Archive for April, 2020

Don’t wait for us to call

Friday, April 24th, 2020

What has been re-iterated by health officials over the past week is the need to keep your health concerns in mind and not to put off seeking help. This includes the need to follow through if you have concerns with your eyesight or if you feel you are overdue for review. We urge you to call and discuss your situation with Simon and he will organise an appointment as soon as possible.

We have categorised patients according to urgency, and as restrictions are lifted, we will be contacting those that are due for review accordingly.

Injections into the eye – scary but effective

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

Below is a summary of a recent lecture delivered at the Australian Vision Conference 2020.

Disorders of the blood vessels in the retina are responsible for some of the most common causes of blindness in the world today. Such disorders include macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The most common way to treat such conditions are by injecting medication directly into the eye-ball. The drugs used are referred to anti-VEGF medications. Below is a brief summary of recent findings:

Injections – first 3 months is critical as there is often a drop-out by patients within this period.

In Australia it has been shown that 7 injections/year looks like the amount that preserves vision. Even so they will need to be continued past this point and into the future..

Early COVID-19 studies have shown that treatment of macula degeneration with anti-VEGF injections SHOULD CONTINUE and not be put on hold.

The next piece of armory to deal with retinal disease is anti-VEGF reservoirs that would be slow-release and potentially last for up to 8-9 months, thus minimising the need for regular injections and therefore improve compliance.

The progression of Myopia in children

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

Below is a summary of a recent lecture delivered at the Australian Vision Conference 2020.

At present, the risk of a child developing myopia (short-sightedness) due to a genetic factor is

  • 1x myopic parent  = 3 times risk of myopia
  • both myopic parents = 6 times risk of myopia

Myopia is shown to progress with an increase in volume of near work and certainly with a decrease in working distance, however this is not always the case.

There are mixed results when looking at the influence of increased screen-time on the progression of myopia. There is certainly more research required to work out if screen time is an independent factor in the development of myopia.

What has been established however is that an increase in outdoor time helps prevent myopia – bright outdoor light is a preventative factor, in the order of more than one hour a day. In Queensland this is seen to be a major advantage inherent in our lifestyle.

Young children and screen usage

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

Below is a summary of a recent lecture delivered at the Australian Vision Conference 2020.

There is actually very little research on the impact of screen time on kids’ vision. There are studies that look at symptoms but not the impact on visual function. More work needs to be done.

Lap-tops when used by children promote poor posture and phones are ALWAYS held too close.

There are links however between increased scree-time and childhood obesity, as well as disruption to sleep patterns.

In 2-year-olds – All screen time is to be discouraged, except for face-time and chats that encourage social interaction. This should always be done under parent guidance.

In 2-5 -year-olds – Only 1 hour a day of screen time and only involving high quality programming or educational apps.

Overall guide should include the following:

  • 1 hour/day physical activity
  • 8-12 hours’ sleep
  • NO screen time 1 hour before going to bed.

Drivers Licence/Medical Certificates – COVID changes

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

Driving assessments and medical certificates aged 75 years and over

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has changed medical certificate requirements for drivers aged 75 years and over. Effective immediately, senior Queensland drivers will not be required to visit their doctor or optometrist to obtain a medical certificate to meet senior driver licensing requirements.

Medical certificates that expired after 29 January 2020 will remain valid until six months after the COVID-19 emergency ends. If drivers have a ‘M’ on their current driver licence, they need to contact TMR on 13 23 80 or email mcr@tmr.qld.gov.au to have their current medical certificate extended.

COVID-19 Opening Hours

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

We are currently open for business but only in a limited format at present. We are on site from 9.00-1.00 Monday to Friday only. For urgent enquiries, please call the practice and your call will be diverted directly to Simon if after hours.