or even safety as the full reliability, experience and benefits of the upfront price are included.

This is a popular method for patients who want their laser eye surgery now or are worried that if they wait they will never get around to it — for example, those ready for a wedding or ready to go on their first overseas holiday.

Don’t break the bank:

Another form of financing is bank assistance, that has quickly become a norm in society.

Many Aussies now rely on ‘Other People’s Money (OPM)’ as the saying goes, for their first home loan. Mortgage specialists are fast sought after as people look to find their dream home. Nowadays banks have competitive rates on small personal loans with the ability to mix and match your current borrowings or income for leverage.

But if you’re keen not to ‘break the bank’ then interest-free personal loans from smaller lenders or brokers are seeing an upward trend in Australia.

Companies like nimble, credit24, ferratum payday, payday 247, and loan ranger cash loans are becoming popular as in most cases they have same day cash delivery. In addition they also take on the case of those disillusioned with big banks by providing interest-free services.Buyer Beware, they usually max out their loan capacity at $5000.

Latitude Finance is a company of note, offering the ability to pay back your loan at a quicker rate without penalty to avoid extra interest costs.

Alternatively, Gem Visa has become one of Australia’s more flexible options. Gem allows customers to enjoy six months interest free on most purchase over $250. Utilising participating Gem retailers allows users the freedom to use it as a normal credit card, without the hassle of additional interest or pressure on repayments.

Considering a credit union, such as Police Credit Union or People’s Choice are other great ways to find the middle ground between the little guy and the big bruiser banks.

Led by Professor  Noel Alpins—a recipient of the Order of Australia AM Honour, NewVision Clinics can help you achieve better vision, without the hefty costs.

Call 1800 20 20 20 to book your path to 20-20 vision, one eye at a time. Alternatively, head to the online booking form to secure your no-obligation consultation.

The ground-breaking Alpins method featured in Washington presentation

At the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in Washington, D.C., renowned Australian ophthalmologist Professor Noel Alpins talked about his technique to measure astigmatism of the eye to prepare it for surgery in order to get the most accurate measurement possible. He explains how to avoid adverse outcomes by obtaining key information prior to surgery.

“There are so many different devices to measure astigmatism, and you get so many different numbers, so how do you actually choose the number that is the most accurate for this particular eye? The important criterion is that the value that you are choosing is as close to the refractive cylinder as possible,” he said.

In a presentation during the conference, Alpins demonstrated in a study he and his team conducted using the ocular residual astigmatism, ORA, a measurement of how far the corneal astigmatism  is from the manifest refractive cylinder. They looked at three different tomographers that calculate total corneal astigmatism and compared this to the total corneal topographic astigmatism (CorT Total — which includes the posterior cornea) from each device. The CorT was reliable across all three devices  because it looks at the entire cornea and not just one ring like the simulated keratometry (SimK).

“We’re going for accuracy, and that number (CorT Total) is what you use to base your surgery on,” said Prof. Alpins, clinical professor and medical director of NewVision Clinics in Melbourne, Australia.  “So it’s very useful to have it as a standard to see how well they perform against the best measure, which is CorT total.”

Presentation wins Best Paper

Prof. Alpins’ presentation won the Best Paper Award at the conference, which he called “a nice surprise,” adding that he was just “the front man” and that “I really have to thank my co-authors Doctors Randleman and Nevyas-Wallace for all their input.”

Prof. Alpins pioneered small-incision cataract surgery in Victoria, Australia more than 30 years ago and  has specialized in cataract and refractive surgery since founding NewVision Clinics in Melbourne, Australia in 1996. Prof. Alpins is best known for The Alpins Method, which he developed in 1993, to analyse and treat astigmatism, and can be used to refine surgical techniques and adjust laser nomograms for  future LASIK procedures. The Alpins Method has been adopted by major ophthalmology journals, including the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, The Journal of Refractive Surgery and Ophthalmology as the basis for astigmatism reporting. In addition, the American National Standards Institute uses the Alpins Method to help manufacturers determine the effectiveness of refractive surgical lasers and has been called one of the more sophisticated approaches to analysing surgical results. The Alpins Method  is also used in planning for cataract/intraocular lens surgeries.

Book Is a Comprehensive Guide

Prof. Alpins recently published a comprehensive guide to correcting astigmatism.  In it, he covered pre-operative planning to post-operative analysis, using his method focusing on analysing the parameters of refractive and corneal astigmatism and using those results for future surgeries to help improve a patient’s vision. The publisher calls the surgical correction of astigmatism “the last frontier to optimizing visual outcomes for patients.”

In 24 chapters, Prof. Alpins covers astigmatism planning and outcomes analysis, mixed and irregular astigmatism, coupling and corneal topographic astigmatism (CorT).

“It encompasses 20 scientific papers, following it step-by-step in easy-to-read methods, and follows the rationale to how to treat astigmatism in a better way using my method (The Alpins Method),” Prof. Alpins says, adding the “reaction has been very gratifying”.

“Companies that are submitting their devices for evaluation have to use my method. The technique of Vector PlanningTM is gaining more popularity and studies have gotten better visual results with vector planning where the corneal shape is incorporated into the treatment plan as opposed to conventional methods using the refractive parameters alone,” he noted.  

