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Eye blog

Oranges for Macular Degeneration

Posted in 'General' on July 19, 2018 by Stuart Macfarlane

A recent Australian study has found there are even more benefits from oranges.  Eating an orange daily reduces the risk of developing macular degeneration by 60%. There are even some benefits found with eating oranges only once a week. 

It is thought that the flavonoids in the fruit have an important anti inflammatory effect on the immune system, reducing the inflammatory cascade that contributes to the development of macular degeneration. 

Oranges were found to be more effective than other fruit in aiding macular degeneration.  

So as well as an apple a day keeping the doctor away, an orange a day keeps the macular degeneration away!

Glaucoma Risk Calculator

Posted in 'General' on July 15, 2018 by Stuart Macfarlane

 Glaucoma Australia has released an online tool to calculate your individualised risk of developing glaucoma. 

Check it out here;

Glaucoma is a potentially blinding disease known as the "thief of sight" because it can irreversibly damage your vision without you being aware until the later stages. 

If you are in an at risk category then make an appointment now.  


Myopia Control Clinic

Posted in 'General' on April 1, 2018 by Stuart Macfarlane

Myopia or shortsightedness is an eye condition whereby the eyeball has elongated or lengthened causing light to focus in front of the retina., resulting in blurred vision in the distance. Other than requiring visual correction, low-grade myopia is a reasonably benign condition. However in the last decade or so there has been an increase in the number and decrease in age of children developing a more severe progressive myopia.  High myopia is associated with an increased risk of several pathologies such as macular degeneration, retinal breaks and detachment, glaucoma and cataract. This is particularly important when you consider that 2 billion people in the world suffer from myopia. The prevalence of myopia is greater amongst the Asian population. 

Risk factors for the development of myopia can be divided into modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors.

 Non modifiable risk factors

  • Genetics is a well known risk factor for the development of myopia and if both parents are myopic the risk of a child developing myopia is increased five fold.
  • Being of Asian descent is also a risk factor.

Modifiable risk factors

  • Lack of time outdoors. 
  • Prolonged close work.


There are several strategies available to lessen the progression of myopia in suitable children. It is advisable to spend 1-2 hours daily outside as this has been found to reduce the possibility of developing myopia. Bright sunlight has been found to encourage the release of the retinal transmitter dopamine, which is known to block the growth of the eye. Parents should also restrict their children to 2 hours of screen work daily. Other techniques to lessen the progression of myopia include myopia control contact lenses such as CooperVision’s MiSight lenses and some types of multifocal contact lenses. Executive or E-line bifocal glasses have also been found to lessen the progression of myopia as has to a lesser extent the Zeiss Myolens lens. Atropine 0.01% eyedrops daily have also found to slow the progression of myopia.


If you’re concerned with the rate of progression of myopia of your child, then please make an appointment for us to assess their suitability for instigating myopia control therapy.

Another reason to stop drinking diet soft drink.

Posted in 'General' on February 21, 2018 by Stuart Macfarlane
An Australian study has discovered that if you have diabetes and regularly drink diet soft drinks then you are at increased risk of developing proliferative diabetic retinopathy. This is a condition where new blood vessels grow in the retina, leading to ocular damage and potentially vision loss. 

People with diabetes who drank in excess of four cans of diet soft drink weekly were 2 1/2 times more likely to develop proliferative diabetic retinopathy. More extensive studies are proposed and will be conducted in the near future. In the meantime, you'd be prudent to reduce your intake of diet soft drinks if you have diabetes.

Focus on Ability Film Festival

Posted in 'General' on July 30, 2017 by Stuart Macfarlane

Help support the profile of the visually disabled and Blind Cricket. Here is a link to vote for Lachlan Macfarlane's Blind Cricket Documentary, a finalise in the Focus on Ability film festival. Voting closes shortly! Please register your vote for Lachlan's Documentary to help promote Blind Cricket and give him the support he deserves for doing such a great job with this film.


Posted in 'General' on March 2, 2017 by Stuart Macfarlane

Migraines are a recognised neurological medical condition.  They include various autonomic nervous system symptoms including headache, nausea, photophobia, vomiting, numbness or paresis, and sensitivity to noise and smell.

Migraines are generally accepted to be a neurovascular condition with the latest research considering that it starts with cortical depression spreading to the vascular system. 

Migraine can be preceded by various symptoms during the prodromal phase. These prodromal symptoms most commonly include a visual aura. This can involve a flickering zig zag light which usually enlarges over several minutes, a scotoma or patchy loss of vision, and hallucinations. The symptoms generally progress in severity over several minutes. 


