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What is Good Eyesight?

Optometrist Sydney

It is an oversimplification to think that 20/20 means perfect eyesight. This test only measures one factor, which is how clearly we can see at a distance. There are many other factors to healthy, clear eyesight.

If an individual has 20/20 vision, it means they can see clearly at 20 feet what most other people can see at 20 feet. Often people find they have lost some of this clarity by middle age. If they have 20/40 vision they can only see at 20 feet what a healthy eye can see at 40 feet. A few people have less than 20/20 vision even as children. On rare occasions, individuals have superior eyesight, better than 20/20. They might have 20/15 vision, which means they can see at 20 feet which are considered normal at 15 feet.

Only about 35% of adults have 20/20 vision. Most others are close to normal but need glasses to help them see distances.

Of course, a person might see clearly at a distance but struggle to read. This is short-sightedness, which is actually quite common. The person might score 20/20 on the eye chart test, but they still have a significant eyesight problem.

Some symptoms of eyesight problems include:

  • Inability to focus on written material
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor reading comprehension, especially when young
  • Short attention span
  • Headaches/dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Watery eyes, frequent blinking and eye rubbing
  • Eyes struggle to turn inward when focusing on close objects

Other eyesight issues include:

Peripheral vision issues, where we do not see clearly on either side of us. Everything in the centre of our vision might be clear, but we simply do not see on either side. This might go undetected on an eyesight chart test.

Colour blindness is the inability to see certain colours. Red and green might look the same. This can be a huge problem if it goes undetected.

Depth perception can also be an issue. We might not be able to see how long, wide or deep an object is. Everything will look flat, like a photograph. This leaves us prone to accidents when we misjudge a staircase or a turn.

Why is vision important?

  • Safety – if you have compromised vision you will be prone to accidents, especially when driving.
  • Comfort – if your vision is poor you will be constantly squinting and straining. We may not notice this until it becomes extreme, but this will leave us agitated.
  • Quality of life – it is lousy when we cannot see a film in the theatre or the presentation at school or work. Once we have glasses or contact lenses we will be surprised at the improvement.
  • Health – poor eyesight can lead to headaches, neck cramps, and sore eyes. This is not something anybody wants.
  • Reading and education – with poor eyesight we will tend to misinterpret what we see. And we probably won’t realize this. We don’t know what we are missing or misunderstanding. Good eyesight makes things easier. It will all come into focus.

Eye Tests – Optometrist Sydney

Children routinely receive eye exams in primary and infant school. This is a good practice, but limited. These tests are very general in nature, and while they will almost always detect near-sightedness they generally will not pick up other eyesight conditions. It is important to have regular eyesight exams once per year, or if we notice any change in our vision. Early detection helps prevent serious issues.

All4Eyes is about complete vision care. We test and diagnose all types of eye disorders. And we find the best way to correct the disorder, usually through glasses or contact. Or we find the right method to help a patient with their eyesight issue.

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It is important to have regular eyesight exams once per year, or if we notice any change in our vision. Early detection helps prevent serious issues.

Protect Your Vision with Safety Glasses: Optometrist Sydney

Optometrist Sydney

At All4Eyes, we understand the importance of safeguarding your eyes from potential risks and injuries. While some eye problems are genetically based, many can be prevented, especially those resulting from accidents or injuries.

Our eyes are delicate, and even seemingly minor injuries can have a significant impact on our vision. It’s essential to prioritize eye protection in any potentially hazardous situation, regardless of the perceived level of risk.

For those who wear regular glasses, some level of protection is provided. However, its effectiveness is limited. Proper safety glasses or goggles offer superior protection during manual work, machinery operation, or exposure to potential chemical spills.

When choosing safety glasses/goggles, consider the following features:

  • Opt for shatterproof plastic lenses to avoid the risk of glass shards in case of impact.
  • Prefer plastic frames to prevent electrical conductivity when working with electrical equipment.
  • Look for wraparound tight-fitting styles to minimise the chances of liquid chemicals entering the eyes (although no safety glasses are completely impervious in this regard).
  • Ensure a secure fit that stays in place, as easily dislodged glasses can be inconvenient and compromise safety.
  • Fogging can be a concern, but certain safety glasses come with anti-fog treatments. Pre-washing the glasses in warm water or soapy water can help reduce fogging.
  • Consider large glasses that fit over prescription glasses for those already wearing corrective eyewear.
  • Prioritise comfort, as glasses that become uncomfortable tend to be neglected. Lightweight options are preferable.
  • Avoid blind spots and ensure unobstructed vision.
  • Temporary removal of nose and ear piercings may be necessary when wearing safety glasses.
  • If hearing protection is also required, ensure compatibility with the safety glasses for simultaneous use.
  • Remember, the effectiveness of safety glasses diminishes after approximately three years. If you have work machines or equipment, it’s advisable to allocate a dedicated pair of glasses for each.

Regularly wash your safety glasses, preferably before or after each use, to prevent foreign particles or debris from entering your eyes. Even sweat on the lenses can cause discomfort or irritation.

For specialised tasks such as welding, always use a facemask or appropriate protective eyewear, as exposure to welding light can lead to severe eye injuries.

Investing in reasonably priced safety glasses available at hardware stores significantly reduces the risk of eye injuries.

Don’t forget to schedule regular eye tests with our experienced optometrists in Sydney. Timely examinations will detect and address any vision problems, allowing us to prescribe glasses or contacts to correct short or long-sightedness.

Your vision is our priority, and we’re here to help you see clearly and keep your eyes protected.

Is Your Child Nearsighted?

Optometrist Sydney CBD

Optometrist Sydney CBD

A young child may have vision problems and not know it. If the child has always had a vision problem they will have no basis for comparison; they do not know what clear vision looks like. Even if the child struggles, they may be unable to express their situation.

 

Near-sightedness, technically called myopia, is common, especially in middle aged and older people. It has slowly become more prevalent. Current estimates predict that it will affect 50% of the population in developed countries by the middle of the 21st century. Many people who had normal vision during childhood will develop near-sightedness in their early twenties or by the time they reach their forties.

 

Of course, optometrist have several ways to help people who suffer near-sightedness.

 

Signs of Child Myopia – Optometrist Sydney CBD

Does a child struggle to read the board at school? Do they not recognize distant pictures (a cartoon character on a billboard) that they would otherwise recognize in a book? Do they struggle with sports? These are warning signs that the child has some vision problems.

 

Vision problems in childhood will compromise a child’s education. It will also affect performance in many sports. A child with this disadvantage can easily become discouraged, and possibly depressed. Their compromised eyesight may cause them to misunderstand the things they learn and experience, leading to fundamental misconceptions and frustration. These same children often experience rapid improvement once they are fitted with prescription glasses. The improvement is more pronounced when the glasses are fitted at a younger age. The longer we delay vision correction the more difficult it is to undo bad habits and learning mistakes.

Myopia risks – Optometrist Sydney CBD

Failure to diagnose and treat myopia will raise the risk of developing further vision problems latter in life. Children with fairly mild myopia have a higher risk of glaucoma and retinal detachment than other children. And the risk increases as the prescription increases.

 

Optometrists have methods to both correct the vision of children with myopic eyesight, and to slow the progress. Spending time outdoors and limiting the use of computer devices will help slow the progress of myopia.

 

Optometrist Sydney CBD

Have your child tested for eyesight problems. Early diagnosis will help the child’s development, and prevent future problems.

 

 

Orthokeratology

Optometrist Sydney CBD

Discover the alternative solution to correct vision without relying on prescription glasses or daytime contact lenses. Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K, offers a unique approach to vision correction using specialised contact lenses worn only at night.

Certain vision problems stem from irregular corneal shapes or imperfect spheres in the eye. This slight misfocus of light entering the eye can result in blurred vision. Ortho-K lenses work by gently reshaping the cornea while you sleep, providing clear and sharper vision upon waking.

The effects of Ortho-K lenses are temporary but can last for a day or longer. By consistently wearing the corrective lenses during the night, you can enjoy clear vision throughout the following day.

In addition to providing short-term clear vision, Ortho-K lenses offer the added benefit of slowing down or preventing further vision decline over time. They not only address immediate vision needs but also contribute to long-term vision preservation.

Ortho-K lenses are particularly suitable for individuals with myopia (short-sightedness) who prefer to avoid wearing glasses or contact lenses during the day. By wearing Ortho-K lenses at night, you can achieve clear vision without the need for daytime corrective eyewear.

Need more advice? Visit our Optometrist Shop in Sydney

For expert advice and guidance on Ortho-K lenses, visit our optometrist shop in Sydney. Our dedicated team is here to help you explore this innovative vision correction option and find the best solution for your visual needs.

Cataracts

Optometrist Sydney CBD

Most of us have heard something about cataracts. Most people know that this is an eyesight problem more common with the elderly.

Cataracts are a problem with the lens at the front of the eye. Normally this lens is transparent. But with advancing age or exposure to harsh conditions (like UV Light or welding equipment), this lens ceases to be clear. The proteins in the lens material clump together and the lens becomes increasingly cloudy.

