Optical Coherence Tomography is a non-invasive imaging test that may be performed as a standard part of your regular, comprehensive exams, or you may be able to request this test as an addition to your usual exam.
Optical Coherence Tomography uses light waves to take cross-section images of your retina, which is the area of light-sensitive cells at the back of your eye that is responsible for receiving light and transmitting it into messages that are sent up to the brain. The technology behind OCT enables your eye doctor to see each of the different layers that make up the retina. By being able to see these and measure them, they can obtain a much clearer picture of the overall health and condition of your eyes.
When you choose to have an OCT scan at fairly regular intervals, such as during your normal comprehensive eye exams, your eye doctor can compare newer results to previous ones. This helps them to build up a picture of the health of your eyes, and spot any changes which may be concerning, early, before they cause symptoms or have a permanent effect on your vision.
Anyone can have an OCT scan, but they are particularly recommended for patients over the age of 25 who are concerned about the health of their eyes, or who are at risk of or already have diabetes, glaucoma or a family history of eye disease. This is because they can be used to spot the early signs of a range of eye diseases, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, disorders of the optic nerve and more – even before you realize that you are affected.
An OCT scan is a quick, painless experience. To prepare you, your eye doctor may require you to have eyedrops that will dilate your pupils and make it easier to see your retina. This means that the scanner will get clearer, more concise images. You’ll be asked to sit in front of the OCT machine where you will rest your head against a support to help you sit perfectly still. As you stare ahead, the equipment will perform the scan of your eyes. There is no contact with your eyes whatsoever, you will just need to sit still, with your eyes open as much as possible during the process, which usually takes less than 10 minutes. The images will be sent digitally to your eye doctor for them to assess immediately and stored digitally on your personal record.
There’s no downtime after an OCT scan, but if you have had your eyes dilated you may find that you are particularly sensitive to light for a few hours afterwards. This occurs because the pupils remain wider and therefore able to let more light in that usual.
If you would like to find out more about Optical Coherence Tomography, don’t hesitate to speak to our professional eyecare team.
Millions of people suffer from eye and vision-related problems. For some, the solution is as simple as wearing prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, others face challenges that aren’t as easy to rectify. That’s where Lumenis comes into play.
As a world leader in minimally invasive clinical solutions for both ophthalmology and aesthetic markets, it’s making a significant difference. Not only does Lumenis develop advanced energy-based technologies, but it also commercializes them.
The company continues to find innovative solutions. However, it’s already provided the fields of ophthalmology and aesthetic with remarkable technologies. OptiLight is just one example.
The company invented the first and only technology to treat individuals for dry eye disease caused by MGD. Not only is it approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but also patented. Optimal Pulse Technology (OPT) makes it easier to successfully manage this particular eye disease. Overall, OptiLight is safe, precise, comfortable, and effective.
According to recent statistics, roughly 22% of the U.S. population suffers from dry eye disease along with MGD. That combination leads to an array of uncomfortable symptoms.
Dry eye occurs when a person’s eyes don’t produce adequate tears to keep them lubricated or when tears don’t work the way they should. MGD is a condition that affects the small glands in the eyelid responsible for making the oil layer for tears.
Having to deal with one of these problems is bad enough. However, living with both can prove debilitating for some people. Thanks to OptiLight, people with the two conditions get much-needed relief. Here are the ways this advanced technology helps:
Reduces inflammatory mediators, which, thereby, prevents inflammation
Improves tear breakup time that, in response, decreases osmolarity
Alleviates abnormal blood vessels that commonly cause inflammation
Restores meibomian glands so they function properly
Decreases demodex mites that cause infection and the accumulation of bacteria on the eyelids
As part of this revolutionary system, ophthalmologists and optometrists can select different devices based on their needs.
Patented OPT Handpiece
Not two people have identical faces. Even among twins, facial contours differ, even if slightly. To ensure excellent results, this handpiece allows ophthalmologists and optometrists to customize treatments to cover every curve.
Ergonomic IPL Handpiece
To treat a broader area, Lumenis recommends this option. Patented with SapphireCool technology, it breaks the cycle of inflammation associated with dry eye disease caused by MGD.
For maximum energy control, the Opti-Tip focuses light energy on more delicate areas. As with the other Lumenis devices, it’s safe and effective. At the same time, the Opti-Tip is 100% hygienic.
OptiLight utilizes embedded settings that adhere to strict protocols, making it safe and effective tool.