Prodromal symptoms can also include difficulty speaking and thinking (known as aphasia), and confusion. Some migraine sufferers also notice a tingling sensation in parts of their body as well as irritability and fatigue. Sometimes these symptoms can occur in isolation without a progression of the migraine to the acute headache phase. 

If the migrainous episode progresses to a headache, this usually affects one side of the head and typically begins above the eyes. The pain is generally severe and throbbing and can have a duration between 3 hours to 3 days.

Although the cause of migraine is uncertain, it is thought to have both a genetic and enviromental component.  Some researchers postulate that it can be related to low levels of serotonin.  There also seems to be contributing physiological factors such as diet, stress and fatigue. 

Several years ago Harvard researchers discovered that specific wavelengths of light caused intensified pain in migraine sufferers. They postulated that "the mechanism of photophobia must involve the optic nerve, because in totally blind individuals, the optic nerve does not carry light signals to the brain." Subjects in the group were found to be particularly sensitive to short wavelengths like blue or grey. They also stated that "We also suspected that a group of recently discovered retinal cells containing melanopsin photoreceptors (which help control biological functions including sleep and wakefulness) is critically involved in this process".

Marijuana and glaucoma

Posted in 'General' on January 26, 2017 by Stuart Macfarlane

In news that will be underwhelming for some people, it has been found that marijuana is not an effective treatment to control glaucoma. 



The research by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in the USA found that  "there is limited evidence that cannabinoids are an ineffective treatment for improving intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma." Marijuana was found to have only a transient, short-term effect on intraocular pressure with the effect not of a long enough duration for it to be medically helpful. 

Colour Blind

Posted in 'General' on January 19, 2017 by Stuart Macfarlane

Colour Blind  

Colour Blind

Blind Ambition | Blind Cricket Documentary on Ray Moxly

Posted in 'General' on October 26, 2016 by Stuart Macfarlane

Ray Moxly is the Chairman of Blind Cricket Australia and Secretary General of World Blind Cricket. This is his story. By Lachlan Macfarlane. 

Bleach in my eye! First Aid for Chemical Burns.

Posted in 'General' on August 27, 2016 by Stuart Macfarlane

Bleach, oven cleaner, ammonia, detergents, pool cleaner and vinegar: we are all familiar with these useful chemicals for cleaning and use them often. However if any of these chemicals spatter into your eye it is a true ocular emergency that can possibly lead to blindness or visual impairment and requires treatment IMMEDIATELY. 

About two-thirds of chemical eye injuries occur in industries where dangerous chemicals are used, and the remainder occur at home mostly from cleaning products. 

Here is a list of chemicals that are harmful to your eyes:
-Airbag powder
-Potassium hydroxide
-Sodium hydroxide
Neutral Irritants 
-Mace, pepper spray
-Household detergents
-Battery acid (automobile battery)
-Pool cleaner
-Glass polish (hydrofluoric acid)

Alkali burns are the most dangerous and harmful to the ocular surface as alkalis penetrate the cornea (the clear window in front of the eye) more deeply and rapidly than acids and will cause more severe injuries. 

Symptoms of chemical burns include pain, redness, tearing, blurred vision, difficulty with keeping the eyes open, irritation and swelling of the lids. 

The first and most important treatment for chemical burns is to irrigate and wash the injured eye copiously with water or saline for at least 20-30 minutes. The longer the chemical remains in the eye the more devastating harm it causes. Also it is very important to open the eyes as wide as possible to effectively wash off the chemical. It is often useful to hold the lids with both hands to keep the eye open. 

It would be ideal if irrigation can be performed with an irrigating solution such as Eye Stream or saline, but tap water is also appropriate.  

When seeking medical help or calling an ambulance, it is essential to inform the health care practitioner what chemical was splashed in the eye and if in an industrial setting to provide a MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheet. Irrigation must be continued until the ambulance arrives or you arrive at a hospital emergency department. 

The types and duration of treatment depend on severity of the burn, which is graded from Grade 1 to Grade 4. 
Grade 1: Clear cornea, only epithelial damage and no limbal ischemia 
Grade 2: Hazy cornea, iris details visible, less than 1/3 of limbal ischemia
• Grade 3: total loss of corneal epithelium, stromal haze, 1/3-1/2 limbal ischemia
• Grade 4: Opaque cornea, more than ½ limbal ischemia

Overall chemicals must be used and treated with great care and protective goggles used. If chemical spatters into the eye remember two things: IRRIGATE COPIOUSLY and SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY.