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Sun versus Your Eyes

May 28, 2018 | Mitch Hancock

Most people realise the importance of protecting their skin against the harmful effects of UV light and use protection when outdoors. What most people do not realise is that damage is being done to your delicate eyes every time they are exposed to UV light. Unlike your skin, your eyes cannot repair themselves and once damage has been done it is permanent.

It is important to protect your eyes with sunglasses all year round. Although the harmful effects are 3 times greater in the summer, you still need to wear protection in the winter months.

Exposure to these harmful rays without Eye Protection can lead to:

  • Cataracts - Cloudiness that forms in the lens of the eye
  • Pterygium - Tissue growth on the whites of the eye
  • Skin Cancer near the eyes
  • Photokeratitis - Sunburn of the Cornea

To protect yourself from the suns harmful rays, good quality sunglasses should be worn every time you are enjoying the outdoors during the day. UV rays are strongest between 10am and 4pm, so it is very important to wear protective eye-wear during this time.

Everyone is susceptible to damage from the sun but there are a few groups that have a higher risk of serious effects from the sun. These include children under 10 years as their eyes are not able to stop as much UV damage to the retina as an adult.

Other groups with a higher than average risk of damage from the sun include:

  • People with Retinal disorders
  • Cataract surgery patients
  • People taking medications which increase glare sensitivity
  • People with lighter pigmented eyes

How's your Macula?

May 21, 2018 | Mitch Hancock

Did you know Macular Degeneration (MD) is the leading cause of blindness in Australia?

MD is commonly age related and most frequently affects people over the age of 50. One in seven people over the age of 50 are affected by the disease and the numbers increase with age. Macular Degeneration is sometimes referred to as Age Related Macular Degeneration or "AMD".

MD is a degenerative disease of the central retina (the macula) that causes progressive, painless loss of central vision. MD affects the ability to see fine details, read, drive a car, and recognise faces.

Although there is no known cure for MD, depending on the type of disease, there are treatments that can slow the progression. Regular check-ups are important and new advanced technologies (i.e. OCT scan) also assist much earlier detection of the more aggressive forms of MD. The earlier the detection, the more vision you are likely to retain.

Who should be tested:

  • If you are over 50 years of age, and/or
  • Have a family history of Macular Degeneration, and/or
  • Have Diabetes

Hints:

  • Regular eye examinations will help in early detection
  • Have an OCT scan (Optical Coherence Tomography gives 3D image behind your retina)
  • Eat a healthy diet, low cholesterol, rich in omega 3, lots of vegetables especially the green leafy type.
  • Don't smoke
  • Wear good quality well fitted sunglasses
  • Discuss supplements with your Optometrist

Sunnies: Bill Bass and Morrisey

May 14, 2018

What do Bill Bass and Morrisey shades have in common apart from being available from Gulf & Ranges Optometrists? 

Quite a bit actually…they are both recognised and leaders in the world of fashion and eyewear.  Bill Bass to be fair is exclusively an eyewear company since its inception in Melbourne over 25 Years ago and has kept its original philosophy of producing outstanding quality sunglasses at affordable prices for the Australian and New Zealand consumer.

Peter Morrissey is a doyen of the Australian fashion scene and after many years of wowing the fashion world with his sought after threads for ladies and men is now recognized as a leader in the design and manufacture of high quality shades – no small feat when you consider the recent fate of our home grown manufacturing industries.

In the pursuit of quality and affordability, Bill Bass sources the finest manufacturing techniques and highest quality materials from all over the world to produce outstanding sunglasses.

Fine handcrafted Italian style acetate frames and optical quality metals, coupled with high quality lenses and fashion designs, target a market of consumers who appreciate quality.

In addition to looking good, Bill Bass offer superior vision through quality lenses that protect against the harsh environment by providing 100% protection against harmful UV radiation.

This year Bill Bass has released its largest range of prescription sunglasses. This makes Bill Bass a range that is essential for every optometrist looking for the opportunity to supply the finest quality sunglasses at an affordable price.  Given the high quality, Bill Bass sunglasses come with a 12 month manufacturer's warranty against faulty workmanship.