“I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people who have purchased the book and find it very useful.”

For more information, contact the New Visions at: laser@newvisionclinics.com.au or 1800 20  20 20

Is laser eye surgery a good investment?

Laser eye surgery is an investment for your future, but just like all other investments, you need to weigh up the expenses, as well as the benefits.

When considering the procedure, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But instead of trying to crunch the numbers, take a moment to stop and consider what the costs would be if you didn’t get laser eye surgery. Think about the money required to be spent on glasses, contact lenses, and upkeep.

Here are some of the savings that you will make after taking the plunge and having laser eye surgery…

No more dollars spent on glasses

Even if your prescription has remained stable for some time, you’ll likely need new glasses every now and then, just from general wear and tear. On top of that, styles can go in and out of fashion, so if you’re someone that likes to keep up with your personal style, updating frames can be costly.

And even if you have optical extras on your health insurance, the costs still happen to add up over time.

No more contact lens purchases

Contact lenses vary in their costs, and depending on your lifestyle choices, can be tricky to maintain.

Daily disposable lenses are more expensive upfront, but lenses that need cleaning and storage mean that you also need to buy solutions to do just that.

Whichever type of contacts you wear, the hip-pocket can take a hit, especially when you start to multiply it over the years.

All the little things

Not buying glasses and contacts are the main savings that having laser eye surgery will bring, but there are a surprising number of extras that add up too.

Sunglasses are one of these, when you require a prescription. They need replacing and updating as often as your regular specs, and clip-ons usually only suit one specific frame.

Beyond that, sunnies seem to be particularly prone to breakages and being lost, which is not surprising, given that they are often worn outdoors, during exercise, and at the beach.

And if you’re a swimmer, prescription goggles are a necessity. Prescription snorkel and dive masks are also essential for those who love their underwater adventures. Not only will laser eye surgery give you a new incentive to dive into life, you will no longer have to keep forking out the cost of being able to enjoy the beauty of our aquatic environments.

Lower health insurance premiums

You should continue with regular eye-health checks with your optometrist after laser eye surgery but these consultations do not require private health cover. Without having to buy glasses and contact lenses, you will find that you may no longer need optometry extras health cover.

Laser eye surgery might allow you to switch to an alternative option of extras cover, either giving you new cover in a different health area, or reducing your costs overall. Even the prompt to shop around and compare health insurance options is likely to give you a reduced premium.

The dollar figure for expenses you will save as a result of having laser eye surgery will vary for each person. The specific amount will be very different, depending on whether you are a ‘I-need-frames-in-every-colour-in-the-latest-model’ kind of person, or a ‘I-use-the-cheapest-contact-lenses-and-have-had-the-same-backup-pair-of-specs-for-years’ kind of person.

At a rough estimate of $200-500 for a new pair of glasses, $200-600 for prescription sunnies, $200-350 for a year’s supply of monthly disposable contact lenses and $50-150 for a pair of prescription goggles, you’ll see that the savings can add up quickly.

If you are motivated by the savings you can make by having laser eye surgery, act now by phoning NewVision Clinics on 1800 20 20 20.

 

Byline: Vivienne Pearson is a freelance writer who, thanks to being diagnosed as short-sighted at the age of 8, is well acquainted with the costs associated with wearing glasses and contact lenses.

All you need to know about floaters and flashes

The vast majority of people experience floaters and flashes in their vision throughout their lifetime. While most of them are harmless, they can signal that you have a serious eye problem, that may compromise your vision.

Have you ever noticed specks, dark spots, threads or cobweb-like images in your vision? If you have, you’re not alone. Usually, these are nothing to worry about, but sometimes they can be a sign that you have a serious eye problem.

What are ‘floaters’?

These specks and strand-like visual impressions are called ‘floaters’ and they are made up of tiny clusters of cells inside the clear jelly-like fluid of the eye. This fluid, which resembles raw egg white is called the vitreous humor, and fills the space between the lens and the retina. This gel-like substance helps maintain the shape of the eyeball, and provides a path for light coming through the lens of the eye.

The vitreous connects to the retina, (a thin sheet of nerve cells, including light-sensitive cells), at the back of the eye. Light is converted into electrical signals, and then sent to your brain via the optic nerve, where interpretation of the signals take place, and ‘seeing’ occurs.

When you see the floaters, you’re actually seeing the shadow that they cast onto the retina, rather than the floater itself. You’ll probably notice that as your eye moves, the floaters also move, appearing to move away when you look directly at them, or drift slowly when your eyes stop moving. These floaters are also more noticeable when you’re looking at something bright, such as a white wall, or blue sky.

What are ‘flashes’?

Flashes can occur when the gel bumps, tugs or rubs against the retina. These flashes can occur on and off for weeks or months.

 

What causes them and who is at risk?

As we age, the vitreous begins to shrink, causing it to become stringy. These strands cast shadows on the retina, causing the floaters. It’s estimated that around 25 per cent of people have floaters due to vitreous shrinkage by the time they’re 60 years of age. This rises to around two-thirds in 80-year-olds.

