Parts of your body that will thank you for having laser eye surgery

You’re sitting there, and your contemplating hard—do you take the plunge and get laser eye surgery, or do you hold it off another year? Despite all the benefits, committing to any medical procedure sometimes takes a little bit of courage. But when you pair all those advantages with the thought of helping the rest of your body enjoy its quality of life, there’s not a whole lot left to argue with.

So what else can LASIK eye surgery help you with?


Carrying the responsibility of holding the glasses in place, noses end up being the most physically burdened. No matter how comfortable your glasses are or how well-fitted your frames seem to be, there’s always those annoying nose-pad marks that seem to appear each time. When you’re someone who wears specs all day, everyday, this becomes another fact of life. And do we really need to mention the annoyance of them slipping down your face every few minutes?


Frames put weight on the tops of your ears and can become uncomfortable if you’re trying to lay down at the same time. And if they don’t fit correctly, they can end up placing pressure where they shouldn’t. After having laser eye surgery, the only things you’ll have to put on your ears are your favourite earrings.


Ever had a few strands of hair caught in the hinges of your specs as you go to take them off? Not ideal, and you probably don’t want to experience it again. Save the pain factor.


If you’re someone who has been told to wear your glasses as much as possible, but don’t, it’s likely you also suffer from poor posture. Those with vision problems often misalign their neck in spine, in order to focus and see things better. But while you may be able to read those words clearly on your screen because you’re tilting forwards, you’re also wreaking havoc on your back.

With laser eye surgery done and dusted, you’ll find you’re less likely to fall into these bad habits.

Your personal circumstances and needs

The highly trained staff at NewVision Clinics can help you decide whether laser eye surgery is a fit for you. Conducting thorough examinations, we’ll look at your general eye health, as well as your current vision. Even those with high prescriptions and significant astigmatism, who may have been told they are ineligible for treatment elsewhere, may be suitable for laser eye surgery with NewVision Clinics.

To find out more about LASIK, call NewVision Clinics on 1800 20 20 20.


How music can improve your laser eye surgery experience

There is little doubt that music is good for the soul.

And with acts like Sia, The Foo Fighters, Drake and Bruno Mars coming to Australia in the coming months, there is plenty to celebrate for music fans.

But while these acts are a delight to the ears, there are many Aussies who may struggle to see them if they are stationed in the cheap seats.

LASIK eye surgery can give you 20/20 vision—without glasses or lenses—and give you a crystal-clear view of your next gig.

What is LASIK eye surgery?

Short for laser-assisted-in-situ-keratomileusis, LASIK eye surgery is a painless and quick procedure that corrects the shape of the eye.

It is used to treat the three of the most common eyesight conditions in Australia: short sightedness, long sightedness and astigmatism (where you find it hard to focus on both the front man/woman and the drummer at the back).

The conditions are commonly treated with the use of glasses or contacts, but this surgery permanently corrects these refraction issues and eliminates the needs for spectacles.

This isn’t the sort of laser you would see at a rock show or in a sci-fi movie, it is a cool beam that is used to re-shape the eye and most patients report zero pain after the procedure.

The only post-op care you will need (apart from drops) is a pair of sunglasses, which suit the rockstar look anyway. Twenty-four hours later you will have the vision of Kanye and the style of Taylor Swift .

Music soothes those jangled nerves

While NewVision’s Cataract and Refractive Surgeon Prof. Noel Alpins is an expert in his field, the more relaxed your eyes are for the procedure, the better.

Anxiety is a natural reaction for people before and after surgery, which is where music can help.

Studies have shown that listening to your favourite tunes can significantly decrease your anxiety and assist you in preparing for your LASIK surgery.

One study conducted by the Center for Primary Care and Public Health suggested soothing music in the ear phones to assist.

But good news for rock and metal heads—the study trialled many genres of music and found no significant difference between them.

How can you start your LASIK journey?

Book your appointment with NewVision Clinics for a full eye, no obligation assessment from one of our leading optometrists to ensure you are a suitable candidate for this procedure. A consultation with NewVision’s leading surgeon, Prof. Noel Alpins, will follow. This is a thorough process that takes about two hours and is no cost to you, with no commitment required. Following this consultation, you can book your surgery and be ready to enjoy your concert(s) with full confidence.