Morrissey has cemented his dominance in the cut-throat world of fashion with his chic, sophisticated designs securing him as a major fashion player on the world stage. With his fashion philosophy “I want to fashion people’s lives, not just their wardrobes,” Mr Morrisey has created a range of sunnies that look fantastic and protect your eyes from harsh Australian summer glare.

Come in to Gulf & Ranges soon and try on some Bill Bass and Morrisey sunglasses, there is a huge range of really cool shades to choose from.

Polarisation. Glare protection at its best.

May 7, 2018 | Mitch Hancock

UV protection is important for the health of our eye and delicate skin around our eyes. UV exposure is a risk factor for many eye conditions, such as pterygium, cataract, macular degeneration and skin cancers on eye lids. Tinted sunglasses provide UV protection and some protection from bright light.

The relationship between lighting and the negative impacts of glare can be complex. Angle of sun, cloud scatter and surrounding environment all combine to vary the effects of lighting on vision and visual comfort. Glare is more than just bright light. Glare comes from high intensity reflected light and bright light with a high proportion of the light from blue end of the visible light spectrum. Reflected light becomes polarised and can be particularly intense. Examples of reflected light are when the sun is reflected off wet roads, the water, windscreens, car bonnets, or white sand. The combination of polarisation and blue filtering in high quality sunglasses improves, vision, visibility and reduces discomfort from glare as well as providing the UV protection.

Prescription sunglasses can also be polarised so that vision potential can be maximised.

 


 

Cataracts: Seeing through Fog

April 30, 2018 | Mitch Hancock

Today was my oldest daughter’s birthday. As she has gotten older the desire to wake up early and rip through presents has diminished and the need to sleep a lot has become more important. I enjoy exercising in the morning and took full advantage of her newly acquired sleeping need, using this time to hit the road for a run, before the princess awoke from her slumber. Stepping out into the dark and cold at times is a challenge but on this day the run was fair more challenging than expected.

Due to changes in overnight weather condition, my home town was covered in a heavy low fog that limited vision to less than a few meters. What were normally well organised streets and landmarks that allowed me to know exactly how far I had run were barely visible. The street lights although on were distorted and at time unable to penetrate the pea soup I found myself in. Fortunately, my running buddies acted as not so much a compass but as a support network collectively navigating what felt like uncharted territories. We often found ourselves slowing to a walking pace for what seemed like approaching UFOs as motor vehicles, finding themselves in a similar dilemma, safely passed.

Arriving home, the birthday festivities had begun with the household blissfully unaware of moorish weather condition prevailing outside. My family took no notice of my welfare as I run often and my return was unremarkable. I had a lovely time watching my first-born delight in her birthday gifts and make plans for her day ahead. I head into the shower and stood enjoying the warmth when it dawned on me that I now have such a greater understanding of what of my patience with cataracts experience.

Over many years of working as an Optometrist working in rural locations I am often the first person someone will see about their loss of vision, clarity, issues with colours, trouble driving at night, double vision, problems with glare or significant changes in prescription. Cataracts, typically in people over the age of 55, develop on the lens (that sits just behind our iris) as a small mass of dead/damaged cells that generally increase slowly in number. This increasing mass that is cloudy reduces the amount of light that can transfer through the eye to the retina reducing vision and quality of vision.

In most cases, patients will when given the right glasses prescription find they generally manage with their vision quite well. Unfortunately, over time those with cataracts are likely to require a surgical procedure to remove the now hazy lens and replace it with an artificial lens. With the artificial lens in place patients vision is vastly improved and the strength of the prescription for glasses is often reduced.

Patients who have diabetes are more at risk of developing secondary cataracts and it is also recommended that patients at risk of cataracts reduce/quit smoking and reduce their alcohol consumption to reduce the onset of cataracts developing. In some instance high levels of air pollution can also be a factor in the development of cataracts.

Trauma to the eye can cause the development of cataracts and in some cases children through infection can develop cataracts and in small cases are born with congenital cataracts.