Additionally, they use Optimal Pulse Technology (OPT), which transforms light-based therapy. As a result, ophthalmologists and optometrists can treat the eyes with absolute precision and control. That’s because while this technology provides optimal energy, it never has spike inconsistencies.
Doctors can treat a patient in just 15 minutes. Specifically for dry eye disease with MGD, it provides an improvement in just four sessions.
Lumenis dedicated years to develop OptiLight. Now, eye doctors can incorporate a system into their practice to provide better patient care.
A tonometer refers to the equipment that is used in tonometry – a test that measures the pressure inside your eyes, also known as intraocular pressure or IOP for short. Tonometry is rarely performed at your average comprehensive eye exam unless you are at high risk of or have been already diagnosed with glaucoma. Fortunately, tonometry can be used to detect changes in eye pressure before they cause any symptoms, enabling prompt action to be taken before your vision is affected.
Glaucoma is a common eye condition that occurs when the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. It’s normally caused by fluid building up in the front part of the eye, which causes the pressure inside the eyes to build. As the pressure increases, the optic nerve becomes increasingly damaged, and this prevents messages from being transmitted between your eyes and brain effectively. As a result, the patient’s vision becomes compromised. Without treatment, the level of vision loss will continue to increase. Unfortunately, any vision that has been lost as a result of glaucoma cannot be restored.
Most of the time, glaucoma develops very slowly which means that many people don’t realize that they are affected until some damage to their vision has already occurred. However, occasionally glaucoma can develop quickly, and symptoms do occur.
These can include:
Tenderness around the eyes
Seeing rings/halos around lights
Nausea and vomiting
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important that you make an appointment with your eye doctor right away so that you can be assessed. You are likely to have a tonometry test as part of this assessment.
There are various methods of tonometry testing, but many eye doctors use either Goldmann tonometry, which is the conventional technique to measure eye pressure, or electronic tonometry.
Goldmann tonometry testing is carried out using the Goldmann applanation tonometer, which is attached to a slit lamp microscope. This requires anesthetic eye drops to be used which numb your eyes, before a small probe is pressed gently against the eye, indenting the cornea. The pressure that the cornea pushes back onto the tonometer is what is measured to give your IOP reading. Electronic tonometry is where a handheld, mobile device is gently and quickly applied to the cornea to check the pressure, providing an accurate reading. Some eye doctors also offer non-contact tonometry which is where a puff of air is used to flatten the cornea, although this is reported to be less accurate than the Goldmann technique.
If you would like to find out more about Tonometry testing, please call our office to speak with our dedicated eyecare professionals.
If you find it difficult to tell colors apart, you may be color blind. Color blindness, or color deficiency, is estimated to affect around 8% of men and about 1% of women, but for those affected, it can significantly impact the quality of their day-to-day life. Contrary to popular belief, being color blind doesn’t mean that you can’t see any color at all. Instead, patients simply struggle to differentiate between certain colors. The vast majority of people who are color blind find it impossible to tell the difference between varying shades of red and green. You may hear this referred to as red-green color deficiency. However, this doesn’t only mean that they mix up red and green. They can also mix up colors that have some green or red light as part of their whole colors, for example purple and blue. This is because they are unable to see the red light that forms part of the color purple.
As you can probably imagine, this type of visual impairment can be a problem for things like traffic lights, taking medications and even looking at signs and directions. For example, someone who is color blind may find that the green on a traffic light may appear white or even blue.
EnChroma lens technology is specifically designed to counteract red-green color deficiency and enable patients to better identify the difference in these colors or shades. They do this by selectively filtering out the red and green wavelengths of light at the exact point where the color sensitivities overlap before hitting the retina, creating far greater contrast between the colors so that the patient can distinguish between them successfully. Most cases of color blindness respond well to EnChroma’s innovative spectral lens technology, giving patients the ability to experience life in bright, vibrant technicolor.
EnChroma lenses are made from leading edge, Trivex material, and this helps to give them the best possible quality and clarity of vision. These lenses are also extremely light, strong and offer patients 100% protection against UV light, helping to keep your eyes healthy as well as improving your vision.
If you or someone you know is color blind or color deficient and could benefit from EnChroma lenses, contact us today to learn more about how they can help!
Our eyes are extremely delicate, yet they can be subjected to harsh conditions and other environmental factors that affect their health. One of the problems that can affect our eyes is an accumulation of dirt, debris and bacteria on the eyelids. This can cause a range of issues, including stopping tear film from reaching the eyes and being properly dispersed over their surface – which is necessary to keep them healthy and comfortable. Fortunately, a new solution called BlephexÔ can help.