Contact NewVision Clinics on 1800 20 20 20.

Keeping your eyes healthy

Knowing your family’s eye health history is a good way of knowing what problems may pop up in the future. There are a number of things you can do to maintain healthy eyes and avoid potential hiccups altogether.

Keep your body active and healthy

Maintaining a healthy weight is not only good for your body as a whole, it’s also good for your peepers. Avoiding obesity lowers the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, which is a significant cause of blindness in adults. This is especially important if other members of your family have developed type 2 diabetes, as this disease is something that tends to run within genetics.

A well-rounded and balanced diet is important to ward off other age-related problems, such as macular degeneration, which is the progressive loss of the central vision.  

To reduce the risk of developing diseases such as these, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as oily fish like salmon and tuna could be beneficial, as well as foods rich in zinc, vitamin C, lutein and vitamin E.  These include green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, citrus fruits, eggs, nuts, legumes, oysters and pork—all of which add up to a healthy, varied and well-balanced diet and all of which are important to overall good eye health.

The likelihood of macular degeneration is also increased in smokers, as is the chance of cataracts—a condition that causes clouding in the lens of the eye.  They block light and over time, can cause blindness.  Maintaining good eye health is one of many great reasons to make another attempt to quit smoking.  

Eye protection

It goes without saying that to keep your eyes in good health, you need to protect them.  Whether that be from the sun with a good pair of sunglasses, or from injury by wearing protective eyewear or goggles when working on hazardous materials or playing certain sports.  

Good sunglasses are a must.  The Australian sun can be particularly damaging with its high levels of ultraviolet rays, leading to higher instances of cataracts, macular degeneration, pterygiums (overgrowth of tissue from the white of the eye onto the cornea) and different types of eye-related cancers.

All sunglasses sold in Australia must be rated, tested and labelled according to Australian and New Zealand standards.

To protect your eyes, sunglasses with a minimum rating of category 2 lenses should be worn.  These give medium protection against UV rays and reduction in sun glare.  Sunglasses with lens categories 3 and 4 offer better protection, although due to their very high level of effectiveness at reducing glare, sunglasses with category 4 lenses should never be worn while driving.

It is worth considering wrap-around sunglasses to cut down on side glare and unless you spend most of your time outdoors, polarised lenses aren’t always necessary.  

Sunglasses typically vary in price.  However, just because one pair is more expensive, doesn’t mean they’ll protect your eyes any better than a less expensive pair—so check that your sunglasses are rated category 2, or preferably 3.

Avoid eye strain

Computers and screens have become intrinsic to our way of life, so it has never been more important to eye health to employ healthy practices.

Looking at a screen too long can cause eye strain, giving rise to headaches, a burning eye sensation and dry eyes. Luckily, there are simple steps you can employ to avoid these symptoms:

  • Ensure you take frequent breaks away from your screen.  Taking a break away from your screen, standing, stretching, blinking and looking at distant objects will help avoid potential eye strain, as well as boost your productivity.      
  • Poor lighting can also add to the risk of eye strain.  Ambient lighting should ideally be half as bright as your screen.  Reflections and glare can be reduced by adjusting window shades or by changing the contrast and brightness of your screen.  
  • And make sure you clean your display regularly to ensure it is sharp and easy to read.

Regular eye exams

It will come as no surprise to anyone that regular eye exams are an essential part of maintaining good eye health.  

During an eye exam you’ll often discuss aspects of family history which may relate to your eye health, undergo vision tests to detect changes in sight and be tested for glaucoma.  Blindness resulting from glaucoma is due to damage of the optic nerve.  It has no symptoms or warning signs in it’s early stages and no cure.  However, its progression can be stopped or slowed significantly when detected in the early stages—making regular, comprehensive eye tests essential.  

Just by taking these few, small steps, you can ensure your eyes stay healthy throughout your lifetime.

If you have any concerns about your eyes, please call NewVision Clinics on 1800 20 20 20 to discuss your eye health further.



