Most of the information required everyday living is obtained through our eyes, yet according to research by the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists Eye Foundation one in every 10 adults has never had an eye exam.
“These findings are surprising given how important our eyesight is to everyday living”,says Gold Coast Optometrist Michael Hare, “We live in such a visual world. We use visual cues to get around, to drive, to look at our grandchildren. People are really terrified of losing their sight.” Michael, who has previously been named Queensland Optometrist of the Year, and is the former Vice President of the National Optometry Association explains, “A number of those over 50 are lax in their attentiveness to their eyesight and so fall victim to diseases that could have been prevented and treated had they been found early.
Many eye-diseases present without symptoms. Glaucoma is one of these and one of the most common and the most debilitating. Early detection through regular and comprehensive eye exams is the key to protecting your vision from these diseases, and I am surprised that so many people do not dedicate time to protect these wonderful and vital organs that we have.” Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness according to the World Health Organisation, with a suspected 60 million people affected worldwide. Michael explains, “Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve behind the eye is damaged.
This usually occurs due to an increase in pressure inside the eye. Of the two types, primary open angle glaucoma is the most common and progresses slowly; often going unnoticed until the patient is partially blind.
Acute angle closure glaucoma is rarer and often noted by the onset of eye pain, haloed or decreased vision, and even nausea. However, generally with glaucoma there may be no symptoms at all, and vision loss may go unnoticed until the disease is well and truly on its way. There is no cure for glaucoma, but its progress can be halted or slowed if detected early.”
Michael and his team of highly trained team professionals ensure they provide comprehensive eye examinations to all their patients. Collectively the staff across both South port and Benowa practice locations have over 150 years of experience.
During an eye examination at one of Michael’s practices, an optometrist will assess your visual clarity while also looking for signs of possible eye conditions or disease. With a strong focus on clinical excellence if you visit one of Michael’s practices you can expect the following attention to detail during your eye examination.
Discussion of your history and symptoms as well as any specific issues or concerns. You should let your optometrist know what medicines you have been taking, and if you have had any headaches, eye pressure, or if you have any relatives with eye problems.
Your eyes will be examined internally and externally with vision and light tests.
You will have your near, intermediate, and distance vision tested, eye-coordination will be assessed, and your eyes will be examined through a machine whereby light is shone through the pupil in order to examine the internal structure of the eye.
You will receive a pressure test, a machine will calculate your intraocular pressure, and if this pressure is found to be high then you may be at risk of glaucoma.
Special tests called OCT scans and visual field assessments are commonly used in the detection and monitoring of glaucoma. These tests may seem daunting at first, but they are generally non-invasive and are the only way to properly assess the health of your eyes and ensure that any issues are found and dealt with appropriately.
According to Michael, from the age of 40 everyone should have regular thorough eye examinations but from 40 onwards certainly every 2 years. From 65 onwards, you should be visiting your optometrist every 12 months or as often as recommended by the Optometrist.
Vision, your most precious sense – protect it with regular, comprehensive eye examinations. Consultations by Optometrists attract a Medicare rebate and no referral is necessary.