BlephexÔ is a handheld electro-mechanical device that is applied to the margins of the eyelids with the purpose of cleaning them and improving the effectiveness with which tear film flows onto the surface of the eyes.
BlephexÔ has a disposable, surgical-grade sponge tip which rapidly oscillates to create a cleaning action. Before the sponge tip is placed onto the eyes, it is soaked in a gentle exfoliating solution. This solution provides soft abrasion to help remove dead skin cells and debris that could be irritating the eyes and interrupting tear film progression. The BlephexÔ device is manually applied to the eyes and moved gently across the eyelids, with the entire, painless process taking approximately 6 to 8 minutes per eye. A different sponge is used on each eye, ensuring that no bacteria is passed between them. After the procedure, patients are given instructions on how to maintain the cleanliness of their eyelids with daily/nightly eyelid hygiene at home.
Most patients experience a significant improvement in tear film production and dispersal, and a reduction in unpleasant symptoms that they may have been experiencing within 48 hours of their treatment. While a single treatment is normally enough to produce excellent results, many patients are advised to have BlephexÔ every 4-6 months.
BlephexÔ can be used to clean the eyelids at any time, and people who suffer from dry eyes or eye allergies may find it is particularly beneficial for helping to reduce the symptoms that they experience. It can also be combined with Lipiflow – another technological solution – to help counteract the effects of dry eyes.
Unsurprisingly, BlephexÔ is particularly recommended as a treatment for an eye condition called blepharitis. Blepharitis is characterized by the inflammation of the eyelids, which causes them to become red, swollen and itchy. Although the condition is not usually serious, it can lead to further problems if it isn’t treated.
Symptoms of blepharitis include:
A gritty, irritated feeling affecting the eyes
Flakes or crustiness around the roots of the eyelashes
Eyelids that stick together when you wake up in the morning
If you are suffering from the symptoms of blepharitis, dry eyes or eye allergies and feel that you would benefit from BlephexÔ treatment, please contact our team to schedule a consultation appointment.
Every patient is different and so are their eyes. This means that there need to be different types of contact lenses to suit each individual. Some patients have corneal abnormalities which mean that conventional lenses won’t sit comfortably on the surface of their eyes, while others suffer from eye conditions that mean normal contact lenses won’t be comfortable or could irritate their eyes.
As you may have guessed from the name, specialty contact lenses are unconventional contacts that are designed for patients that regular contacts might not be suitable. Here are some of the main types of speciality contact lenses and who they are recommended for.
Some of the patients that might benefit from specialty contact lenses include those who:
have been diagnosed with dry eye syndrome
have corneal scarring
have been diagnosed with keratoconus, a condition characterized by the bulging of the cornea
suffer from strabismus, a condition where the patient has an eye that turns in or out relative to the other
have suffered an injury to the eye
suffer from a peripheral corneal thinning disorder
are intolerant to other types of lenses
Your eye doctor or contact lens provider will be able to tell you if you need specialty contact lenses and if so, which lenses would be best based on your individual requirements.
Also known as RGP lenses, these are made from a special material that allows oxygen to pass through them and reach the surface of the eyes. This helps to keep the eyes hydrated and comfortable, making these lenses easier to wear, especially for patients who suffer from dry eyes. Dry eyes aren’t just a symptom, but a very real condition, characterized by dry, stiff, and uncomfortable eyes, blurred vision, and eye fatigue. RGP lenses are more rigid than soft lenses, and this helps to keep them stable and secure on the eyes so that patients can enjoy sharper vision. They also help the cornea to maintain its shape, which helps to minimize the effects of some corneal abnormalities.
Scleral contact lenses are very different to standard contact lenses. This is because scleral lenses are much larger in diameter, with three different sizes available depending on your specific needs. This size difference means that the edges of the contact lens fall on a white part of the eye, called the sclera rather than the cornea. Scleral lenses are also different in that they vault over the surface of the cornea rather than touching it, leaving a space between the front surface of the eye and the back of the contact lens. This makes scleral lenses a good choice for patients with dry eyes and corneal abnormalities. Space can trap tear film which keeps the eyes hydrated, while space also accommodates many corneal abnormalities, such as the bulge associated with keratoconus.
Limbal contact lenses are another type of specialty lens that falls between rigid gas-permeable lenses and scleral varieties in terms of their size. Their larger overall diameter helps to increase their stability on the surface of your eyes. They also offer minimal interference with the eyelids, which helps to ensure comfort and clarity of your vision.
