35 Bulcock Street, Caloundra 4551 07 5492 2822

Author: isoadmin

Women’s Eye Health & Safety Month

This April, eyecare professionals across the globe call for women to prioritise their vision health. April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, a time to raise awareness of eye health issues that affect women.

According to the National Eye Institute, two-thirds of individuals with vision issues or blindness are women. Women are also more susceptible to specific eye conditions, including age-related macular degeneration, autoimmune diseases, cataracts, dry eye, Glaucoma, low vision, thyroid eye disease, and refractive error.

There are many reasons women are more at risk for eye conditions.

  • Gender and financial disparities can hinder a woman’s access to eye care.
  • Both pregnancy and menopause can cause hormonal changes affecting vision.
  • Women generally have a higher life expectancy than men, increasing their risk for age-related eye conditions.

Prevent Blindness advocates for early detection and treatment of any eye conditions as women are more likely than men to develop eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), autoimmune diseases like Lupus or Sjögren’s Syndrome, cataracts, dry eye, Glaucoma, low vision, thyroid eye disease, and refractive errors.

Age-related Macular Degeneration (ARMD):

ARMD is the leading cause of blindness in older adults and is more common in women than men. This condition causes damage to the macula, a small area at the back of the eye responsible for sharp, central vision. Symptoms of ARMD include blurry or distorted vision, difficulty seeing colours, and dark or empty spots in the centre of vision. Women can reduce their risk of developing ARMD by eating a healthy diet rich in leafy greens, fish, and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and quitting smoking.

Autoimmune Diseases:

Autoimmune illnesses like Lupus and Sjögren’s Syndrome can cause inflammation and eye damage, resulting in dryness, discomfort, and vision loss. These autoimmune diseases are statistically more prevalent in women.

Cataracts:

Women are 65% more likely to develop Cataracts, a clouding of the lens in the eye that causes blurred vision and sensitivity to light. This condition can be caused by aging, exposure to UV radiation, as well as certain medications.

Dry Eye:

The hormonal changes women experience in menopause and pregnancy can affect tear production leading to Dry Eyes. Dry eyes is a common eye condition that occurs when the eyes don’t produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly, leading to discomfort, redness, and vision problems.

Glaucoma:

Glaucoma results from damage to the optic nerve, which leads to vision loss and blindness. The risk factors for Glaucoma include age, family history, and certain medical conditions like diabetes. Women are more likely than men to develop a particular type of Glaucoma called primary open-angle Glaucoma.

Low Vision:

Low vision is a visual impairment that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. Generally, women are more likely than men to experience low vision due to age-related eye diseases like ARMD and cataracts.

Thyroid Eye Disease:

Thyroid eye disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the eyes and the thyroid gland. This condition can cause eye bulging, double vision, and vision loss.

Refractive Error:

Refractive error is a common vision problem that can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. Women more commonly experience refractive errors such as near-sightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism than men. It’s essential for women to get regular eye exams to detect and correct refractive errors early on, as they can cause eyestrain, headaches, and vision issues.

Preventing Eye Health Issues:

Women can take steps to protect their vision and prevent eye health problems in many ways. These may include:

  1. Having regular eye exams: Women should have their eyes checked by an optometrist at least once a year or more frequently if they have a history of eye problems or certain medical conditions.
  2. Protective eyewear: Women should wear safety glasses when working with power tools, participating in sports, or engaging in any activity which could cause an eye injury.
  3. A healthy diet: Maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help protect the eyes from inflammation and damage caused by free radicals.
  4. Quit smoking: Smoking is a prominent and very significant risk factor for several eye diseases, including ARMD and cataracts.
  5. Managing medical conditions: Women with medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and autoimmune diseases should work with their healthcare providers to manage these conditions and reduce their risk of eye problems.

 

Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month is an important reminder for women to prioritise their eye health and take steps to protect their vision. By getting regular eye exams, wearing protective eyewear, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and managing medical conditions, women can reduce their risk of developing eye diseases and maintain healthy vision for years to come.

 

About Best Practice Eyecare

At Best Practice Eyecare, our ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast team is led by Dr Karpa, a Fellow of RANZCO, a comprehensive Ophthalmologist and expert in Ophthalmology Sunshine Coast. Whatever the diagnosis, the team at Best Practice Eyecare can help you identify the best treatment option for your case, understand your condition, help you manage it and stop the progression of the disease.

