For eye exam appointments, call 07 3299 3699 or book online

Eye blog

A new treatment for dry eye.

Posted in 'General' on October 14, 2020 by Stuart Macfarlane

Dry eye disease is a complex condition with many possible causes.  Dry eye comes from an imbalance of the different components that make up your tear film.  Symptoms include burning or gritty eyes, blurred vision, tired eyes, foreign-body sensation, and can sometimes lead to sight-threatening conditions.  Your immune system plays a role in protecting the surface of your eye through many components including your tear film.  When your tear film is not functioning properly this can lead to an increase in inflammatory cells called T-cell lymphocytes causing your eyes to appear red and feel sore.

 

Cequa

 

Cyclosporine is an immunomodulator drug which acts to inhibit the production of T-cell lymphocytes.  Cyclosporine eye drops have been clinically proven to increase tear production, reduce clinical signs of dry eye, and improve the health of cells on the surface of the eye with long term use. 


CEQUA (0.09% cyclosporine eye drops) is a new commercial preparation of cyclosporine eye drops.  Previously, cyclosporine eye drops were only available through specific compounding pharmacies making them inaccessible for many people.  CEQUA is the first Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)-approved immunosuppressant eye drop used to increase tear volume where lubricant eye drops have failed to treat dry eyes.   A common side effect of cyclosporine eye drops is stinging or discomfort with use. CEQUA’s preparation of cyclosporine eye drops is unique, containing a unique delivery system.  With this delivery system, the cyclosporine molecule is encapsulated with nanomicellar technology that improves the stability and delivery of cyclosporine to the eye’s surface, this creates less stinging and discomfort with use and is better tolerated for many patients. 


CEQUA is available with a prescription only which can be prescribed by your optometrist or ophthalmologist if you are suitable. Significant clinical improvements in dry eye is typically seen after two months of use with further improvements at the 3 month mark.  The recommended dosage of CEQUA is only 1 drop twice a day approximately 12 hours apart. Each box of CEQUA comes with 60 non-preserved single use vials. For sufferers of moderate-to-severe dry eye syndrome, CEQUA may be the solution to improving your dry eye symptoms, maintaining a healthy ocular surface, and reducing your dependency on supplementary eye drops throughout the day.  To find out more follow the link* below or ask us if CEQUA is the solution for you. 


Note: CEQUA should not be administered while wearing contact lenses. If contact lenses are worn, they should be removed proper to administration of the solution. Lenses may be reinserted 15 minutes following administration of CEQUA.  If you are using other eye drops, wait approximately 15 minutes before instilling CEQUA to prevent washout of the formulation. 


References:






Glaucoma and vitamin B3

Posted in 'General' on August 3, 2020 by Stuart Macfarlane
In the near future vitamin B3 supplements may support existing glaucoma therapies.
 
Nicotinamide adenine nucleotide (NAD+), a derivative of vitamin B3, is essential for function and energy metabolism in nerve cells. With age, the levels of NAD+ decrease leaving cells more prone to damage. It's suggested that consumption of vitamin B3 can increase NAD+ levels in retinal ganglion cells thus improving cell function and protecting against glaucoma. Melbourne researchers have shown some promising results in a world first trial in people.  Patients who were already receiving traditional treatments to lower eye pressure were given daily doses of three grams of nicotinamide for 12 weeks, and compared to patients receiving traditional treatments with a placebo.  In some people, high-dose nicotinamide significantly improved nerve cell function in the eye.  A larger and long-term study is on the way to determine whether vitamin B3 should be taken on an ongoing basis by glaucoma patients. 
 
Vitamin B3 intake for glaucoma is still considered experimental but some people choose to take supplements because they are readily available. It's important to consult with your doctor before starting vitamin B3 as it is contraindicated in some conditions, including pregnancy. Dietary sources of vitamin B3 include turkey, chicken breast, peanuts, mushrooms, liver, tuna, green peas, grass-fed beef, sunflower seeds and avocado.  An Australian favourite, Vegemite is also a great dietary source of vitamin B3.