BYLINE: Natasha Poynton is a freelance writer, editor and co-founder of Your Write.  With almost 20 years of professional experience and a background as a children’s television producer, Natasha now enjoys writing about pretty much anything and everything.


Mortlake welcomes Professor Noel Alpins to 2018 Australia Day event.

Since becoming an Australia Day Ambassador eight years ago, Professor Noel Alpins has had the great opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful parts of Victoria. This year he was able to add the Moyne Shire to his list, as he was invited to spend Australia Day 2018 in Mortlake, Western Victoria.

Australia Day Ambassadors have excelled in their field and are chosen for their inspirational qualities, to join communities across the country in recognising the occasion They range from sports or business people to those from the fields of arts and sciences and in Professor Alpins’ case, healthcare. He is known internationally as one of the world’s leading cataract and refractive surgeons and has achieved great acclaim for his pioneering astigmatism treatment and analysis methods. His innovations are now considered standard for assessing global laser eye surgical procedures across the globe.
In the lead up to the day’s events, he was able to take a walk around the town and learn more about the community and the region. “The Mortlake people have a lot to celebrate, in particular such a strong sense of community,” said Professor Alpins. “Around the town you can see all the things they achieve locally, with fresh dairy, beef and seafood in abundance. It really reflects how successful agricultural production has been in this community.”

Professor Alpins also joined local council and shire representatives, as well as award recipients and other prominent locals at a dinner he attended with his wife Sylvia on Australia Day Eve. “It’s great to be able to get out to other parts of Victoria and meet people with different interests, who have lots to tell you about their way of life,” said Professor Alpins. “I’ve been to many different towns around Victoria over the last six years and enjoyed it immensely.”

Mortlake was chosen for the shire’s Australia Day event thanks to the 2018 Citizen of the Year recipient —Judy Robinson — a local to the town. Those in attendance also took part in welcoming new Australians, through the traditional citizenship ceremony. Congratulations went to Young Citizen of the Year Georgia Wareham and acknowledgement was awarded to the 2017 Anzac Day commemorations, as the Community Event of the Year.
In attendance at Mortlake’s Australia Day event were the local Mayor Mick Wolf and president of the local Rotary Club, Noel Rendell among others. Professor Alpins shared his own thoughts on Australia Day and its significance in a speech he gave, as part of the formal proceedings.

One of the key points he made, was about some of the most successful Australians he felt personally inspired by. “This nation and its children have an enterprising spirit. [There’s been] Sir Gustav Nossal, who won Australian of the year in 2000, and who has done so much to advance medical research in Australia. Or Sir Norman Gregg, a past Australian eye specialist, who described the connection between congenital rubella and eye disease at birth, and so many other Australians who have made their mark on the world.”

In addition, Professor Alpins talked about the essence of what it means to be Australian.

“This country is about freedom, friendliness, lifestyle, beautiful landscapes, migration, Indigenous culture, history and opportunity,” he said. “We encourage immigration, we try to preserve our Indigenous culture and everyone who lives here, has the opportunity to succeed.”

He also touched on how his professional experiences globally, informed his perception of home. “I think Australia leads the world in many respects. Our positive attitudes and values in life may be the reason why we have so many successful Australians around the globe.”

For more information on Professor Alpins’ work, contact NewVision Clinics on 1800 20 20 20 or visit our website

The A-Z of things that are clearly better without glasses

If you are looking into laser eye surgery, you’re probably already getting excited about parts of your life that will be seriously improved after saying goodbye to your glasses.

In case you need some further inspiration, check out this list of 26 experiences (one for each letter of the alphabet) that you will be able to take to a whole new level.

AFL action: Play seriously, enjoy a kick-to-kick with mates, watch the action from the comfort of your lounge, or take in the atmosphere at the ground.

Binocular browsing: Because binoculars and telescopes were designed for people who don’t need their vision corrected, laser eye surgery will have you seeing the stars. Literally.

Coastal carousing: Sand, surf and sun. Imagine being able to hit the waves with clear, glasses-less vision.

Dance days: Whether your beat is club, hip-hop, Latin, ballet, or ballroom—glasses simply don’t belong on a dancefloor.