Cataracts like fog upset how we see and interpret visual information. Cataracts like running in fog changes how we navigate but shouldn’t limit us. With prescription correction seeing is possible with cataracts and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce cataract progression. Surgical advances in the area of cataracts mean the surgery is now a much more straightforward day procedure that really allows patients to see clearly like the fog lifting.

Sunnies: More about Maui Jims

April 23, 2018

“Sunlight travels 93 million miles to light a single leaf….”, and to your eyes says the Maui Jim brand video.  We sometimes forget the simple science that makes wearing sunglasses more than just a fashion statement and equally a necessity to protect our peepers.

So, you know how important it is to wear sunnies to filter those harmful ultra-violet rays, but that doesn’t mean you have to look bad while you’re doing it!  And MAUI JIM’S have a really cool range of shades to help you look awesome while you protect your beautiful, sultry and very important windows to the world around you and the soul within.

These glasses are just so hot!  A new twist on an old brand by a guy named ‘Ray’…only better than Ray.

Jim’s MauiPassport shades are prescription sunglasses that correct your vision but obscure the brilliant world around you.  MauiPassport lenses provide incredible visual acuity across the entire lens. Combined with the remarkable clarity and color enhancement of our proprietary PolarizedPlus2® technology, you’ll see the world like never before.

To top it off they are warranted to the original purchaser for two years from the date of purchase against any defect in materials and workmanship!  How good is that?  In the end we all need good sunnies when the harsh Aussie sun starts beating down on us this time of year…and believe me our sun is probably a little tougher than the Hawiian old Sol.

Let us tell you a bit about the technology behind these must have shades…

POLARIZEDPLUS2® LENS TECHNOLOGY

COLOR. CLARITY. DETAIL.

Maui is one of the lushest, most vibrant places on earth. Yet its intense sunlight creates conditions that hide the beauty of the island. That’s why PolarizedPlus2® technology goes beyond shielding your eyes from glare and harmful UV to reveal and enhance the world’s true vivid colors in detail.


Look after your eyes this summer with a set of prescription sunnies from Gulf and Ranges Optometrists

Dry Eye Syndrome

April 16, 2018
What is dry eye?

Dry eye occurs when the eyes do not produce tears efficiently, are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly.

Inflammation of the surface of the eye may occur along with dry eye. This condition can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea, and some loss of vision. Thankfully, permanent loss of vision from dry eye is uncommon.

Many modern tasks can be adversely affected by Dry-Eye, computers and other electronic devices with backlit screens and reading for an extended period of time may become difficult and painful. Dry-Eye can decrease tolerance to dry environments, such as the air inside an airplane or air-conditioning in general.

The technical terms for Dry-Eye include Dry Eye Syndrome, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), dysfunctional tear syndrome, lacrimal keratoconjunctivitis, evaporative tear deficiency, aqueous tear deficiency, and LASIK-induced neurotrophic epitheliopathy (LNE).

What are the types of dry eye?

1) Aqueous tear-deficient dry eye is a disorder in which the lacrimal glands fail to produce enough of the watery component of tears to maintain a healthy eye surface.

2) Evaporative dry eye may result from inflammation of the meibomian glands, also located in the eyelids. These glands make the lipid or oily part of tears that slows evaporation and keeps the tears stable.

Dry eye can be associated with:
  • inflammation of the surface of the eye, the lacrimal gland, or the conjunctiva;
  • any disease process that alters the components of the tears;
  • an increase in the surface of the eye, as in thyroid disease when the eye protrudes forward; cosmetic surgery, if the eyelids are opened too widely.
Dry Eye Syndrome is a chronic condition mainly caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and affects as much as 20% of our patients with symptoms increasing with age. Many aspects of our modern lifestyle like computer screens, artificial lighting and even air conditioning can further, causing irritation, headaches and various other symptoms.

In a first for the region, Gulf and Ranges is proud to offer the E-Eye IRPL dry eye treatment. This exciting noninvasive technology offers suffers of dry eye syndrome long term relief, more than 86% of patients see improvement after just 3 sessions. More than treating dry eyes, the IRPL technology also helps to prevent the disease and treat it at a very early stage.

Speak to Gulf and Ranges Optometrists today for an assessment!

Pterygium

April 9, 2018 | Mitch Hancock

Sun and UV expose can cause significant problems for the eye. Pterygium is one of the more common problems caused by UV exposure. Pterygiums are a growth of tissue on the front membrane surface of the eye. It starts on the clear layer overlying the white, the conjunctiva, and forms a fibrous vascular growth that advances onto the cornea. The cornea is the clear dome of tissue that sits in front of the iris. The centre of the cornea must remain clear and without distortion to maintain good vision.

Pterygiums are more common in people who have long term exposure to sunlight especially at younger ages but dry, dusty conditions can also make them grow. When exposed to the dry and often dusty elements of Port Augusta and this region, Pterygiums can become red and irritated, and cause watery eyes. They can sometimes be painful. Appropriately prescribed ointments and drops can assist to soothe the inflammation.

Pterygiums are not dangerous, they do need to be monitored as it may grow far enough onto the cornea to interfere with vison. A corneal Topography instrument can be used to map and measure the front surface of the eye to detect any changes occurring in the size of the growth or the distortion it causes. Alternatively, high magnification digital imagery of the cornea can help determine any advancement of the growth. If the Pterygium's growth gets to the stage where it is a threat to vision, then it should be surgically removed. To reduce the risks of developing a Pterygium or having an existing one getting worse, protect your eyes from sun, dirt and dust by wearing well fitted sunglasses.

Our staff can assist you protect your eyes for the future with an expertly fitted pair of sunglasses from our extensive range of quality sunglasses. If you have any of the symptoms of Pterygium or any other ocular health problem, then make an appointment to get your vision and ocular health assessed by our experienced optometrists.

B.I.G (Beat Invisible Glaucoma)

April 2, 2018 | Mitch Hancock

Glaucoma is a disease name that encompasses a group of eye diseases which cause the optic nerve at the back of the eye to be slowly destroyed and results in permanent vision loss. Glaucoma is commonly known as the invisible disease as it can be slowly damaging your optic nerve with no obvious symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no cure, but if detected early enough, medication can arrest or reduce the disease process. Over 300,000 Australians have Glaucoma and close relatives have an increased risk of also having the condition. Others at a higher risk of Glaucoma include people with diabetes, migraine sufferers, people who are long or short sighted, high blood pressure sufferers or those who take cortisone steroids.

So if you have Glaucoma talk to your family about Glaucoma and encourage them to have regular eye examination.

Sunnies: The epitome of cool?

March 26, 2018

Not just your Ray Bans and designer brands like Chanel or Dior either. Even Dame Edna Everage's horn-rimmed crystal encrusted shades can make you stand out from the crowd. And who could go out anywhere in the sparkling Aussie summer without sunglasses? It is like being naked in public if you rush out on your way to work and leave them behind.

All jokes aside though and stepping around the fashion police there are far more important reasons to grab those shades on the way out the door and that's because it is imperative to protect your most important sense from the damage that the sun can cause them.

Protect Your Eyes from Sun Damage

The intense ultraviolet rays of the sun damage sensitive cells in the eyes, eventually affecting vision. Experts say it is difficult to isolate the exact amount of damage that UV radiation imposes on the eye over a long period. However, a number of studies have shown that the effects build up and may increase the chance of developing eye problems later in life. These may include cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye. Cataracts are a leading cause of reduced vision in the United States in people age 60 and older, according to the National Eye Institute.

Eye Damage in the Short Term Is Possible

It can take years before you experience any of the sun's damaging effects on your eyes. But, some damage can occur in the short term, such as photo keratitis and photo conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the membrane outside of the eye (think pink eye). If your eyes feel tired, sore and gritty after a day at the beach, skiing or boating, you may have experienced UV radiation exposure.

So don’t forget to get some good quality sunnies before the sunburnt country we love does your blinkers some serious harm.

Eye accidents change lives forever

March 19, 2018 | Mitch Hancock

An alarming sixty per cent of all eye injuries happen in the workplace, most of which can be prevented. Optometrists Association Australia (OAA) recommends every workplace, regardless of industry, should have eye safety procedures in place, say the Port Augusta optometrists, Mitch Hancock and Jo Murphy.

As part of Optometrists Association’s new Workplace Eye Safety campaign, Gulf and Ranges Optometrists, is available to conduct workplace vision screenings.

Eye accidents can be avoided by taking simple precautions and making sure employees have appropriate eye protection. This may be in the form of prescription or non-prescription safety eyewear, suitable for the type of work they are doing, says Mitch Hancock.

Optometrists are visiting workplaces and working with employers to conduct vision screenings which involve identification and analysis of the visual comfort and visual hazards in the specific workplace setting.

Employers are legally required to provide a safe working environment. It’s imperative that employers and employees work together to ensure eye safety procedures are in place to prevent accidents. Optometrists can provide advice in this area to help ensure workplaces are aware of all of their responsibilities in eye safety, says Jo Murphy.

Eye injuries in the workplace are most commonly caused by grinding and welding related activities, occurring most often within the construction, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining industries. Another common cause is workers walking by or helping others perform tasks without wearing any, or the appropriate, eye protection.

Optometrists Association and campaign sponsor HOYA Lens Australia intend for this to be the first step in a long term campaign which aims to reduce the number of eye injuries caused by workplace hazards.

Occupational Health & Safety awareness is growing considerably in the community and we see our alliance with Optometrists Association as a key component in ensuring our industry is well educated in the application of safety eyewear, said Brad Bairstow, HOYA Lens Australia’s Sales and Marketing Director.

Glaucoma

March 12, 2018 | Mitch Hancock

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease of the eye in which the optic nerve is damaged. It is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Glaucoma affects 1 in 200 people aged 50 and younger and 1 in 10 over the age of 80. It is a progressive and irreversible disease which results in the loss of peripheral vision.

It is often associated with a build up of pressure of fluid behind the eye. Raised intraocular pressure is a significant risk factor in developing the nerve damage. It is important to have regular eye examinations as one person may develop nerve damage at a relatively low pressure, where as another may have a relatively high pressure for many years and never develop any damage.

If left untreated it leads to permanent and irreversible damage to the optic nerve resulting in visual field loss, which can cause progress to blindness. Glaucoma has been nicknamed 'silent thief of sight' because the loss of vision normally occurs gradually over some time without any symptoms.

It is often recognised once it is in its advanced stages. Once the visual field is damaged it cannot be corrected. If the condition is detected early enough it is possible to slow down the development and progression with medical and surgical treatment.

Our 3 highly skilled Optometrist's, together with our state of the art technology can detect early stages of glaucoma and monitor its progress.

It is highly recommended to get screened for Glaucoma as part of your regular eye examination, as the earlier the detection the more sight you can maintain.

Safety Glasses - Protecting your eyes

March 4, 2018

Did you know that nearly 6% of all emergency department cases are an eye related injury? In the past 10 years Australian work cover has seen an average of over 800 eye related claims per year. The most common eye injury? A foreign body being lodged in the eye, which sometimes resulted in partial loss of vision.

These situations are something that can be easily avoided by workplaces ensuring their employees are correctly educated in eye safety as well as making sure that the correct glasses are being worn for the job and worn by everyone consistently not just by the operator. You may have a pair of safety glasses but will be surprised to know they may not be fitted correctly meaning you are not properly protected.

Eye injuries can include cuts or scratches to the eye surface, a foreign body in the eye such as, dust, metal fragments, wood chips, chemical or heat burns. But while most eye injuries are work place related, they can still happen anywhere. At home while you’re cooking, playing with your children or even while participating in sports so it’s best to always be vigilant. By making sure you’re wearing the correct fitting glasses these types of injuries can be easily prevented.

We’ve talked about wearing the correct safety eyewear but how do you know what you need and what will best protect your eyes? Your safety glasses should match the environment you are working in and the risks involved.

Come and see our highly trained staff today and have a chat about what safety glasses will best protect your eyes.

 

 

 

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