Based in the beautiful coastal suburb of Golden Beach, Dr Karpa and this expert team provide eye care services of the highest standard with a relaxed, friendly, patient-focused approach. We service patients across all areas of the Sunshine Coast, including Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba, and Maroochydore. We also regularly see patients from elsewhere in the region, including centres such as Kilcoy, Nambour and Cooroy.

As a leading cataract surgeon, eye specialist and ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast, Dr Karpa treats a wide range of eye conditions such as cataractsGlaucomamacular degenerationdry eyes, and flashes & floaters. Dr Karpa also undertakes eyelid surgery, including blepharoplasty (often known as an eyelid lift), and ptosis repair.

Best Practice Eyecare Hosts AONAQ Clinical Meeting

Best Practice Eyecare was proud to host the first Clinic Meeting for 2023 for the Australian Ophthalmic Nurses’ Association Queensland (AONAQ) members earlier this month at our practice in Golden Beach.

AONAQ is an association providing support to Ophthalmic Nurse members living in Queensland to assist with their professional growth and development. They also offer associate membership to professionals in the ophthalmic field.

The meeting was well attended by Ophthalmic Nurses from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. Dr Michael Karpa spoke on Macular Degeneration, and Mr Thein Aung, our Clinical Optometrist, spoke on Dry Eye and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy.

Practice Manager, Ghislaine Wharton, a life member of AONAQ, kindly hosted the meeting, and the overwhelming feedback was that it was a successful morning of learning and networking for the local Ophthalmic community.

“We were delighted to host the AONAQ Clinic Meeting this year,” said Ghislaine. “It’s always a pleasure to welcome our colleagues from across the country and to share our knowledge and expertise. We’re committed to providing our patients with the best possible care, and we believe that collaboration is essential to achieving this goal.”

Presentations on Macular Degeneration & Dry Eyes

Dr Karpa’s presentation on Macular Degeneration was well-received by the audience. He discussed the different types of macular degeneration, the symptoms, and the available treatments. He also highlighted the importance of early detection and treatment for this condition.

Mr Aung’s presentation on Dry Eye and IPL therapy was also informative. He discussed the causes of dry eye, the symptoms, and the different treatment options. He highlighted the benefits of IPL therapy for the treatment of dry eye.

The meeting was a great opportunity for Ophthalmic Nurses and other allied health professionals to learn about the latest advances in eye care. It was also a chance to network with colleagues from across the state.

Best Practice Eyecare was thrilled to host such a successful meeting. It was a great opportunity for members to learn and network, and now with the energy back in our AONAQ community, we look forward to many great events and learning opportunities this year.

 

About Best Practice Eyecare

At Best Practice Eyecare, our ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast team is led by Dr Karpa, a Fellow of RANZCO, a comprehensive Ophthalmologist and expert in Ophthalmology Sunshine Coast. Whatever the diagnosis, the team at Best Practice Eyecare can help you identify the best treatment option for your case, understand your condition, help you manage it and stop the progression of the disease.

Based in the beautiful coastal suburb of Golden Beach, Dr Karpa and this expert team provide eye care services of the highest standard with a relaxed, friendly, patient-focused approach. We service patients across all areas of the Sunshine Coast, including Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba, and Maroochydore.  We also regularly see patients from elsewhere in the region, including centres such as Kilcoy, Nambour and Cooroy.

As a leading cataract surgeon, eye specialist and ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast, Dr Karpa treats a wide range of eye conditions such as cataractsglaucomamacular degenerationdry eyes, and flashes & floaters. Dr Karpa also undertakes eyelid surgery, including blepharoplasty (often known as an eyelid lift), and ptosis repair.

World Glaucoma Week 2023: Submit Your Activity Now!


World Glaucoma Week: 12-18 March 2023

“The world is bright, save your sight”. With World Glaucoma Week less than two weeks away, now’s the time to join us in spreading the word and raising awareness about glaucoma. The World Glaucoma Association (WGA) continues to promote early glaucoma testing through World Glaucoma Week.

Submit your Glaucoma Week activity now and help us reach our community in all corners of the world.

