Research & Publications

Part II: Phacoemulsification (PCS) vs. Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (FLACS)

So, you’ve decided that it’s time to have your cataracts removed. This became clear after you mistook Joan’s roaming pet rabbit for the bowl during your weekly casual game of lawn bowls; unfortunately, due to your cataracts this is currently the only thing that is clear. A brief foray into the world wide web using the search term “cataract surgery” quickly makes evident that while the surgical procedure itself is exceedingly common and relatively straightforward, there are a few decisions to be made – for example, whether you go with FLACS or phaco, and which IOL option is best for you, whatever these words mean!
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Part I: Phacoemulsification (PCS) vs. Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (FLACS)

Putting a knife to the eye sounds pretty horrific, like some sort of method of “enhanced interrogation.” In fact, the eyeball is such a sensitive, squeamish part of the body that there are even websites listing horror movies with the worst eyeball-involving scenes (Google it!). Ommetaphobia aside, a scalpel in the right hands can provide sight-restoring, quality-of-life-redeeming treatment to an eye affected by cataract.
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What You Need to Know About Eye Floaters

Cobwebs, specks, worms, squiggles, flies, “I thought I saw a rat run across the kitchen floor but when I looked it wasn’t there” – eye floaters can take on all sorts of shapes and (evidently zoomorphic) forms. They can vary from an elusive drifting spot noticeable only against a clear, blue sky to an irritating blob in the center of your vision, determined to block out the next word of every sentence you try to read.
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Top Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

Contact lenses are a great alternative to glasses for many reasons. They don’t fog while cooking, don’t get covered in raindrops in wet weather, don’t fall off your face during aerial yoga, and don’t diminish the intensity of your smolder as you lock eyes with your love interest across the room. But as with many things, these benefits come with some additional responsibility.

 

Contact lens handling

Handwashing is a big deal. Bacteria or dirt and impurities from your hands can transfer onto the contact lens during either insertion or removal, making it important to thoroughly wash and dry your hands before handling the lens. Any bacteria caught on the lens surface, which is subsequently placed on the delicate cornea of the eye, then has several hours to burrow its way through the cornea’s defenses and spark an infection. Using a soap free of moisturizers is ideal as these soaps often leave residual chemicals on the hands. Hand sanitizer is not a good idea as these usually contain alcohol and the eye is not a fan of alcohol.
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How to Be the Best Patient Ever for Your Eye Doctor

Everyone wants to be the best at something, right? And while we can’t all be the next Usain Bolt or Albert Einstein, with dedication and intense training, there is one thing you could possibly become the best at – being a great eye care patient. Not only will being a switched-on, savvy patient help the examination run smoothly for your eye care practitioner, it can also benefit you and let you get the most out of your consultation. Remember that your eye doctor is there to not only address the concerns you bring up but also to detect and manage any problems you might not even know you had. This encompasses both issues with your vision and your ocular health. Here are some things to think about.
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What Is Refractive Error?

Vision is a pretty amazing thing – except for when it isn’t. Over 75 per cent of Americans are estimated to wear optical correction in the form of spectacles or contact lenses. And it’s thought that even more should be wearing some form of optical correction but instead wear some form of denial to address refractive error.

Refractive error occurs when the eye cannot properly focus which, of course, results in blurred vision. The 4 most common types of refractive error are myopia, presbyopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
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Color Perception, Photoreceptors and the Different Types of Colorblindness

Contrary to what the name suggests, colorblindness isn’t an absolute blindness to color. The perception of color is a complex process involving the eyes and the brain, and even two people who consider themselves “color vision normal” may disagree on certain hues – is that sunset more pink or purple? In a person with a diagnosed color vision deficiency (a more accurate term), they usually will experience what is considered a “shortened spectrum”, meaning they are able to distinguish fewer colors compared to a color-normal person and may confuse a few different shades as the same color. In Caucasian populations, the overall prevalence of colorblindness is typically quoted as 8% in males and 0.5% in females. A study conducted in Californian preschool boys found the lowest rate of colorblindness in African American at 1.4% and the second lowest in Hispanic boys at 2.6%.

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All About Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Most people at some point in their lives will experience an unpleasant but usually mild condition known as pink eye, or conjunctivitis. It typically starts as a burning, gritty, or itchy sensation, accompanied by some sort of unsightly discharge, and – as you would expect – the whites of the eye turn pink. An estimated 6 million Americans are affected by conjunctivitis every year with the annual cost of treating bacterial conjunctivitis predicted to be as high as $857 million.
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Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH)

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is an uncommon condition involving an increase in intracranial pressure in the brain of unknown cause. It goes by a couple of other aliases, including pseudotumor cerebri, due to the signs and symptoms mimicking a brain tumor (“pseudotumor” means “false brain tumor”), and benign intracranial hypertension. It is estimated that about 100,000 Americans suffer from IIH.
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How Eyes Offer Clues About the Health of Your Body

The full list of systemic diseases associated with signs in the eye is one that is too long to be contained in a single post. It ranges from the obscure syndromes such as Marfan’s and Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (that would be a mouthful to say) to the more well-known conditions of diabetes and hypertension. Don’t forget, the same blood that runs through your liver and down through the blood vessels of your toes eventually also circulates through your eyeballs.

The role of an eyecare practitioner is sometimes akin to that of a detective – picking up various little clues during an eye examination that could result in making a deduction about your cholesterol levels or the presence of a certain gene in your DNA, perhaps even making a link to your ongoing bowel problems or mouth ulcers.
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Research & Publications

Can Cataracts Be Prevented?

The mention of cataracts can cause a bit of a heart palpitation for some people, particularly older ones who have family …

The Difference Between Headaches and Migraines

Are headaches the same as migraines? Can a migraine cause a vision problem? Can a vision problem cause a migraine? Are headaches …

Did You Know You Can Get Herpes in the Eye?

Here’s an unexpected differential diagnosis for anyone who’s ever had pink eye – eye herpes. As nasty as that sounds, …