 

Blue Light and Digital Insomnia

Posted in 'General' on July 20, 2020 by Stuart Macfarlane

Blue-light blocking lenses are currently being marketed as the solution to digital eye strain, macular degeneration, and sleep cycles.  There are conflicting claims to the benefits of these lenses and the dangers that blue light may impose on our eyes.  It’s hard to know what’s true and what advice we should take with a grain of salt.  Here’s a summary of information and real advice provided by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO). (1)


Short-wavelength blue light falls within 400-500nm range of the visible spectrum. Shorter wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum emit more energy and within 100-400nm are considered ultraviolet (UV).  Intense or long-term UV radiation including that from the sun is known to cause damage to the retina and ocular tissue.  The cornea and lens in the eye absorbs most natural UV light as a protective mechanism however, a small amount is transmitted with the visible spectrum.  In the retina we have macula pigments called zeaxanthin, lutein, and meso-zeaxanthin which absorb 40% of high energy (short wavelength) light that gets through to the retina. Natural source of blue light is from the sun and artificial blue light comes from devices. (1)


There is no evidence that normal environmental exposure to blue light is detrimental to eyesight.  Animal studies using unrealistic intensities and duration are not a fair comparison to our natural viewing environment. The amount of radiation from digital screens such as computers, mobile phones, and television has never been found to cause any eye disease. Studies have found no measurable amount of UVA or UVB radiation from computer monitors. Sitting close to UV on the electromagnetic spectrum, blue light is often marketed as dangerous to eye health.  Blue light during daylight hours is actually beneficial and is known to boost attention, reaction times, and mood to keep us alert and awake for daytime activities. At night time blue light can be disruptive to mood and circadian rhythm (biological clock). The cells sensitive to lower wavelength blue light in the retina help to regulate the circadian rhythm and studies have shown that night time exposure of blue light to these photoreceptors, the ipRGCs can disrupt the sleep cycle keeping you up at night. (1)


Digital eye strain is any eye strain experienced from using digital devices such as your phone, computer, or television. It is caused by prolonged use of these devices or as a result of reduced blink rate from long periods of concentration.  Inefficient ocular accommodation or ability to change focus can also cause digital eye strain. Numerous studies have investigated but found little to no evidence to suggest that blue light blocking lenses alleviate eye strain when compared with plain lenses. (1, 3)

 

In summary blue light from screens and our natural environment are not detrimental to your eyesight or ocular health but it can disrupt your sleep cycle at night time. The general statement regarding blue light blocking lenses from RANZCO is that, ""No evidence exists to suggest that normal environmental exposure to blue light, including those from digital screen technology, causes damage to eyesight. Filtering out the blue light from screens is not necessary in general use."  To prevent digital eye strain it is recommended to take regular breaks, occasionally look at distant objects, and make sure you are using suitable prescription glasses if required. It is also advisable to avoid screen use a couple hours before bedtime. (1, 2).  Those who do use digital devices at night may find the benefit of blue blocking lenses however, especially if they find themselves struggling to sleep at night. 






Contact Lenses to Slow the Progression of Myopia

Posted in 'General' on January 26, 2020 by Stuart Macfarlane
Contact Lenses to Slow the Progression of Myopia

What is Myopia? 
Myopia is otherwise known as short-sightedness. It is a specific eye condition whereby light focuses in front of the retina. By the time light reaches the retina, the image is blurred. This refractive error can occur where the eyeball is too long (axial) or where the cornea is too powerful (refractive). In some cases the condition is so severe that without visual correction, the person would be considered legally blind.

When does Myopia occur?
Although it can develop at any age, myopia develops more commonly around puberty and less commonly in the late teens.
"Your child needs glasses" - often these are the words that a parent dreads hearing. Myopia is becoming more common and studies based on Asian school children in Taiwan and Singapore have found that almost 90% of teenagers graduating from high school are myopic. In Western countries, the incidence of myopia is 40% of the population.