Cataracts will develop gradually, perhaps unnoticeable. At first, the vision will make the external world look slightly yellow, then brown. As the condition grows worse the vision will become increasingly unclear, especially in dim light.

As cataracts develop slowly, they tend to initially go unnoticed. Often only the peripheral eyesight is blurred; most people find they can still function at this stage. But the eyesight will steadily continue to decline until the individual finds they cannot easily function, and will be prone to accidents.

Some situations significantly increase the risk of cataracts

  • Bright Sunlight over many years. Quality sunglasses will prevent this.
  • Smoking
  • High blood sugar
  • Diabetes
  • Using steroids
  • exposure to radiation
  • Long-term heat (infrared light)
  • Welding without eye protection (UV light and heat)

Some Common symptoms of cataracts:

  • Bright lights seem very glary.
  • Halos appear around lights
  • You keep needing new glasses.
  • Everything appears slightly yellow or light brown.
  • Double vision, from light diffraction through the damaged eye lens.

Surgery can remove the cataract lens and replace it with an artificial lens. This procedure has a high success and reasonably quick recovery time. Patients find that they are more sensitive to UV light after having their cataracts removed.

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Cataracts become common as we age. But preventative measures and regular eye exams can reduce the risk, or surgery can remove the problem.

Devices and Eye Strain

Optometrist Sydney CBD

Optometrist Sydney CBD

 

We are the first generation to carry digital devices on our person. And we spend a considerable amount of time looking at smartphones, computer monitor, TVs and other equipment. The long effects of this are still not fully understood, but we do know that the blue light emitted by digital screens does have some effect on our eyes.

 

Blue light is similar to the ultraviolet light (UV) that causes sunburn. Both UV and blue light are known to penetrate to the back of the eye and cause long term damage to our vision, though UV light is the far more harmful of the two. In the past, before the invention of computers and tv monitors, blue light exposure was fairly mild, so that damage was minimal, often only showing up in extreme old age. Today, with constant exposure to digital screens, there is serious concern that blue light will cause permanent vision problems by middle age.

 

Another more immediate problem with blue light is its effect on circadian rhythms, our sleeping pattern. Exposure to blue light (and UV) will keep us awake. This can be a serious problem when we use a computer device late at night. We will have trouble sleeping after using a smartphone or similar device.

 

Blue Light will:

  • Cause eye strain over time, perhaps a few hours.
  • Blue light will keep us awake, even if we are tired.
  • Blue light will slowly damage the photo receptor cells at the back of our eyes, causing vision loss as we reach old or even middle age.
  • Blue light will cause the skin, mostly our face, to age more quickly.

 

The symptoms of Digital eye stain include:

  • Fatigue, or just a feeling of stain.
  • Dry eyes, itchy, red eyes.
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor Concentration
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia, despite being tired
  • Neck, shoulder or back pain

 

 

Optometrist Sydney CBD

 

There are a few effective methods to remove or greatly reduce our exposure to blue light. One is to alter the colour display on computers, smartphones and devices. Many of these have a night viewing mode, which turns down the blue element in the display. Else, is it often possible to manually turn down the blue on the monitor. In some cases people will attach a thin transparent film to the monitor screen that filters out most blue light.

 

Optometrists can provide a coating to most glasses that block UV light. This works rather like high quality sunglasses. The Blue light is blocked by the lenses in the glasses and the eyes are protected. Best of all, this has no disenable side effects; the glasses work normally, and our vision with the glasses is clear.

 

Blue light coating on glasses will protect the eyes from damage, and reduce eye strain, though the skin on our face will still be exposed to blue light.

 

 

Optometrist Sydney CBD

Talk to the optometrist about anti-blue light coating for your glasses, or for other ways to protect your eyes from UV and blue light.

Cheap Glasses

Optometrist Sydney CBD

Optometrist Sydney CBD

Many discount stores and online sites sell cheap glasses. As with many cheap alternatives these are often poor quality. Most cheap glasses are unsuitable or even harmful, though we do occasionally find a decent quality bargain.

Online Eyewear

Research in overseas countries has found that most glasses purchased online were a poor fit. This is a problem that only really started to exist in the age of the internet because glasses purchased in stores could be tried and fitted before purchase. This is obviously not possible with online website stores, and nobody wants poor fitting, uncomfortable glasses. So, this is reason enough to avoid future online eyewear purchases.

There are online sites for prescription lenses, but their services are often poor. This is a serious issue as eyesight prescriptions must be exact. Even factors such as the measurement between the centre of the two pupils need to be exact, and this is something that online services get wrong. Professional optometrists work with far more precise measurements than general online suppliers, and this is vital for getting the right glasses to correct your eyesight. And there is the obvious matter of needing to have a prescription before you place your online order. You need to get this from visiting an optometrist. Last year’s prescription will almost always be out of date.