Hybrid contact lenses are a combination of both soft and gas-permeable contact lenses, giving patients the opportunity to enjoy the best parts of both designs. The middle part of hybrid lenses is made from gas-permeable material that lets oxygen pass through to the eyes. However, the gas-permeable part of the lens is more rigid, and this firmer center gives the lens greater stability and the patient enhanced clarity. The RGP portion of the lens also helps to trap a tear film between the cornea and the lens so that the eye remains hydrated. Meanwhile, the outer edge of hybrid lenses is a soft lens skirt. This means that patients don’t have to deal with the hard edges associated with RGP lenses that may be uncomfortable. Instead, the comfort levels that patients experience are more like wearing fully soft lenses.
For more information about specialty contact lenses, don’t hesitate to speak to our dedicated eye care team.
Thanks to the advancement of lens technology, glasses lenses are no longer a single, one size fits all solution. There are a variety of different lens types that can be used in glasses, giving patients greater flexibility and control over their vision than ever before.
Also known as monovision lenses, these lenses are designed to correct the wearer’s vision at just one distance, and have a single prescription covering the entire surface of the lens. They are most often recommended for people who are either nearsighted (myopia) or farsighted (hyperopia) and who need glasses for a specific activity, such as driving or reading.
Progressive lenses are multifocal lenses that can correct a patient’s vision at different working distances, ranging from far distance to reading distance. However, rather than designating different areas on the lenses for different distances with visible lines separating them, progressive lenses have a gradual change so that the wearer can smoothly transition from one lens power to another.
As you may have guessed from the name, bifocal and trifocal lenses have either two or three lens powers depending on which type you choose. Bifocal lenses support distance vision in the top half of the lens, and near vision in the lower half. Trifocal lenses support distance vision in the top third of the lens, intermediate vision in the middle segment and near vision in the bottom third. Whichever variety you choose, you will see visible lines separating each segment.
Bifocal and trifocal lenses are recommended for patients who are near or farsighted, and those who develop presbyopia, which is the natural hardening of the eye lens, that occurs as we get older. Presbyopia makes it harder for the lens of the eye to adapt to focus at different distances.
Multifocal lenses are the alternative name given to bifocal, trifocal and progressive lenses.
Computer lenses are prescription lenses that are specifically designed to be worn when doing computer work. This is because they place the optimum lens power for viewing your computer screen exactly where you need it – which is closer than intermediate vision, but further away than reading material is usually held. Wearing computer lenses can significantly reduce the negative effects caused by the high visual demands of computer work, including blurred vision, redness, dry eyes, double vision and dizziness.
Also known as photochromic lenses, transition lenses are a special type of lens that darken when in the sunlight and lighten when in softer light or the dark. This versatility gives the wearer the convenience of being able to move between different environments without needing to change their glasses. This makes them extremely cost effective and prevent the wearer from needing to take multiple pairs of glasses out with them. Transition lenses also filter out many of the harmful UV rays that are emitted from the sun, helping to keep eyes healthy too. They are ideal for people who spend a lot of time going between inside and outside, or who work outside in varying weather conditions.
Blue light lenses are specially crafted lenses that contain filters that block out much of the artificial blue light that is produced by digital devices like computers, smartphones and tablets. Natural blue light is actually good for balancing our sleep-wake cycle, boosting our mood and enhancing our cognitive abilities so that we can function better day to day. However, too much blue light, especially from artificial sources, can have the opposite effect. Many people who fail to use blue light lenses can go on to develop digital eye strain, which produces symptoms like eye fatigue, dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches and more. Blue light lenses are recommended for anyone who spends a lot of time working on a digital device.
Polarized lenses are used to reduce eyestrain and improve the quality of vision in patients on especially sunny days, making them ideal for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors. They can do this because they have a special filter that blocks some of the light from passing through the lens. Vertical light is allowed to pass through, while horizontal light, such as that which bounces off of water and can be blinding, is blocked. Polarized lenses are most often used in sunglasses since they are worn outdoors, and the wearer also needs to protect their eyes from UV damage.
Still have questions about which lens is right for you? Contact us to schedule an eye exam or an appointment to evaluate your individual needs.
We all want to look our best and in the last decade, we have seen a significant increase in the number of people seeking cosmetic services in order to enhance their appearance. With our eyes being our most distinguishing feature, we want to make the most of them. Thankfully there is now a range of cosmetic services that can help to rejuvenate our eyes and the area around them to keep them fresh, young and wrinkle-free.