Problems associated with Myopia
The potential problems associated with high myopia are numerous. They include:
  • an increased risk of retinal detachment
  • an increase in retinal tears
  • cataracts
  • retinopathy
  • glaucoma.
Severe myopia can preclude refractive surgery such as LASIK from being performed.
 
How do you get Myopia?
There is some controversy as to whether the development and progression of myopia is related to nature or nurture. In other words, is myopia genetic or is it environmental? Certainly there is definitely a genetic component - if both parents are short-sighted you have a 1 in 3 chance of developing short-sightedness yourself.

So, can anything be done to slow or halt the progression of myopia?
HappyMyopia control contact lens studies have shown that a contact lens which has been specifically developed to under-correct focus in a particular part of the retina, will effectively reduce the progression of myopia. This is particularly exciting as the research has been conducted here in Australia.
This research by Aller and Wildsoet, has shown that a particular design of contact lens can reduce the progression of myopia. The study showed an 87% reduction in myopia progression for the first year of wear.
 
In a 2011 study based in New Zealand, researchers studied the progression of myopia in 40 short-sighted children between the ages of 11 and 14 years old. Myopia progression was reduced by 30% or more in 70% of the children. The research suggests that with specialised contact lenses, a specific type of peripheral defocus in the lens can slow the progression of short-sightedness without compromising the visual function.

Contact Lenses for Myopia control
The commonly prescribed contact lens for myopia control studies are the MiSight and Biofinity Multifocal D lens.  

Side Effects of Corrective Lenses for Myopia
There are some side effects of wearing this type of contact lens: 

  • Bifocal and multifocal contact lenses are slightly thicker than standard single vision contact lenses. Although this can occasionally cause a longer adaptation period for the lenses, most children adapt to the lenses within a week or two.
  • Children also require a responsible attitude to maintain their contact lenses and to lessen their chance of developing an eye infection. 
  • The vision with multifocal contact lenses is not quite as crisp as the vision with a single vision lens.  This is due to the optics of a multiifocal lens which relies on simultaneous close and distance vision through each lens. 
Otherwise there are no risks that are particular to multifocal lenses over the risks found in wearing the more commonly prescribed single vision contact lens.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions.








Can rubbing my eyes hurt them?

Posted in 'General' on January 18, 2020 by Stuart Macfarlane
Can I hurt my eyes rubbing them?

It's a normal feeling. Your eyes are itchy and irritated so what better way to relieve the feeling than to rub your eyes. however, unfortunately this can lead to the development of several potentially serious problems with your eyes. 

Rubbing eyesThere are several different conditions that can cause itchy eyes.  The most common of these are allergies. Allergies causing itchy eyes can be seasonal, called seasonal allergic conjunctivitis which generally occurs in spring and autumn. Alternatively it can be perennial allergic conjunctivitis which leads to itchiness all year-round. Either way, you will be left with that familiar itchy, irritated feeling in the eyes.

Itchy eyes can also be related to a foreign body such as a minor grass seed or eyelash causing ocular irritation.

Dry eye is another cause of ocular itchiness. Regardless of the cause rubbing your eyes will not improve the underlying condition. You may make your eyes temporarily feel better for a few seconds but the rubbing can eventually lead to some potentially serious ocular conditions.

Ocular infection
Obviously no one scrubs down prior to rubbing their eyes. When you place your fingers in your eyes you are potentially introducing germs and microbes which increase your risk of developing an eye infection. You’re particularly prone to developing an eye infection when you rub your eye vigorously and break the corneal epithelium allowing germs to be introduced through the ocular surface.

Dark circles under the eyes
Rubbing your eyes can lead to a rupture of the small blood vessels in the superficial eyelid skin. This rupturing and subsequent deposition of a pigment called melanin can lead to the development of those dark circles that you will see under your eyes.