Regular eye exams, which we recommend once per year, are important. Online services do not provide this. it is especially important to get follow-up exams whenever you have new glasses, to make sure that your eyes and glasses are working together properly.

Some online optometrists had a two-for-one offer on cheap glasses. Clients complained that the two glasses did not last as long as one better quality pair of glasses from other sources.
Cheap Reading Glasses – Optometrist Sydney CBD

This is one of the few exceptions to the cheapness rule. Many stores sell a small range of inexpensive reading glasses. These come with an apparently accurate prescription rating of anything from +3.00 to +1.00.

These reading glasses are actually fine for many people. If both eyes have the same prescription, it is not too difficult to find a pair of inexpensive reading glasses that work, with a little trial and error. But there will be problems if our eyes are different. That will require a pair of prescription glasses from the optometrist.

Cheap Sunglasses

This is where cheap products actually become harmful. Cheap sunglasses often do not filter out UV light. And it is UV light that damages our eyes. The situation is made worse because the dark tint of the cheap sunglasses causes the pupils of our eyes to open, taking in more light, so they take in more UV light and suffer permanent damage.
Either buy decent sunglasses from the Cancer Counsel shop, look for established name brands, or get the sunglasses from the optometrist.

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Our eyes are important. Get the best care and the best quality glasses or contacts from our optometrists.

Seeing Myths

Optometrist Sydney CBD

Optometrist Sydney CBD

In this age of the internet we have all grown accustomed to questioning the supposed facts and opinions that we encounter. We all realize that there are some honestly mistaken and plain dishonest ideas online. But really, there have always been mistaken dishonest ideas around, it’s just that we are more inclined to believe something when we see it on print; articles on the internet look convincing, even when they are inaccurate or just plain wrong.

There are a quite few myths about eyesight, either told as old wives’ tales or spread on internet chat sites. It helps to separate the facts from the fiction.

Reading in a Dim Light

Many of us were told by our parents that reading in dim light, perhaps reading with a flashlight under the bed covers at night, would ruin our eyes. This is greatly exaggerated. Dim light will not cause any real damage, even as it may cause the eyes some temporary strain. Though it should be pointed out that dim light apparently hinders memory, so it is a bad idea to study with a dim light.

Carrots will improve eyesight

A myth. A lack of good nutrition will compromise our eyesight. A healthy diet, including a few carrots, will help us keep the eyesight we have. But nothing we eat will improve eyesight.

The British military in World War two spread this myth about carrots benefiting eyesight to hide the fact that they secretly developed and used radar. The myth probably never did any harm.

Sunlight on a Cloudy Day

The Sun will radiate UV light at all times. Over time this will steadily damage our eyes. Cloudy days are not quite as intense as a sunny days, but they will still cause damage. In fact they may cause more damage because we don’t expect a threat.

Avoid looking at the Sun, even if you feel no discomfort the UV light is causing harmful. Wear UV proof sunglasses during the day. Only the early morning and late evening are safe from UV.

You Need the right prescription Glasses.

This one is true. If the prescription of our glasses is wrong it will lead to eyestrain, and steadily cause damage. Even slight error in the prescription have an effect. So do not rely on last year’s glasses, have them updated every year.

Glasses that are slightly too strong or weak will help exercise the eye, and improve our eyesight.

Unfortunately, this is a myth, even if it sounds reasonable. A slightly incorrect prescription on the glasses will strain our eyes, and steadily compromise our eyesight. Good glasses and contacts help maintain the eyesight we have.

Sitting to close to the TV causes damage

Not quite, but there is cause for concern. Computer monitors and devices will put out blue light that is harmful for our eyes.

Either use glasses with a Blue light filter, or set the computer to night vision to remove most of the UV light.

Focusing on anything too close to the eyes is harmful.

Cause and effect may be confused here. If we need to hold a book too close to our eyes then we probably have an eyesight problem. Have the eyes tested – you may need reading glasses.

That being said, if you need to do any fine work, from examining stamps to checking PC boards, you can try a magnifying glass, or glasses designed for seeing close up, very fine detail.

Washing eyes.

Tap water is not completely pure. If we try to wash our eyes with tap water we can end up putting bacteria or other contaminants in our eyes. Purified water from the chemist is cheap and far safer.

Optometrist Sydney CBD

Eyesight is important. Have your sight checked to correct any problems before they become too serious. Optometrists can help us get the best vision possible.