People who are nearsighted or have had cataract surgery or a previous eye injury are more likely to experience floaters, as are those with diabetes.

A symptom of something more serious

Most of the time, floaters and flashes are harmless, and require no treatment, even if they are annoying at times. However, sometimes they can be a sign of a torn or detached retina, which may lead to vision loss if not treated promptly.

Sometimes, the shrinking vitreous pulls and tugs on the retina, causing it to tear. Fluid from the eye can then leak through the tear, causing the retina to detach. Fortunately, a torn retina isn’t painful, but it can cause you to see peripheral shadows, flashes of light, dark spots, and can result in your vision becoming affected — as if you are looking through a curtain. Some even experience total vision loss in the affected eye.

A detached retina is a serious medical condition, as it can lead to permanent vision loss.

What should you do?

Because floaters and flashes can indicate a retinal tear, it’s wise to get them checked out by a qualified eye specialist. However, some symptoms require urgent medical attention. Contact your ophthalmologist as soon as possible if you notice:

  • new floaters or flashes of light
  • a gradual shading of vision from one side — as if a curtain is being drawn across your eyes
  • rapid decline in your sharp, central vision.

If there is a tear in the retina, it can be treated to prevent it from detaching. If you wait too long to seek treatment, you may be putting your sight at risk.

How are retinal tears and detachments diagnosed?

You need to see an ophthalmologist in order to determine whether you have a retinal tear or detachment. Diagnosis involves:

  • a vision test
  • checking the response of your pupils to light
  • examination of your retina (it will be necessary to dilate your pupil with special eye drops in order for the retina to be examined thoroughly)
  • ultrasound, in some cases.

 

How are they treated?

Usually a retinal tear can be treated in the ophthalmologist’s rooms. Treatment usually involves either:

  • Retinal laser therapy –  designed to create scar tissue around the hole, which seals the retina and helps the retina to stay attached.
  • freezing (cryopexy/cryotherapy) — a very cold probe is used to freeze and seal the retina around the tear.

Repairing a detached retina is more complex and usually involves surgery. Treatment options will depend upon your individual circumstances.

Peace of mind

If you’re experiencing any floaters or flashes of light, why not make an appointment with one of our retinal ophthalmologists  for your peace of mind? Our team of retinal ophthalmologists at the Cheltenham Eye Centre will perform a comprehensive eye examination and will advise accordingly.

Lead by Professor Noel Alpins, a world-renowned surgeon who has developed advanced laser treatment methods and specialist treatments, each one of our staff is highly qualified, meaning you can trust the future of your vision to us.

Pick up the phone and dial 03 9584 6122, to book your appointment today.

 

Byline:

Nerissa Bentley, Health Writer

Get the leading edge at uni with LASIK

Get the leading edge at uni with LASIK

Starting tertiary studies for the first time can be a daunting experience. A new campus to navigate, study plans to lock in, class timetables, lectures, tutorials – the list goes on.

You have your textbooks to manage, online notes to organise and lecture notes to memorise. And for some students, this journey begins with the added burden of not having perfect vision. Imagine all of the above, and not being able to read your notes or the teachers instructions clearly on the whiteboard!

But this doesn’t have to be the case. LASIK eye surgery can be carried out in a single day, without pain and with minimal recovery time – meaning you can tackle your university studies with complete confidence and 20/20 vision.

What do I need to know about LASIK eye surgery?

There are a range of conditions that cause young people to have impaired vision, including; myopia (short-sightedness), astigmatism and hyperopia (long-sightedness). These conditions can be remedied by wearing glasses or contact lenses, but these can be cumbersome as well as expensive.

These devices also don’t remedy the condition, whereas LASIK eye can.

It is a day procedure and the only inconvenience you will encounter is having to don protective shields (provided by NewVision) for a day or so.

There is no pain and about 98% of patients report that they have 20/20 vision the day after surgery.

It works by using a cool laser beam to gently reshape the cornea and repair the refractive issues that are causing the vision impairment.

Over 35 million people globally have had LASIK eye surgery, making it an easy, common and safe way to ditch the glasses for good.

Peace of mind delivered by leading industry surgeon

NewVision Clinics’ Professor Noel Alpins has been performing cataract surgery and refractive surgery since the early 1990s.

He has received international acclaim for his work in the fields of cataract and refractive surgery and is a published expert on myopia and astigmatism treatment with the excimer laser.

He was a pioneer in this field, becoming one of the first Australian surgeons to use laser vision techniques. Since founding NewVision, he has treated over 20,000 patients with the Excimer laser.

How can I get started?

Book your appointment with NewVision Clinics for a full eye assessment to ensure you are a suitable candidate for laser eye correction surgery. A consultation with our leading surgeon, Dr Noel Alpins, will follow. This is a thorough process that takes about two hours and is at no cost to you, with no commitment required. Following this consultation, you can book your surgery and be ready to commence your study with full confidence.

Contact NewVision Clinics on 1800 20 20 20 to begin your journey towards perfect eye health.

 

Byline: Josh Alston (@alstonjoshua)