Good Vision For Life

Good Vision for Life

Most of the important information required for everyday living is obtained through our eyes, yet only approximately 17% of the population have a comprehensive eye examination each year.

This figure is surprising given how important our eyesight is to everyday living.  Good vision is essential for driving, playing sports and fulfilling work and school tasks which is why it’s so important that children, teens and parents incorporate regular eye examinations into their general health regime.

During an eye examination an optometrist will assess your visual clarity while also looking for signs of possible eye conditions or disease.

Regular eye examinations can lead to early detection of conditions and diseases.  If eye health is monitored throughout life there is an increased likelihood that vision loss due to macular degeneration, amblyopia (lazy-eye) and glaucoma can be prevented.

Parents should be leading by example and monitoring their own and their children’s eye health on a regular basis.  Parents should be confident that their children’s eye health is the best it can be.

How to ensure you and your family have good vision for life.

  • Wear sunglasses when outdoors

  • Use appropriate eye protection when required in the workplace, school and home

  • Know your eyes; understand potential warning signs and look for any changes in your vision

  • Have your eyes examined regularly by your optometrist

  • Eat for your eyes; include plenty of vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and beta-carotene, many of which are found in dark green leafy vegetables or fish sources

Glaucoma The facts

Glaucoma-the-facts

Glaucoma is an eye disease where the optic nerve at the back of the eye is slowly and permanently damaged The greatest risk factor is raised pressure inside the eye, although, in some cases people may have normal eye pressure and still have glaucoma.  Vision loss from glaucoma tends to be slow and start from the peripheral field of vision.  Like hearing loss, it may not be noticed until it is in late stages Damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible but the condition is treatable.  Ideally glaucoma is diagnosed in its early stages where the most common way to treat glaucoma is by using medications to lower the eye pressure.

Glaucoma remains the leading cause of avoidable blindness worldwide.  Current estimates suggest that over 300,000 Australians are affected and that 50% of those living with glaucoma are undiagnosed. 

While nine out of ten Australians say that sight is their most valued sense, over eight million Australians do not have regular eye tests. 

Simple Facts about Glaucoma: 

  • Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease and is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in Australia 
  • It is often referred to as the ‘silent thief of sight’ as glaucoma develops slowly and typically without any symptoms.  The risk is that glaucoma is often undetected until the disease reaches an advanced stage.  Left untreated, glaucoma can cause severe vision loss and lead to blindness. 
  • Vision loss can’t be restored, so early diagnosis and treatment it critically important to delay or halt the progression of the disease.  
  • It is estimated that there are 300,000 Australians living with glaucoma, but over 50% are unaware they have it, thinking they have healthy eyes. 
  • Glaucoma is hereditary disease.  Relatives of a family member with glaucoma are up to ten times more likely to develop glaucoma themselves. 
  • The risk increases to approximately one in four for first degree relatives of a glaucoma sufferer 

Anyone may develop glaucoma, however, 

some people have a higher risk.  

Risk factors include people who: 

Risk Factors:

  • Have a family history of glaucoma 
  • Have high eye pressure 
  • Are aged over 50, the risk increases with every decade of life over age 40 
  • Are of African or Asian descent 
  • Have diabetes 
  • Have myopia (nearsighted) 
  • Have been on a prolonged course of steroid medications 
  • Experience migraines 
  • Have had an eye operation or eye injury 
  • Who have a history or high or low blood pressure 

Abridged: NHMRC Guidelines, 2010 

An eye examination is a completely painless process and on average takes only thirty minutes of your time. 

As part of a routine eye examination a thorough check of the health of the eye is conducted.  This includes examining the optic nerve for features that are suggestive of glaucoma.  The pressure of the eye is also checked and is a painless test.  In cases where glaucoma is suspected more advanced tests are conducted.  These tests included a computerised check for any loss of peripheral vision and a highly accurate ultrasound like test called an OCT (link).  An OCT can scan the optic nerve for signs of nerve damage and can also measure the anatomy of the front of the eye where the ocular fluid pressure is regulated, or drains from the eye. 

Glaucoma Australia recommends all Australians fifty years or older visit an optometrist every two years for a comprehensive eye exam and more frequently if you have any of the risk factors notes above.  It is also recommended to alert first-degree relatives of glaucoma patients to have regular eye checks. 

Behavioural Optometry

behavioural-optometry

What is Behavioural Optometry?

When a child’s vision isn’t working well, no matter how hard the child, parent and teacher try this can interfere with children achieving their best. 

Behavioural optometry goes beyond an eye test, it considers information which each eye is taking in and processing, as visual processing is the key to our understanding of text, symbols and numbers.

Vision assessments performed during a Behavioural Optometry session will also help identify and investigate any poor eye motor control such as:

  • Lazy eyes
  • Developmental delays
  • Acquired brain injuries
  • Concussion
  • Delays in learning to read or,
  • Problems learning to read. 
behavioural-optometry

How do I know if my child needs to see a behavioural Optometrist?

Even if your child can see the board clearly in class or has 20/20 vision, they may still have a vision problem. Sometimes, children may not develop the necessary visual processing skills to understand letters, numbers or words, they may also struggle with the hand-eye skills needed for writing causing problems with literacy or numeracy. 

A trained Behavioural Optometrist will assess these conditions and provide guidance and the visual help required.

Many children with reading difficulties also have a vision problem

For Eyes Optometry have helped many children with vision problems, often these vision problems relate to focusing, eye teaming and stamina.

Children with these vision problems may find it difficult to concentrate when reading or writing. Or they may not be as accurate or fluent in their reading, especially when reading for longer periods. 

Quick and painless testing

At For Eyes Fremantle, we use state-of-the art equipment to conduct a thorough ocular examination. The child centred examination is interactive, fun and painless, and takes about 45 minutes to complete.

Adrian Rossiter, is a trained Behavioural Optometrist at For Eyes in Fremantle, we recommend if you have any concerns regarding your childrens eye health to get in touch today.