Patient Information

Eye disease occurs at any age in life. Many eye conditions don’t cause any symptoms

until the disease has done damage which is often too late to reverse the damage. With new advances in medicine most blindness is preventable if diagnosed and treated early so if you have any concerns see your optometrist or GP for a early referral to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist). Regular eye examinations by an Ophthalmologist are very important to detect early subtle changes before you notice the symptoms.

Eye specialists (ophthalmologists) are medical doctors with a degree in medicine and surgery followed by hospital medical and surgical experience and then 5 years of specialist eye hospital training. The training and selection process is Australia is intensive and that is why the standard of eye care is high across the board Australia wide.

 

The average eye specialist’s training program in 2010

5-6 years medical school

1 year medical and surgical internship in hospital

2 years general medical and surgical hospital training as a resident

2-3 years medical research such as a masters degree or PhD

5 years eye specialist training at an Eye Hospital accredited by the Royal College,

which often includes 1 year of subspecialist fellowship training.

 

TOTAL

15 years

 

The reason for this extensive training is to ensure your condition is managed safely under any medical, surgical or ophthalmic condition especially if complications arise because many eye diseases require specialist medical knowledge and prevention of vision loss by regular eye checks with your optometrist or seeing your GP is the key to early referral to an ophthalmologist (eye specialist) and prevention of long term vision loss. 

How much training does an ophthalmologist have and why?

What is a cataract ?

A cataract is basically an opacity of the lens in the eye. The lens has layers like an onion and if any of the layers misaligns or  the lens proteins age the lens looses its transparency and forms an opacity called a cataract. Cataracts progress with age and no scientifically proven medical treatment exists. Removing the lens and inserting a state of the art permanent acrylic aspheric intraocular lens via microsurgical sutureless techniques restores vision, contrast sensitivity and colours. 

Glaucoma treatment

Open angle glaucoma is usually a slowly  progressive damage to your optic nerve that is symptom free until significant damage has occurred. In fact by the time you have field loss at least 30-50% of your 1.2 million nerve fibres will have been damaged. Just because your eye pressure is normal doesn’t mean you don’t have glaucoma. The only way to know is have your eyes examined. Glaucoma can run in families so If anyone in your family has glaucoma you must have your eyes checked. Early detection and treatment is the key to slowing down progression. Currently there is a wide range of options for treatment and so tailoring a plan is the gold standard. Options include  includes eye drops, tablets, laser to the drainage channel (ALT or SLT) or surgery to create an artificial drainage valve (trabeculectomy).  Combining these different modalities may be needed to save visual field loss. Compliance with the drops is the key to you making sure you don’t lose vision later and life long therapy  is mandatory because optic nerve damage is irreversible.

Will I need glasses after my cataract surgery?

Usually yes, especially if you are an avid reader. However, recently with the advent of advances of intraocular lens technology, the lens implants now (in a limited fashion) mirror what your glasses can do. Newer lens designs include multifocal intraocular lenses and toric astigmatism corrective intraocular lenses. Surgically we can now accurately target your desired refraction and therefore tailor your desired  refractive outcome according to your visual needs. What this means is that we can aim to give you great reading vision or long distance vision in both eyes or make one of your operated eyes focal point for  book reading or a computer screen and your second eye focal point aimed for long distance. The latter option of blended vision isn’t tolerated by everyone so you will need a preoperative trial with contact lenses to ensure you can tolerate this. Unfortunately with present technology your intraocular lens cannot change focus to enable your to read and see in the long distance at the same time just like glasses or contact lenses and that is why most patients prefer to see well in the distance after surgery and use readers only when they need to read.

 

In our experience like everything in life, keeping things simple & safe gives the most satisfying refractive outcome. We can offer the “fancy” options but will only perform them after a comprehensive evaluation and discussion with you to confirm that the latest lenses will meet your visual needs.

 

 

Macular Degeneration

Recent advances in medicine mean we can now offer treatments that slow the progression of vision loss from this condition. To minimize your chances of losing vision there are several things you can do. Firstly, monitor your vision with an Amsler chart and contact us if you notice any changes. Secondly, continue with macuvision supplements if you are taking them. Thirdly, have regular eye assessments because  halting vision loss is much more likely with treatment than regaining vision if you loose further vision. Finally, complying with our experienced specialist advice about follow up schedules to monitor your treatment response with our digital imaging systems will ensure you get the maximum benefit from treatment and keep the best vision you can. End stage vision loss is irreversible so like most things in medicine early detection , investigation and treatment gives you the best chance of a good outcome. Treatment with intravitreal injections can be repeated when needed.

Why are regular medical eye examinations important for everyone?

Download patient information booklets (click on titles below to download)

This fact sheet by the American Academy of Ophthalmology explains many overlooked practical ways to help you modify your daily activities if you have very poor vision.

Rounded Rectangle: Cataract
Rounded Rectangle: Diabetes
Rounded Rectangle: Glaucoma
Rounded Rectangle: Macula degeneration
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Rounded Rectangle: The Rosebery Eye Specialist Centre
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Royal Australian College of GP’s

Australian Council of Health Care Standards

Royal College of Surgeons England

Australian Medical Association

Medical Board of Australia

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