Let’s take a look at some of the services on offer.
The brown pigment spots that appear on the face are often referred to as age spots and are a result of sun exposure. With age, the repeated exposure to UV rays causes melanin, a compound that is responsible for pigmentation and protecting the skin begins to clump together to form an area of hyperpigmentation. Whilst they aren’t any cause for concern, many people feel that they look unsightly. Luckily, there are a number of different treatments that you can get to remove them including topical creams, laser therapy, and chemical peels.
If you are suffering from darker pigmentation then we strongly recommend that you make an appointment with a qualified dermatologist who will recommend the best course of treatment for you, based on your specific needs.
If you are one of the thousands of people considering LASIK laser eye surgery, then you will probably be gathering as much information as possible about the treatment. By this point, you are probably aware of the benefits that LASIK offers, such as a reduced or eliminated need for glasses or contact lenses and greater convenience in your day to day life. However, for many patients, despite the advantages of LASIK, the thought of surgery on their eyes is still a cause of anxiety and fear. One of the best ways to alleviate this concern is to find out more about what the procedure entails.
Before you can be approved for any form of laser vision correction, including LASIK, you will need to attend a consultation appointment with your surgeon. During the consultation, he will perform an examination of your eyes and use your medical and ocular history to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. He will also speak to you about the expected outcome from your surgery, making you aware that while LASIK will dramatically improve your eyesight, there is no guarantee that you will not need to wear glasses in some situations, such as while driving in the dark.
LASIK uses a cool, ultraviolet beam of light to reshape the patient’s cornea. Doing so will more accurately focus the light that enters the eye on to the retina, thus improving the patient’s vision. The way in which the cornea needs to be reshaped will depend on the visual needs of the patient. For example, a patient who is far-sighted will need their cornea reshaping to be steeper to experience better eyesight. Alternatively, a patient who is near-sighted will require their cornea to be flattened in order to improve their vision. LASIK can also smooth an irregular cornea into a more standard shape, meaning that the procedure can also be used to correct astigmatism.
The LASIK procedure is very fast and straightforward. Although you will probably be in the surgical suite for around half an hour, the actual process only takes a couple of minutes per eye. The rest of the time will be spent preparing and ensuring that you are comfortable. Anesthetic eye drops are given to patients before their procedure so that the entire process is pain-free. If you are particularly anxious, it may also be possible for you to be slightly sedated – this should be discussed with your doctor at your consultation appointment.
Once you are in position, we will use a femtosecond laser to cut a thin, circular flap into the outer cornea. This can then be pulled back to reveal the underlying corneal tissue, known as the stroma so that it can be reshaped using the laser. The exact path that the laser needs to take, known as the topography, will have been pre-programmed ahead of the procedure and can be followed with complete precision and accuracy.
Once the reshaping is complete, the flap is replaced back over the eye and the surgery is complete. There is no need for sutures or bandages as the cornea will start to heal immediately and without any medical intervention.
If you already rely on wearing glasses or contact lenses to be able to see clearly, you may be frustrated with the effect that they have on your life. Regular vision tests, finding glasses to suit your face shape, having to remember to take eyeglasses with you wherever you go, prescription sunglasses, fiddly contact lenses… the list of inconveniences associated with conventional ocular solutions is extensive.
LASIK is a modern, minimally-invasive procedure that can substantially reduce or eliminate your need to use eyeglasses or contact lenses, allowing you to enjoy life without limitations or inconvenience. The popularity and success of LASIK laser eye surgery have helped to make it the number one elective surgery across the globe.
LASIK has an extremely high success rate. According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, 96% of patients achieve 20/20 vision or better. However, it’s high success rate doesn’t make LASIK automatically the right solution for everyone.
Candidacy for LASIK is assessed by our doctors on a case by case basis so that you be certain that whatever treatment is recommended for you, it will give you the very best opportunity to improve your vision. During your consultation, our doctors will perform a thorough examination of your eyes and vision, ask you about your general health and talk you through both the procedure and aftercare.
The general guidelines for LASIK candidacy state that patients must:
be at least 18 years of age
have had stable vision with no prescription changes for a minimum of 12 months
have a current prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses that falls between specified parameters (Our doctors will be aware of what these parameters are)
have no significant medical or eye-related problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy
have no history of corneal disease
not be pregnant or nursing at the time of the procedure