Foreign Bodies
if there is a foreign body embedded in your ocular surface, then rubbing your eyes may cause it to dislodge and scratch and abrade the ocular surface. Even worse, you might cause it to penetrate the eye.

Keratoconus
There is an eye disease called keratoconus which can be induced by eye rubbing. This is a condition which also has a genetic component where ongoing rubbing of the eyes causes the collagen in the cornea to break down. This leads to the front window of the eye known as the cornea, to thin and become pointy and develop irregular astigmatism with very blurred vision.

Allergies
Rubbing your eyes causes the mast cells in the eyelid to rupture and break releasing histamine. This histamine results in even more itchiness leading to a vicious cycle of rubbing and itchiness.

Floppy eyelids
it is thought that chronic eye rubbing in some people can lead permanent structural changes in your eyelids leading to the lids becoming thinner and floppier.

Contact lenses
Protein or mucous deposits on lenses will cause the lens to dry, leading to ocular irritation and itchiness.  

So what can you do if you suffer itchy eyes and are tempted to rub? The first thing is to determine the cause of the itchiness. If you have been grinding or welding the first thing to exclude is an ocular foreign body. The best web determining this is to see your optometrist who will examine your eye under a microscope called a streetlamp. If you find the rise are more itchy in spring and summer and you suffer from asthma, sinus, rhinitis and general allergies then it is more likely that you are suffering from an ocular allergy. This needs to be treated with the appropriate antihistamine eyedrops such as Patanol or Zaditen drops twice daily. If your eyes are more itchy when you are in air-conditioning and towards the end of the day it is more likely that you’re suffering from dry eye and a lubricant eyedrop can be used such as Systane, Optive or Refresh.







What are the best eyedrops whilst wearing contact lenses?

Posted in 'General' on January 17, 2020 by Stuart Macfarlane

Sometimes after a late-night or a day in air-conditioning your eyes may be a little irritated or dry.   Either way sometimes your eyes need that little bit of help to make them more comfortable. A quick remedy if your eyes are feeling irritated are eyedrops.

The most common cause of ocular irritation particularly while wearing contact lenses is dryness. As well is causing ocular irritation, dryness of contact lenses can cause your vision to blur intermittently. You may sometimes find that your vision is fuzzy and you have to blink several times to clear it. Dry contact lenses are also more difficult to remove from the eye and more easily damaged. Both the ocular surface and the contact lens itself can be damaged if the lenses are dry and sticking to your eye. A remedy for this is to insert a lubricating eyedrop into your eye before removal of the contact lens.

EyedropsIf ocular lubricants are only used intermittently, then eye drops such as OptiFree Pro Moisturising drops are adequate, however if you are using drops long-term then you're better having a preservative free solution such as Hylo-Fresh drops. Preservative-free (unit dose) eyedrops suitable for use with contact lenses are brands such as "Refresh" or "Systane" which are usually purchased in a pack of 30 separate vials. These are used once then discarded, however if you are careful you can recap and refrigerate the vial and use it several times before discarding it each night. Another preservative-free lubricating drop available for contact lenses is called Hylofresh. This drop is dispensed from a pump-action bottle containing around 300 drops and once opened can be kept for six months before you have to dispose of the bottle. Lubricating eyedrops can be used many times daily and depending on the environment some people find the need to use them up to four times daily.

If you tend to find that your contact lenses become dirty by the end of the day then a good remedy for this are Blink'n'Clean eyedrops. This is a drop containing a mucolytic which is designed to dissolve mucous from the contact lens surface. It can be used several times daily and is effective in reducing surface deposits from your contacts.  

Antihistamine eyedrops can be useful if you suffer from hayfever, asthma or allergies and have red, itchy eyes. A commonly used over-the-counter antihistamine drop is called Zaditen and is used twice daily. It usually takes about a week or so for this drop to reach maximum efficacy. It is best to insert Zaditen drops while you are not wearing contact lenses, so a good solution would be to insert the drop upon waking before you insert your contact lenses, as well as another drop after removing the contact lenses each night. Another over-the-counter antihistamine eye drop used twice daily is called Livostin, which again should not be used whilst contact lenses are in the eye.

