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Slow your child’s short-sightedness early to prevent blindness

Around the world more of our children are becoming short-sighted (myopia). This means they have difficulties seeing clearly in the distance and require glasses or contact lenses to see. It is thought that a combination of genetics (if a child’s parents are also myopic) and environmental factors (including lack of outdoor light exposure and increased device usage) are leading to this rising tsunami of myopia.

Wearing glasses to see clearly is an inconvenience. However many people do not realise that there is an increased risk of blinding eye disease associated with short-sightedness. Scarily conditions such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataract and macular degeneration are more common the more short-sighted we become. This is because in myopia the eye grows longer and become structurally weaker. Due to his own myopia our optometrist Mr Alex Petty has already had three retinal detachments requiring emergency surgery to save his sight!

Normal glasses or contact lenses do nothing to slow the progression of myopia in children and teenagers. Fortunately these days optometrists have access to specialty myopia control treatments (including specialty contact lens options and therapeutic eye drops) which are proven to slow eye growth by at least 50%. This will decrease the risk of blinding eye disease later in life.

If your child is not yet short-sighted it is recommended they spend at least an hour of outdoor time a day, and have regular breaks from digital devices, to prevent the onset of myopia.

Book a myopia control assessment at Bay Eye Care sooner rather than later to limit your child's risk of ocular disease later in life.

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Stay safe with your contact lenses over summer

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With summer here more people are using their contact lenses to enjoy outdoor activities without their glasses. However contact lenses are a medical device and without proper care and hygiene the risk of potentially blinding eye infections is increased.

Follow these important guidelines to ensure your contact lens wear is hassle-free over the holiday period:

  • Never use tap water to clean or store your lenses. Water contains micro-organisms that can adhere to your lenses and infect your eye.
  • Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before touching your eye or lenses. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer as an alternative if you are going bush!
  • If you must use your contact lenses when swimming make sure you remove and clean or discard them afterwards. Hot water sources including hot tubs, spas or thermal springs are high risk areas for infection – avoid contact lens wear in these environments. 
  • If you plan on spending a lot of time in the water then consider visiting Bay Eye Care to be fitted for overnight Orthokeratology vision correction: these contacts change the shape of the eye during sleep to give clear vision during the day without any lenses!
  • Avoid re-using solutions or wearing your lenses beyond their recommended replacement schedule. Shortcuts may save you money now but could be catastrophic to your eye health in the long-term.
  • If your eye is red, sore or light-sensitive then stop wearing your contact lenses and visit our therapeutic optometrist Alex urgently. Your GP or the local A+E service is the next best alternative if your optometrist is away on a well-deserved break!
Alex Petty Contact Lenses Bay Eye Care

At Bay Eye Care our contact lens specialists are perfectly placed to offer the best care and advice about your contact lens use. Feel free to contact us today to arrange a contact lens consultation!

Short-sightedness is a problem for children in Australia too.

A recent news article on Australian TV highlights some of the risks of short-sightedness (myopia) in children and discusses the treatments to slow this condition. At Bay Eye Care we employ all the treatments mentioned to help control myopia in NZ kids.

View the short segment here: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2017/s4629501.htm