The World Glaucoma Association (WGA) aims to generate awareness and help individuals preserve their eyesight through World Glaucoma Week. This initiative puts the spotlight on glaucoma to educate, inform and encourage action throughout communities on a global scale. World Glaucoma Week helps to bring awareness to the prompt diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma to prevent needless vision impairment in those who don’t realise they have the disease. Highlighting glaucoma as a growing public health concern encourages the public to advocate for governments to instigate the necessary eye healthcare systems in communities that can’t readily access care.  Follow this hashtag to keep up with all the latest news and events in #glaucomaweek.

From March 12-18 2023, World Glaucoma Week will bring together an international community of committed patients, care providers and members of the public to advocate awareness and action towards glaucoma diagnosis. Early diagnosis through regular eye-health checks is the key goal to preserving sight.

Treatment Advancements

Recent developments in treatment advancements provide promising news for people with glaucoma.  Glaucoma, known as the “sneak thief of sight,” is the leading cause of irreversible blindness across the globe. With every 1 in 50 Australians developing glaucoma in their lifetime while over 50% not realising they have it, the threat of glaucoma is becoming increasingly important for individuals to be aware of. Read more about the risks, identification and treatment of glaucoma.

Recent medical advancements which have made this diagnosis a less daunting experience will also be shared this year. Several glaucoma treatment advancements have recently been approved, while others are still in development.

Advancements in Eye Drops

Prescription eye drops remain the primary treatment for the early stages of glaucoma. They successfully help to regulate ocular pressure and prevent or minimise damage to the ocular nerve. However, they can come at a financial or physical cost due to expensive prices and the potential for side effects. For those who traditionally require more than one series of drops per day, advancements have led to the combination of multiple prescription drops into one combined treatment. In addition to this, new administration techniques are currently under development, including a small plug to be placed in the tear duct, an inner eyelid ring, and even contact lenses could all be slow-release medication solutions for glaucoma treatment.

New Surgical Treatments

Beyond initial treatment, the options for treatment traditionally came in the form of invasive surgical procedures to help lower the eye’s pressure. But all that is changing, as less invasive surgical options, have been developed in recent years allowing doctors to treat patients earlier and with greater care. Minimally/Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) procedures allow fluid to drain from the eye by implanting a small device to assist in regulating eye pressure.

World Glaucoma Week Infographic

The goal of World Glaucoma Week is to raise awareness of this condition, which aids in promoting research into eye diseases and potential advancements in glaucoma treatment.

Where Best Practice Eyecare comes in…

At Best Practice Eyecare, our ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast team is led by Dr Karpa, a Fellow of RANZCO, a comprehensive Ophthalmologist and expert in Ophthalmology Sunshine Coast. Whatever the diagnosis, the team at Best Practice Eyecare can help you identify the best treatment option for your case, understand your condition, help you manage it and stop the progression of the disease.

Based in the beautiful coastal suburb of Golden Beach, Dr Karpa and this expert team provide eye care services of the highest standard with a relaxed, friendly patient-focused approach. We service patients across all areas of the Sunshine Coast including Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba, and Maroochydore. As a leading cataract surgeon, eye specialist and ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast, Dr Karpa treats a wide range of eye conditions such as cataractsglaucomamacular degenerationdry eyes, and flashes & floaters.

7 Sights Challenge: Take Glaucoma Out of the Picture


Get involved with World Glaucoma Week, this March and challenge yourself to Find, Snap and Share seven ‘sights’ and join together against Glaucoma.

Glaucoma Australia aims to spread appreciation for our eyes while helping gain awareness for Glaucoma and its devastating effects on people’s eyesight through the 7 Sights Challenge. One in fifty Australians is affected by glaucoma, the main contributor to avoidable but permanent vision loss and blindness. Your funding efforts will contribute to helping eliminate glaucoma blindness by promoting early identification, improved treatment results, and life-improving support services.

