• Laser Vision Correction

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  • Cataract

    What is a cataract?

    A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens within the eye. It is not a growth, film or tumour and does not cause any pain or discomfort of the eye.

    Once a cataract starts to form, it will progressively continue to cloud over causing gradual loss of vision in the affected eye. The rate of progression varies from person to person.

    What are the symptoms of cataract?

    The most common symptom is gradual blurring of vision. Other symptoms may include: glare, change in colour perception, double vision (in the affected eye) and difficulty driving at night.

    When should a cataract be treated?

    Cataracts seldom require an emergency procedure. The most common reason to consider surgery is when the distance vision becomes hazy with your best distance spectacles. If your best corrected vision is insufficient for driving purposes, then cataract surgery is encouraged if it is likely that the vision will improve with surgery.

    What is cataract surgery?

    The aim of cataract surgery is to improve your vision. The surgery involves removing the hazy natural lens and replacing it with a small plastic lens. The procedure is usually performed under local anaesthetic and can take between 10-30 minutes surgical time.

    Is the procedure done with a laser?

    Traditionally, cataract surgery is done with a fine ultrasound probe which emulsifies the lens which is then aspirated. New laser technology is available which “pre-treats” the eye prior to proceeding with surgery. This makes the procedure slightly more precise and slightly safer. The visual results are the same as traditional cataract surgery. The eye surgeons at Armadale Eye Clinic have access to and use the laser during cataract surgery if requested.

    Will I need to wear glasses after the surgery?

    Prior to surgery, we measure the eye to see what would be the best lens to insert in your eye in order to provide you with perfect distance vision. This is achieved in the majority of cases. Most people require reading glasses after bilateral cataract surgery for fine print. New technology is available where the inserted lens allows you to see in the distance and near without glasses, however, these can result in haloes post surgery but are a good option to consider if you would lie to be “glasses free” after the surgery.

    What are he risks associated with cataract surgery?

    Like all invasive procedures, cataract surgery has risks. Any complication can have an affect on the final visual outcome. These complications include:

    Infection in the eye or endophthalmitis (Risk 1:1000 per operation)
    Loss of lens material into the back of the eye (would require a second procedure)
    Failure to achieve the desired refractive outcome (you may require spectacles to see perfectly in the distance)
    Retinal detachment.

    What does the procedure involve?

    After admission to the day surgery centre, you will be introduced to your anaesthetist who may give you some “calming medication”. Eye drops will be inserted in the eye to be treated. You will then have the laser pre-treatment if you have elected to o so. Then you will be escorted into the main theatre for the actual procedure.

    The eye will have a patch on after the procedure and you will have to leave the eye pad on until you are assessed by your surgeon the following day.

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  • Glaucoma

    Find out more information about Glaucoma and treatment options

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  • Macular Degeneration

    Find out more information about Macula Degeneration

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  • Retinal Conditions

    WHAT IS A CRVO? A vein occlusion is a blockage of one of the blood vessels that drain the blood away from the retina at the back of the eye. Blockage in a retinal vein causes a build-up of pressure in the vein, and this results in leakage of fluid into the retina causing swelling Continue Reading

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Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve at the back of the eye is slowly destroyed. In most people this damage is due to an increased pressure inside the eye – a result of blockage of the circulation of aqueous, or its drainage. In other patients the damage may be caused by poor blood supply to the vital optic nerve fibres, a weakness in the structure of the nerve, and/or a problem in the health of the nerve fibres themselves.

 glaucoma vision

Over 300,000 Australians have glaucoma. While it is more common as people age, it can occur at any age. As our population becomes older, the proportion of glaucoma patients is increasing.

Diagnosis:

Diagnosing glaucoma is a complex process and involves accumulating enough evidence to make a positive diagnosis and set the target intra-ocular pressure required to prevent glaucoma damage.

1) Optic disc photographs:

We have a digital non-mydriatic Kowa fundus camera which takes excellent photographs of the optic discs. This is the “gold standard” diagnostic test in diagnosing glaucoma and is an essential tool in monitoring glaucoma progression.

2) Optic disc OCT:

The OCT measures the nerve-fibre layer surrounding the optic disc as the nerve spreads out onto the retinal surface. The ganglion cells are damaged in glaucoma and this can be picked up by the OCT. This is an excellent monitor of progressive disease and a baseline OCT is done at the time of diagnosis which serves as a baseline for future reference.

Disc OCT

3) Humphrey Visual Field:

Glaucoma is a disease of  the optic nerve which leads to progressive loss of peripheral visual field. The Visual Field test is an essential part of making the diagnosis of glaucoma. The machine tries to establish the threshold level of  vision within the visual field and does this by flashing faint lights which the patient responds to. The test can be very frustrating as patients often complain that they feel “tricked” by the machine. As frustrating as it can be, it is the only way of establishing the functional loss caused by the disease.

Humphrey

 

Treatment options:

The underlying cause of glaucoma is poorly understood. What we do know is that lowering the intra-ocular pressure (IOP) reduces the rate glaucoma damage in most cases.

IOP can be reduced using either:

1) Eyedrops (Single drop or multiple drops depending on disease severity)

2) Laser (SLT)

SLT

3) Surgery- Trabeculectomy

Trab

In most cases, glaucoma is controlled with drops alone. Drops can cause irritation and discomfort and may not reduce the IOP to a satisfactory level which would be an indication to use SLT laser.

SLT laser is relatively painless and is done in 2 sittings per eye. It is successful in lowering the IOP in most cases. There are few known side-effects of the laser and is a good option for someone who is struggling with eye drops alone.

Filtering/ Trabeculectomy surgery is reserved for advanced/poorly controlled glaucoma only. A hole is made in the casing of the eye and the eye fluid drains out through the back of the eye to form a filtering bleb on the eye. Trabeculectomy surgery is successful in most cases but is an invasive procedure which can lead to early and late infection in the eye.