Exfoliation exactness: How much more accurate (and nick-free) will shaving be (legs in the shower or face in the mirror) when your fogged-up glasses aren’t in the way?

Fashion frenzy: No more glasses being knocked off as you whip through outfits in the changeroom. See yourself clearly in the mirror and focus on accessorising with things other than your specs.

Gym-going: Lose your glasses to start loving the feeling of sweat pouring down your face, the challenge of high-intensity moves, and a quick splash of water to refresh you for the next set.

Hassle-free hair: No more up-dos that sweep your glasses off your face along with your hair.

International incidents: Travel is fabulous—until you lose or break your glasses.

Juggling juniors: So many aspects of being a parent are better with glasses-free vision. Being blurry with sleep is better without blurry vision. Toddler energy is easier to embrace when it is not directed at grabbing your glasses. Messy preschool activities are more joyful when you are less constrained. Great vision without glasses might also save you from the agony of stepping on a discarded piece of Lego.

Karate kicking: Mastery of all methods of martial arts and self-defence will improve once your face is free from frames.

Lane lapping: Following a sharp black line, sussing out your fellow-swimmers, and working out which lane to swim in are advantages of water sports with clear vision.

Manageable mornings: Mornings are the make-or-break of a busy day. Forget cleaning  lenses and accidently knocking your glasses off the bedside table in your rush to become presentable to the world.

Night-time nuances: Springing out of sleep and into action when something goes bump in the night is easier when you can see sharply straight away.

On-the-go navigating: When you’re rushing around the busy streets, trying to find your way through certain areas, being able to see signs and directions is key.

Photographic poses: No longer will your photos be full of shots where you’re not looking your best ,thanks to the sunlight or flash bouncing off your glasses. Let your eyes be the windows to your soul without glasses being between you and the camera.

Quixotic quests: Whatever your dream quest – trekking the Himalayas, freediving in the tropics, or a four wheel driving lap of Australia – you’ll be freer to embrace the challenges and triumphs without your glasses.

Romantic Rendezvous: The meeting of eyes across a crowded room … the anticipation of a first kiss … all SO much better without glasses.

Summer sunbathing: Say goodbye to the dreaded glasses tan line on your face and get a nice even glow. Pretty much all beach activities are better and you can finally rock some trendy sunnies.  

Tradie triumphs: Whether you work up high, down low, in fine detail, or on the big picture, being a confident tradie only gets easier without the specs.

Umbrella dependency: No matter how good your umbrella is, it’s hard to avoid getting even a tad bit wet when it rains. Say goodbye to seeing through rain-speckled lenses.

Virtual adventures: Virtual reality is an exciting new frontier that will impact many areas of our life, from gaming to education to travel. How much better will VR be when you can view it in full focus?

Wedding wonder: We all want to look our best at our wedding. Plan ahead for laser eye surgery before your big day to look like a brand new you as you embrace this new chapter of your life.

eXamining X-rays: Health professionals will find examining x-rays easier after laser eye surgery. Regardless of your occupation, some element of your work will be improved without having glasses as one of your tools of trade.

Yoga fun: Your approach to downwards dogs, headstands and other inverted poses will be far more zen without glasses as part of the move.

ZZZ-ing: Sleep easy knowing that you’ve invested in yourself and your ability to enjoy life to the full.

If the ABCs of the benefits of ditching your glasses has spelled out the need for you to find out whether laser eye surgery is for you, call NewVision Clinics on 1800 20 20 20.


Vivienne Pearson is a freelance writer who, thanks to being diagnosed as short-sighted at age 8, has lived experience of the hassles of wearing glasses.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?

There’s nothing quite like a brand-new year for inspiring you to set some goals. But could your vision problems be holding you back?

All around Australia, people are making New Year’s resolutions, in a bid to make 2018 their best year ever. You’ve probably made a list of things yourself.

People make all kinds of resolutions, but among the most common include:

  • getting fit
  • losing weight
  • quitting smoking
  • drinking less alcohol
  • getting a better job
  • earning more money
  • paying off debt
  • saving more money
  • meeting new people
  • traveling
  • building up savings
  • going back to study
  • learning something new.

Unfulfilled dreams

While it may be fun and exciting to dream of what you’d like to achieve over the next 12 months, research has found that less than 10 per cent of people make their resolutions a reality.

One reason many of us don’t make our resolutions a reality is that we try to tackle too many things at once, or we fall victim to “false hope syndrome”. Making long lists of resolutions or bucket lists of things to achieve in 12 months can leave us feeling overwhelmed, meaning that many of us fail to even get started.

For those of us who do get started on our New Year goals, most of us don’t see them through. Sometimes it’s because we have chosen unrealistic goals as resolutions, sometimes it’s because there are numerous obstacles to overcome in order to achieve them, and sometimes we just don’t have the confidence we need to make them happen.

Could your eyesight be holding you back?

Have you ever wondered if poor eyesight is one of the obstacles standing between you and your dreams?

If you’re one of the many Australians who want to improve their health and fitness, you know regular exercise is key. However, wearing glasses can make working out difficult—they either slide off your face while you’re sweating, or fog up so you can’t see. Swimming or participating in other water sports can be even harder.

For some people, wearing glasses can equate to low confidence and poor self-esteem. When you’re not feeling confident, you’re less likely to put yourself out there and take risks. That means getting that promotion, or meeting that special someone becomes more difficult than it needs to be.

Then there’s the general inconvenience of wearing glasses or contacts on a daily basis. Scrambling around to find your glasses first thing in the morning, or putting in and removing your contact lenses every morning and night are things that eat into your time and energy stores, meaning you’re less likely to find time to work on your goals.

Laser eye surgery could be the key to success

By undergoing laser eye surgery, you can ditch the contact lenses or glasses, and live a life of freedom and confidence to do the things that matter to you most. And then there’s the money aspect—save hard-earned pennies otherwise spent on glasses or contacts and invest in the long-term solution of laser eye surgery.

Laser eye surgery can solve the majority of vision problems including short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia), cataracts and astigmatism (distorted curvature of the lens which can cause problems focusing).

At NewVision Clinics, we’re able to treat over 95 per cent of patients who visit us, including patients who have already been told their condition is untreatable. Our laser eye surgeon, Dr Noel Alpins, is one of the best in the world, and has developed advanced laser methods and specialist treatments not used anywhere else.

Laser eye surgery is quick and convenient, and leaves you with improved vision relatively quickly after the surgery. Our caring, expert team will be with you every step of the way, through your journey to better vision and all the benefits that will provide.

So why not add ‘have laser eye surgery’ to your list of resolutions this year? Not only will you give yourself the gift of improved vision, but you’ll be on your way to making more New Year’s resolutions a reality.

Contact NewVision Clinics today on 1800 20 20 20 and make yours a Happy New Year!


Nerissa Bentley, Health Writer

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.


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

Raise your ‘glasses’ to the festive season

Those who wear glasses know the annoyance that comes with it.

Most people are sick of the humdrum of sporting glasses year after year, and maybe you’re one of them. Perhaps eye problems like astigmatism, short-sightedness or myopia have become part of the ‘norm’ for you.

Before the end of the year rolls around, we recommend treating yourself to improved vision through LASIK eye surgery.

Christmas came early

LASIK is a revolutionary eye surgery that also makes for the perfect pre-Christmas gift—whether for yourself or someone else.

As a proven and popular procedure used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism, it’s ideal for those who want a pain-free and rapid result.

The procedure is simple: a thin, flap is created in the cornea before a cool excimer laser is used to correct your vision..

The process usually takes no longer than 15 minutes, requires only eyedrops, rather than general anaesthetic, and reshapes the cornea  of the eye. The end-result means freedom from glasses and contact lenses.

Melbourne’s NewVision Clinics, pioneered by Dr Noel Alpins AM, are specialists in LASIK. The recovery is seamless—with most people back at work the next day, allowing you to continue preparing for your holiday celebrations.  

Either way, with the summer heat fast closing in, considering LASIK can help keep you cool this summer when you’re thinking about taking a splash in the pool without contact lenses or spectacles.

If Christmas Day isn’t enough motivation for you, then consider the biggest night of 2017—New Years Eve.

With 20/20 vision, you’ll be able to watch the fireworks in all their glory, and possibly for the first time without visual aids.

Is It safe?

As with most medical procedures, LASIK too can come with risks.

But rest assured, LASIK  is backed by a better than 98% success rate, so you’re able to proceed with peace of mind.

Complications are extremely rare in experienced hands such as NewVision Clinics where more than 24,000 procedures have been performed.

Call us today on 1800 20 20 20 to find out more about our 60 years of combined experience, and how we can assist you.

Byline: Tim Buttery

NewVision eye surgeon joins selected group of eye specialists in giving prestigious lecture.

He is one of Australia’s leading eye surgeons, and now NewVision Clinics founder Dr Noel Alpins has been awarded the opportunity to present a distinctive Australian lecture.

Dr Alpins was an invited guest lecturer  at the 49th Annual Scientific Congress of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO), taking place at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre in October, where he was asked to present the Sir Norman Gregg Lecture.

This opportunity is by invite from the college and one recipient annually only has the opportunity to present the lecture to their ophthalmic colleagues. Dr Alpins earned this privilege  after 22 years of surgical experience which has seen him develop new techniques and methods for the treatment of astigmatism that are now being adopted worldwide.

“The Sir Norman Gregg Lecture is a once-a-year presentation at the annual scientific conference by a speaker who has made innovative and significant contributions to ophthalmology,” he said.

“The lecture covers a topic that has clinical relevance and may cover some facets of work not previously published.”

“Sir Norman Gregg was the ophthalmologist who in 1941 made the connection between congenital cataracts and rubella infection in a mother in the first trimester of pregnancy, that’s what he was renowned for.”

“It is an honour to be one of the privileged few over the years to be invited to give this lecture.”

A new method to measure astigmatism

Dr Alpins spoke on three key points in his lecture.

The first discussion point was his new method for measuring astigmatism, which is more effective than previous techniques.

Dr Alpins released a research paper on A New Method of Quantifying Corneal Topographic Astigmatism CorT in 2012, before developing a more advanced technique for total corneal power in 2015.

He explained how this technique is more reliable than previous measures because it eliminates much of the variability.

“This method is the closest we can get to the gold standard which refractive cylinder in glasses,” Dr Alpins said.”It is a number that you can depend on, the only number you need for corneal astigmatism.”

“The technique that preceded it, simK (simulated keratometry), has a lot of variability and it has been the standard since corneal topography was introduced in the 1980s as an advancement on manual keratometry

“Rather than using one ring of data, CorT uses all the rings and taking a vectorial average by taking advantage of all the data you get more consistency in the numbers in the presence of any irregularity which is common.”

Vector Planning® to treat astigmatism

In treating astigmatism through surgery, Dr Alpins said that glasses—rather than the corneal shape—were most often used as the primary basis for measurements for treatment.

Which is why he developed Vector Planning®, so he could actually combine the corneal shape with the spectacle parameters. It is the corneal shape that is the primary cause of any astigmatism.

“Vector Planning® brings the corneal shape into the treatment plan and it eliminates the anomaly  between the differing corneal shape and the spectacles so that one paradigm can operate effectively.

“By doing that, we end up with less astigmatism on the cornea and consequently better vision.

“I described it in a paper in 1997 and I have been using it in my practice ever since. You get less corneal astigmatism and a better visual outcome as has been shown in recent studies overseas.”

Leading the world: publication in international journals

Dr Alpins also discussed his publication in cataract and refractive surgery journals, which have set the standard for analysing astigmatism for all other international submissions when examining astigmatic outcomes.

Dr Alpins has published scientific papers in international journals since then. His methods of astigmatism analysis  are now the benchmark for authors who need to be followed by other authors who submit scientific research for publication.

“They have become the standard for astigmatism assessment for eye surgery,” he said. “It’s a huge privilege, it’s really personally gratifying that they’ve been adopted in this way.”

Dr Alpins said it was a humbling experience to present the Gregg Lecture in front of 1000, professional colleagues including refractive and cataract surgeons, glaucoma surgeons,retinal specialists as well as industry professionals

“The response was very favourable, from colleagues and also the organisers who invited me,” he said. “They were very pleased with the content, there was a lot of general interest in the subject.”

