The Eyeman's blog

Browse our blog topics.

Contact Lenses prior to Lens Surgery

Welcome to the journey that hopefully leads to you not requiring spectacles or contact lenses for the majority of your day. We stress the “majority” as neither contact lenses or surgery can give you perfect vision, or what we refer to as “your 12-year-old eyes back”.

However, if your brain accepts the changes made to your vision with the contact lenses, then lens surgery (cataract surgery) will offer the same type of visual outcome. This will mean that for 90% of your day you aren’t looking for your glasses. You may however want a small spectacles correction just to sharpen up your vision for certain tasks.

What is Lens Surgery?

Lens surgery, or cataract surgery is when your own crystalline lens inside your eye(s) is removed due to its hardening and becoming cloudy, and an artificial acrylic lens is inserted with an optical correction. The power of this correction is determined by your spectacle correction and then improved through trialling contact lenses of varying types and powers that give you a level of vision that you are happy with – but remember not necessarily “perfect” all of the time.

What are Cataracts?

Most cataracts are simply the result of aging and its effect on the lens inside your eyes. The lens is responsible for focussing on near tasks such as reading or looking at your phone. The aging effect oy your lens not only affects your reading, but cataracts can also impact night vision, alter colours and create glare or light sensitivity issues.

Why do I have to wear contact lenses?

The whole purpose of these trials is to help you prepare for vision after surgery. Most people who undergo surgery want to avoid the need for spectacles or contact lenses after surgery. For most (not all) people this is a realistic outcome, although there is often the need for a small prescription for specific tasks.

Wearing contact lenses allows for you to experience vision without your glasses, and then if there are specific tasks that you need better vision for, or if you have concerns, these can be adjusted and discussed prior to having surgery. This is important because changes after surgery are difficult and a lot more invasive than just “throwing the contact lenses in the bin!”

Vision Correction Options:

Ultimately the type of vision correction outcome from surgery is determined by your individual needs. This can be simple clear vision to see in the distance or for near tasks or a combination of both. Most of us would prefer to have good vision at all distances after surgery, however for varying reasons this may not be possible, OR, a small compromise in your vision will need to be accepted to reduce your dependence on spectacles.

What if I play sport or have specific needs?

It is very common that individuals have different past-times or activities that require different forms of visual correction.

Sports obviously have different requirements and having worked with sporting organisations for more than 3 decades, again we will work to find a suitable correction that does not interfere with the overall goal of decreasing your need to wear spectacles or contact lenses but be patient as we find the best fit to give you the best outcome after surgery.

Is there a chance I will not be suitable for surgery?

Yes, there is always the chance that something about your eye health suggests surgery isn’t a good option to consider. However, this is extremely rare. More often than not, the issue is that you will be able to have surgery, but you will need spectacles afterwards – these spectacles maybe simply just for reading, night driving or specific tasks.

How much does it cost to be assessed for surgery?

If you decide you’d like to try various visual outcome from surgery, there is a one-off fee of $350.00. This fee covers all your consultations but does not include items such as contact lens supplies, solutions and or comfort drops. This fee also does not include fees charged by the surgeon.

How much does Cataract Surgery cost?

This is something that will need to be clarified with the surgeon. Costs include the surgeon’s fees, the anaesthetist fees and possibly theatre fees. Just check on all of these fees either before or after your first appointment with the surgeon.

If you have Private Health Cover, you will also need to check with your provider as to whether you have cover for cataract surgery. If you are not covered for cataract Surgery, you may need to wait 12 months to qualify for cover. In some cases the cost of cataract surgery may be fully covered depending on your level of Health Cover – for example Gold level cover versus Bronze level.

Your child and Myopia

Learning that your child has myopia (or more commonly short-sightedness), may or may not come as a shock to you. The term short-sighted, simply means that the short sight, is better than the long sight, which is to say that the long sight is blurry.

Keeping it simple, this typically occurs due to the retina growing too much, or “stretching”. The causes are many and can have various combinations – genetic predisposition, age and growth rate, the amount of time spent indoors in artificial light – or more accurately, the lack of time spent outdoors in sunlight. Other factors such as general health and your child’s binocular vision control (how well both eyes work together) can also play a part.

Regardless of the cause, at Eyeman tests are performed to establish all possible causes to provide the best treatment option, as our goal is to manage your child’s eye health and to limit, or hopefully even stop the stretching of the retina. The sooner and more effectively this is done, then the better long-term health of the eyes.

There is no doubt that the last 50 years has seen an increase in the incidence or frequency of myopia and an increase in the degree (how bad). Asian countries account for much of this increase and studies have even noted an increase in myopia during the winter months in the northern hemisphere countries. Both these observations and further studies have lead to the recognition of the impact of artificial light and or the impact from not being exposed to sufficient natural light.

Pre-myopia – is a term given to a child whose exam results indicate that he or she is progressing towards myopia. For children under ten years of age there is an expected “normal range” of hyperopia or long-sightedness. If your child shows signs of being less than the expected range of hyperopia then pre-myopia is labelled and a suitable follow-up time will be arranged to monitor for signs of progression or change.

Myopia Treatment options:

The historic corrections of either spectacles or contact lenses has been superseded to include new spectacle lens technology that slows myopic progression, ortho-keratology contact lenses (that act like braces to control myopia progression), specially designed multi-focal contact lenses and in some cases the use of a ciliary-muscle relaxing drug called atropine.

Depending on your child’s history, the family history and the level of myopia, one or several of these options can be advised as the best form of treatment for your child. Further testing could also suggest that correcting your child’s binocular vision with vision training or eye exercises is also beneficial.

Regardless of the correction type, regular follow up appointments will be made to establish if there is any progression in your child’s myopia, and if the treatment regime is working as best as it can. This could be as frequent as every 3 months, and more typically it is a six month follow up. Once it appears that your child’s myopia has stabilised, then annual reviews are typically performed.

What if my child plays sport or has specific needs?

It is very common that individuals have different past-times or activities that require different forms of visual correction. A common question often relates to school camps, and in such instances we can make arrangements for a temporary form of correction, so do be concerned, we can help you through it.

Sports obviously have different requirements and having worked with sporting organisations for more than 3 decades, again we will be able to find a suitable correction that does not interfere with the overall goal of managing your child’s myopia.