If your eyes are just red and irritated, particularly the morning after a late-night, then you may simply need an astringent eye drop such as Visine or Murine.  These drops should not be used while contact lenses are in the eyes and should only be used for a day or two.

Be sensible and if your eyes are painful or the irritation persists then see your eye care practitioner immediately.






The five best contact lenses for dry eye

Posted in 'General' on January 17, 2020 by Stuart Macfarlane
The five best contact lenses for dry eye

What is dry eye?
Dry eye is a commonly experienced eye condition that causes discomfort and reduced wearing time for the sufferer. It occurs when there is either insufficient quantity or quality of tears to lubricate the eye. This lubrication provides nourishment for the eye and protects the ocular surface, making tears crucial to good ocular health. If left untreated dry eye can eventually cause visual impairment and damage to the front surface of the eye.

What are the role of tears?
Tears are produced by tiny glands around the eye. In a perfectly working eye, the tears are blinked across the cornea providing multiple benefits including:
  • lubrication
  • protection from eye infection
  • removal of foreign matter
  • maintenance of a smooth and clear eye surface
When too many tears are produced, the eye will drain the excess into tiny ducts that sit at the corner of the inner eyelid. These drain the tears into the back of the nose for removal. This is why we often blow our nose during and after crying.
Dry eye interrupts the natural operation of tears in the eye due to an imbalance of tear production and drainage.

What causes dry eye?
There are two ways that dry eye is caused. The sufferer either doesn't produce enough tears or the quality of the tears being produced is not adequate. Tears aid in nourishment, protection and maintenance of the health of the eye. If not producing enough, or the tear quality is poor, dry eye will develop.
The actual tear film comprises of three distinct layers: oil, water, mucous. The lower mucous layer helps the tear layer stick to the eye, the middle water layer is the lubrication, and the outer oily layer acts as a seal on the tear layer to reduce evaporation.

There are two categories of dry eye;
1. Insufficient tear volume. A reduced volume of tears may occur for a variety of reasons including age, side effects from medicines (such as fluid tablets or diuretics, antihistamines, some blood pressure medications and anxiety medications) medical conditions such as auto-immune diseases, hormonal changes, and exposure to adverse environmental conditions such as dry climates, wind and smoke which may cause the tears to evaporate more rapidly.  A lack of adequate fluid intake will also contribute to ocular dryness.
2. Inadequate quality of tears. If one of the distinct layers in a tear film is deficient, the tears may not spread evenly across the eye or may evaporate more quickly.
What are the symptoms of dry eye?

Symptoms include:
  • irritation
  • gritty, scratchy sensation
  • burning eyes
  • foreign body sensation
  • redness
  • blurry, filmy vision
  • excessive watering of eye
Dry eye can cause significant discomfort, and if left untreated can eventually cause long term damage to the ocular surface.

What is the treatment for dry eye?

Treatments for dry eye include:
1. Increase tears - Eye drops with artificial tears can be used to lubricate the eye. These lubricants act to replace the reduced tear quantity or quality caused by dry eye. Contact lens wearers should use specific contact lens solutions such as "Blink n Clean" drops for both improved ocular lubrication and reducing lens surface deposits. preservative free drops are always preferable to minimise the exposure of the ocular surface to preservatives.

2. Safeguard tears - Punctal occlusion is a small procedure that either temporarily or permanently closes the tear ducts that drain away tears. By closing the drain, the naturally produced tears will remain in the eyes longer. For temporary closure, ducts are blocked using a silicone plug that looks similar to a mushroom. For permanent closure, a minor operation is required.

3. Supplements -  There is evidence that increasing the intake of omega 3 by taking 2000-3000mg daily supplements such as fish oil or flaxseed oil can relieve dry eye symptoms.  It can take several months for an improvement in tear production to occur.  Other advantageous diet inclusions include walnuts, oily fish, soybean, kale, spinach and eggs. 