Dr Alpins recently launched his book Practical Astigmatism: Planning and Analysis, which is a compendium of his research and innovations to date is available from New York Publisher SLACK Incorporated at

Contact NewVision Clinics on 1800 20 20 20 to begin your journey towards excellent vision.

BYLINE: Josh Alston

Lisbon Eye Specialist Congress shines a spotlight on NewVision Clinics.

The pioneering work by internationally-renowned ophthalmologist Dr Noel Alpins AM on analysis and treatment of astigmatism has yet again been placed on centrestage. It was recently the primary subject at this year’s European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) Lisbon 2017 congress.

For NewVision Clinics, this prestigious event in Lisbon—held between the 7th and 11th of October—provided the ideal opportunity to present the ground-breaking work of Dr Alpins to a very wide audience of attendees.

Throughout his presentation at the congress, senior optometrist Dr George Stamatelatos made many references to Practical Astigmatism, Planning and Analysis—the newly-released book penned by Dr Alpins.

Why astigmatism should be recognised

Practical Astigmatism, Planning and Analysis is likely to be used as an important reference for ophthalmologists, due to the frequency of astigmatism surgery required in patients across the globe.

Ultimately causing blurred or distorted vision at near and far distances, millions of people now experience the condition of astigmatism at various severities.

Astigmatism can occur in combination with other vision defects—such as myopia (nearsightedness)—and it is usually treated by optometrists with eyeglasses or contact lenses.

However, with procedures now able to relieve patients of vision disturbances caused by astigmatism, glasses and lenses are becoming less effective options.

Laser surgery—known as LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis)—offers another means of treating astigmatism.

Dr Alpins has been a leader in research and development of laser eye surgery techniques for many years. He is so highly regarded, that he was awarded with the Order of Australia medal for his services to ophthalmology and his innovative contributions to eye surgery overall.

The Alpins Method

Most important, Dr Alpins is the founder of the Alpins Method, which was introduced in 1993 in JCRS (Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery) which is used in the treatment and analysis of astigmatism. It uses a software system called ASSORT (Alpins Statistical System for Ophthalmic Refractive Surgery Techniques) to analyse and refine surgical astigmatic outcomes.

During the congress, Dr Stamatelatos noted: “Twenty-one years later, it became acknowledged by peer-reviewed journals JCRS and JRS (Journal of Refractive Surgery) as the standard (for reporting astigmatism results), and if someone submits a paper analysing astigmatism, they need to follow this method of analysis.”

The field of Vector Planning

In his role of speaker and instructor at the congress, Dr Stamatelatos—who joined NewVision Clinics in 1998—discussed Vector Planning, which is also covered in extensive detail throughout the works of Dr Alpins.

Dr Stamatelatos explained that the procedure involves “Looking at the shape of the cornea.” From this, an ophthalmologist  can then decide on incorporating these parameters as well as those of the spectacles into the treatment plan needed instead of just the parameters of the spectacles.

“Vector Planning allows an eye surgeon to treat astigmatism with laser surgery that can eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses altogether and leave the eye with an optimal shape,” he added.

This makes it a very attractive option for many astigmatism sufferers who would like to enjoy the freedom of not having to wear glasses or contact lenses to aid their vision.

NewVision Clinics leads the charge

‘LASIK Outcomes and Refinements’, a session conducted by Dr Stamatelatos, covered the many details of astigmatism analysis Vector Planning and the optimisation of future procedures.

Developments in ophthalmology and optometry continue with Dr Alpins and NewVision Clinics continuing to lead the way, with the team frequently attending world-wide professional   events.

For further information about laser eye surgery at NewVision Clinics, contact the team on 1800 20 2020.

Practical Astigmatism, Planning and Analysis by Dr Alpins is published by Slack Incorporated. The book is available from:

Byline: Steve Andrews is a versatile journalist and author currently based in Portugal. He has two books about herbs published by Moon Books, and he has contributed to a wide range of publications, including The Huffington Post, Big Issue Cymru and Tenerife News