Colour Blindness and Glasses

Optometrist Sydney

Optometrist Sydney – Colour Blindness

Colour Blindness is a vision condition where different colours look the same, or look very similar. There are several variations on this, with one of the most common being individuals unable to tell the difference between red and green. Colour blindness is almost always a genetically inherited condition, but on rare occasions it can be the result of damage to the eye. There is no known cure, but there are some ways to at least partially compensate for milder forms of colour blindness.

Optometrist Sydney – The Physiological Causes

Humans have 3 different colour receptors in their eyes, as well as receptors that see in black and white. These three colour receptors correspond to red, green and blue, though there is some slight overlap. All the various colours we can see are a different combination of these three colours sensed by the corresponding receptors in our eyes.

In many colour-blind people the overlap between the different receptors is larger than normal, so perhaps a green object will simultaneously activate both the red and green receptor in the eye. This will cause red and green colours to look similar, sometimes even identical.

Alternately, in some colour-blind people a receptor is missing, so they cannot see a certain primary colour at all. In a few extreme cases of colour blindness the receptors do not work at all, and the individual sees in black and white.

Some type of colour blindness:

Deuteranomaly – Green colours look more red. This is the most common type of colour blindness, and has minimal impact on lifestyle.
Protanomaly – Red looks more green. This has minimal impact on lifestyle.
Tritanomaly– Blue and green look similar. Yellow and red look similar. This is fairly rare.
Protanopia – Red receptor is missing. Red and green look the same.
Deuteranopia – Green receptor is missing. Red and green look the same.
Tritanopia – Hard to distinguish blue and green, purple and red, or yellow and pink. Colours also look less bright.
Achromatopsia – All vision is black and white. No colour receptors.

Glasses for the Colour Blind – Optometrist Sydney

While colour blindness cannot be cured with present technology it is possible to partially compensate for some types of colour blindness. This is achieved with glasses that filter out some narrow bands of coloured light. The principle is to filter out the area where the receptors overlap. If we filter out the overlap between red and green light then the receptors will not be simultaneously activated. Red light will activate the red receptor only, and green will activate the green receptor only. This means red and green will now appear to be different colours, though unfortunately the eyesight of a colour-blind individual will still not be the eyesight of a person with normal vision.

Optometrist Sydney

Eyesight is important. Have your eyesight checked to correct any problems before they become too serious.

UV Light and Glasses

UV Light and Glasses

Optometrist Sydney

UltraViolet Light (UV) it is the invisible energy that radiates from the Sun. We all know of the effects of UV on our skin, where several hours of exposure can cause sunburn, and long-term daily exposure causes premature aging of the skin. This same UV can also damage our eyes, often quite quickly. In fact, our eyes are 10 times more sensitive to UV than our skin, it’s just that we tend to not notice the eye damage, until it is too late.

We are exposed to UV light whenever we are outside. Over the course of several decades this will cause long term harm to our eyes, usually not apparent till we are past middle age. About half of all pterygium cases and about a quarter of all cataracts are causes by UV light. This is especially bad in Australia, where UV light is strong.

We can provide good UV protection for our eyes with quality Sunglasses. This means Sunglasses with UV blocking lenses. Dark tinted lenses are not enough. The Sunglasses must be 100% UV proof.

Direct sun exposure is not the only source of UV. We are still exposed to UV light if we are under shade. An umbrella, tree or open building will block direct Sunlight, but we still receive some UV light that is reflected off surfaces like water or snow. We should continue to wear UV sunglasses even in the shade.

While UV is strongest on hot Summer days there is still a significant amount of UV during Winter months and overcast days. We should wear UV proof sunglasses during daylight hours all year long.

Clear glasses can be coated with a transparent film to remove most UV light. This is very helpful as it greatly reduces the UV light we experience while wearing glasses. It is worth having your regular glasses UV coated.

Our bodies do need some UV light. This is needed for making Vitamin D and regulating Sleep cycles. We suggest getting about 15 minutes of Sun exposure in the early morning, and wearing Sunglasses and sunscreen for the rest of the day. People with darker skin may need more sun exposure to receive any benefit.

UV glasses do not last forever. Most will lose their effectiveness after about two years, with some more expensive glasses that have dual UV layers lasting perhaps 4 years. So after two years make sure the glasses or the UV coating are replaced.

A broad brim hat adds some extra protection for your eyes. Wear both a hat and sunglasses when outside.

Computers, smartphones and personal devices may emit some UV along with blue light, which is similar to UV. We should uses glasses that filter this light whenever possible, or active the ‘night view’ setting on the computer.

UV Proof Glasses – Optometrist Sydney CBD

UV protection can be added to prescription glasses, giving long term protection for your eyes. This is especially good for quality sunglasses.