4. Dry eye contact lenses -  For contact lens wearers there are a growing number of lenses designed to minimise dry eye symptoms. The most effective are listed below. 

5. Environment - It is important to maintain a hydrated environment - use air-conditioning sparingly or at least direct the flow of air away from the face.  Have plants in the room to help humidify the air and consider placing "floral foam" in a bowl of water. This is a block of foam available from florists and soaks up water to humidify the atmosphere. Wear sunglasses that wrap around the face to protect the eyes from drying wind.  

6. Medication - A number of medications can exacerbate or cause dry eye.  These include Betablockers (blood pressure), antihistamines (allergies), diuretics (fluid tablets) and antidepressants. 

How do contact lenses contribute to dry eye?

Often dry eye is a pre-existing condition exacerbated through wearing contact lenses but some research indicates that long term contact lens wear may contribute to the development of dry eye. At least 50 percent of contact lens wearers present with occasional dry eye symptoms.
Contact lenses contain water, so to maintain their correct shape and optics they need to maintain hydration. Just like a sponge, the contact lens will soak up the tears available in order to maintain lens hydration. This can include soaking up the tears needed for the ocular surface. The result can be a dry eye condition.

What are the best contact lenses for dry eye?

The best contact lenses for dry eye are:
  • Soft Hydrogel lenses with low water content soft lenses are often high in water content which encourages the lens to soak up more moisture and tears leading to dry eye. Choosing a lens with a lower water content and surface coating will lessen this process and diminish the lens sucking the tears from the eye.
  • Silicone Hydrogel contact lenses - The technology behind silicone hydrogel lenses means that to maintain shape and optical effectiveness, these lenses require oxygen rather than water. This is known as oxygen permeability, which reduces the need for the lens to soak up the tears and moisture in the eyes. Different silicon hydrogel lenses have various treatments to the lens surface and matrix to reduce drying and make the lenses more hydrophilic.
  • Daily disposables - Some daily wear lenses contain extra moisturising agents within the matrix of the lens, which releases moisture on each blink. This keeps the lens hydrated and reduces the need to absorb tears from the eyes.
For dry eye sufferers, the following lenses have been found to maximise lubrication and comfort and are recommended:

Proclear Compatibles - The Proclear range of lenses are made from omafilcon B which is a hydrogel material which features superior retention of moisture. This material has been found to retain 96% of its water content for up to 12 hours. The lenses are deposit resistant which means that the surface maintains its hydrophilic behaviour resulting in less drying.  The lenses are manufactured using their PC technology which is molecule called phosphorylcholine. This is a hydrophilic molecule which means it attracts water ensuring the lenses retain their moisture throughout the day. Manufactured in a hydrogel material, they are an ideal lens for wearers who are unable to tolerate a silicon hydrogel lens. 

BioTrue ONE day - This is a silicone hydrogel contact lens that is replaced daily. The daily replacement schedule means that the lens surface will be fresh and clean every day, minimising the risk of developing hydrophobic or water repelling deposits on the lens surface which would lead to dry eye. Manufactured from nesofilicon A, the lens is designed to maintain its water content during a full day of wear. BioTrue lenses incorporate a wetting agent in the lens matrix. 

My Day Daily Disposable - This lens combines a daily replacement regime with hydrogen silicone technology. Featuring a new material called stenfilicon A, which forms the silicon matrix of the lens into channels, the lens is more efficient at delivering oxygen to the cornea. As a result, a lower silicon content of only 4.4% is required, which means that the lens is able to be more hydrophilic or wettable, leading to greater comfort. The contact is available in a daily wear mode which means less surface deposits with better wetting.

Acuvue Oasys (with Hydraclear Plus) - These 2 weekly disposable lenses are made from senofilicon A which has a low modulus (stiffness) and is a silicon hydrogel material. The lens material incorporates Hydraclear which is a wetting agent incorporated in the matrix of the lens. This leads to increased wettability and less dryness.

Dailies Total 1 - This lens combines all the recommendations for dry eyes in one: a silicone hydrogel daily contact lens with low water content. The delefilicon A material means that the lenses have a high degree of comfort and oxygen permeability and are designed to provide all day moistness and freshness. The lens has a variable water content with a lower water content in the centre of the lens whilst the outer most surface has a water content that approaches the cornea's natural water content.  This means that the surface of the Total 1 lens has a particularly high degree of lubricity or slipperiness.  This results in a high degree of comfort and oxygen permeability and are designed to provide all day moistness and freshness.  Because of the increased lubricity totally dry fingers are essential to successfully remove these lenses from your eye. 

Nothing can ever replace the weight and positive influence of a good eye and contact lens care program. 





Maui Jim Sunglasses

Posted in 'General' on November 11, 2018 by Stuart Macfarlane

We have been appointed stockists of Maui Jim sunglasses. Drop in, check out our large range and see for yourself the difference they make to your vision.  

Maui Jim sunglasses were born on Ka’anapali beach in Hawaii. Designed to enhance your vision and reveal more of the vibrant colours of the world, they are polarised with complete UV protection to guard your eyes from glare and harmful rays. Maui Jim offers a combination of five lens materials and four lens colours to ensure you have the perfect lens for fishing, golfing, driving or general wear to bring vibrant, brilliant colours to life. 

They are available in plano sunglasses as well as prescription sunglasses with the correction ground into the lenses. 

If you are over 40 years old and require a correction for close work, we also have available Maui Jim Readers which have a reading portion ground into the bottom of the sunglasses. We have the Maui Jim Readers in stock. 


 Maui Jim





NOVATEARS: The innovative new eye drop for evaporative dry eye disease

Posted in 'General' on October 10, 2018 by Stuart Macfarlane



Novatears eyedropsEvaporative Dry Eye is a condition where an imbalance of the components of the tear film cause it to evaporate quickly drying out the ocular surface.  The tear film is made up of an outer lipid layer, an inner aqueous layer, and the innermost mucin layer. The oily lipid layer in your tear film is produced by your meibomian glands that sit on the margin of your eyelids. If the meibomian glands are dysfunctional the lipid layer loses the ability to protect your tear elements from evaporating with the air.  


Novatears (or perflurohexyloctane) is a therapeutic eye drop that supports the natural lipid layer of the tear film. The small droplets feels silk-like as it glides over the ocular surface due to the low viscosity and low surface tension.  When the drops spread over your tear film it helps stabilises the lipid layer reducing evaporation of the aqueous layer thus allowing your natural tears to reestablish itself below. Additionally, Novatears drops do not blur when applied because the refractive index is the same as water despite being aqueous free.  The benefits of being an aqueous-free means that it does not support microbial growth so no preservatives are required for storage lasting up to 6 months from opening.


Clinical studies have shown marked improvement of dry eye symptoms and objective measurements after 6 weeks of using Novatears four times per day.  There was a significant reduction of corneal staining; increase in Schirmer 1 and tear-film-break-up-time; and a significant improvement of symptoms measured by ocular surface disease index (OSDI) score(1). Essentially Novatears increases tear volume and tear retention time meaning the tear film becomes more stable.  This helps to improve visual clarity and comfort especially for activities such as driving and digital device use. It’s important to know that dry eye disease can be quite complex and your optometrist can diagnose what type of dry eye you may be suffering from to see if Novatears is suitable for you.  A healthy tear film improves more than just your visual comfort but is also essential for a healthy ocular surface.


  1. Steven P, et al. Semifluorinated Alkane Eye Drops for Treatment of Dry Eye Disease—A Prospective, Multicenter Noninterventional Study. Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (2015).


Novatears: Is not to be used with contact lenses.  Should not be used under 18 years or while pregnant or breastfeeding.  If you are using any other eye medication, allow at least 15 minutes between.




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!