Meet Our Optometrist Alex

Bay Eye Care's therapeutic optometrist and contact lens specialist Mr Alex Petty

Alex is a New Zealand born and trained optometrist. He is the man at the helm of Bay Eye Care and is the eye care professional who will look after you throughout your consultation.

NZMAG outside small logo.png

Alex is a therapeutic optometrist (an optometrist who can prescribe medications for ocular conditions), contact lens specialist and orthokeratologist. He also has interests in myopia control (limiting the progression of short-sightedness in children) and ocular disease management, including dry eye and glaucoma. This interest has led to his involvement in founding the New Zealand Myopia Action Group (NZMAG) in 2018. The NZMAG is a team of kiwi healthcare practitioners dedicated to reducing the effects of the worldwide myopia epidemic in NZ children.

In 2016 Alex was made a fellow of the International Academy of Orthokeratology, one of only three optometrists in New Zealand to receive this recognition. Orthokeratology is a specialty overnight corneal reshaping treatment that allows people to see throughout the day without wearing any glasses or contact lenses. Alex is a CAA-accredited examiner for providing special vision examinations for pilots, and is approved for Class-1 vision testing of NZ Police recruits. He is also the first optometrist in the Bay of Plenty who is accredited to independently manage glaucoma.

Alex has lectured in New Zealand and internationally on contact lenses and ocular disease. He also writes a regular column on specialty contact lenses in industry magazine NZ Optics and has published a number of articles and case reports in clinical optometry journals and education forums. He is an honorary teaching fellow of the Univeristy of Auckland's School of Optometry and Vision Science, as recognition for his assistance with education and the training of optometry students commencing 2018. Details of these can be found on Alex's Linkedin page.

Alex is a super star: He has a depth of knowledge on specialty contact lenses and orthokeratology that normally takes decades to accumulate... get along and enjoy his care.
— Mr Tim Eagle, Optometrist. Hastings.

Alex's Experience

Alex carried out his optometry training at the University of Auckland, graduating in 2010 with first-class honours. He spent his first 3 years of clinical practice in the Manawatu at the largest independent practice in the area, Visique Naylor Palmer. During his time there Alex started the practice's orthokeratology clinic, which is still going strong to this day. In between private consulting Alex was also involved seeing patients in the glaucoma clinic of the Palmerston North Hospital. In 2012 Alex spent four weeks on a post-graduate programme at New York's State University Optometry School, in the ocular disease and contact lens clinics.

Alex's next step was a shift across the Tasman to join specialty contact lens practice Innovative Eye Care, in Adelaide, Australia. It was here that Alex refined his knowledge and passion for specialty contact lenses and ocular disease management. In Adelaide Alex was involved with starting South Australia's first myopia control clinic and he was one of the first clinicians in the state to use cutting edge IPL treatment for dry eye

However the pull back to New Zealand was too strong. After two rewarding years in Adelaide Alex returned home permanently with his fiancé in early 2016. Alex and Rachel settled in Tauranga shortly afterwards, enticed by the friendly people, world-class beaches and relaxed lifestyle. Since then Alex has been busy setting up his brainchild Bay Eye Care: A unique practice incorporating the specialty aspects of cutting-edge optometry with personalised advice and caring service. Bay Eye Care opened its doors in January 2017.


Alex's Motivation

One of the reasons that Alex is so passionate about specialty optometry, in particular myopia control and orthokeratology, is that as a child he himself developed progressive myopia (short-sightedness). At the time nothing could be done except prescribe stronger and stronger glasses. Due to his high level of myopia Alex has already suffered from three retinal detachments. Fortunately these blinding ocular emergencies were operated on urgently, saving his central vision. If Alex had access to the myopia control strategies currently used at Bay Eye Care it is likely his retinal problems would never have developed.

Unsurprisingly, Alex is highly motivated to decrease myopia progression in his younger patients, to improve their lives and reduce the risk of serious eye disease as they get older.

Outside the Practice

When Alex is not busy examining eyes you can find him enjoying the Bay of Plenty's stunning beaches with his family, searching for his ball on the golf course and enjoying the other outdoor pursuits that our beautiful country has to offer.