Throughout March, thousands of Australians will be Finding, Snaping and Sharing this year’s 7 Sights:

  1. Scenic Sight– Discover a stunning waterfall, breathtaking mountain view or colourful sunset.
  2. Structures Sight– A feature architectural masterpiece, intricate bridge or even a windmill!
  3. Selfie Sight– Strike a pose with an awesome backdrop!
  4. Creative Sight– Find some crazy graffiti, a sculpture or an amazing art piece – anything that’s expressive and creative!
  5. Local Sight– Highlight something your neighbourhood has to offer – perhaps a local coffee shop with an amazing brew, a peaceful park, or anything that’s a local treasure to you.
  6. Quirky Sight– Showcase anything that’s a little different – something fun, intriguing and unique!
  7. Wildlife Sight– Spot the creatures of the outdoors, whether they’re a colourful bird, a mother Kangaroo with a Joey or a turtle. Photograph and share some native wildlife!

To uncover, capture, and share your photographic gems, you can explore your neighbourhood or new locations by cycling, strolling, running, skating, or even swimming! As you complete these challenges, you’ll raise funds for the cause and take a stand against glaucoma blindness. By taking part in 7 Sights Challenge, the funds you raise will go towards critical services that prevent vision loss and fund ground-breaking research which improves treatment outcomes and saves sight. Every snap taken and every sight shared reminds us how precious our eyesight really is. Together we can take glaucoma out of the picture!

Join thousands of Australians and become a Sight Saving Champion this March to fundraise, raise awareness and celebrate sight! Register today!

Want to know more about how Glaucoma affects your eyesight? Read more about the risks, identification and treatment of glaucoma and about how you can come together to help individuals preserve their eyesight through World Glaucoma Week.

Where Best Practice Eyecare comes in…

At Best Practice Eyecare, our ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast team is led by Dr Karpa, a Fellow of RANZCO, a comprehensive Ophthalmologist and expert in Ophthalmology Sunshine Coast. Whatever the diagnosis, the team at Best Practice Eyecare can help you identify the best treatment option for your case, understand your condition, help you manage it and stop the progression of the disease.

Based in the beautiful coastal suburb of Golden Beach, Dr Karpa and this expert team provide eye care services of the highest standard with a relaxed, friendly, patient-focused approach. We service patients across all areas of the Sunshine Coast, including Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba, and Maroochydore. As a leading cataract surgeon, eye specialist and ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast, Dr Karpa treats a wide range of eye conditions such as cataractsglaucomamacular degenerationdry eyes, and flashes & floaters.

Continue reading

Age-Related Macular Degeneration & Underlying Heart Damage

New Study Reveals Connection Between Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Underlying Heart Damage

According to a recent study from the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, patients with a particular type of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness, are also very likely to have underlying heart damage. Heart failure, heart attacks, advanced valve disease and/or carotid artery diseases are all potential issues linked to those with a specific form of AMD – subretinal drusenoid deposits (SDDs).

What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a chronic and painless disease of the macula. A region known as the macula lies at the centre of the retina, at the back of the eye.

It occurs when the macula, the area of the eye that regulates precise, straight-ahead vision, suffers damage with age. Central vision gradually declines; however, the peripheral vision remains unaffected. The inability to see faces well and read or watch TV are all impacted by this loss of central vision. However, AMD alone does not cause complete blindness (black blindness).

Some persons with AMD experience very slow progression and no visual impairment. Others may see a quicker progression of AMD, which might impair vision in one or both eyes.

In Australia, it is the most prevalent macular condition. Half of all blindness and severe vision loss in this nation are caused by AMD.

Read more about risk factors, symptoms and diagnosing AMD.

SDDs and drusen are the two primary forms of deposits found in the retinas of persons with age-related macular degeneration.

Small, yellow cholesterol deposits known as drusen, which develop behind the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), are one of the main symptoms of early AMD. They may rob the retina of blood and oxygen, which might result in blindness. The production of drusen can be slowed down with the right vitamin intake.

Subretinal drusenoid deposits (SDDs), the other primary type of early AMD, are less well known and must be found with sophisticated retinal imaging. These deposits, which accumulate above the RPE and immediately below the light-sensitive retinal cells, are made up of a distinct type of cholesterol and where the damage and loss of vision occur. SDDs have no recognised treatments.

Are you at Risk?

Mount Sinai doctors and researchers discovered that SDDs were more prevalent in individuals with cardiovascular illness or stroke. The results of the ground-breaking study were published in BMJ Open Ophthalmology.

By examining a broader patient group and building on the earlier research, this current study pinpoints the exact severe types of carotid artery disease and heart disease resulting in AMD’s SDDs.

Existing or underlying heart damage can directly reduce the blood supply to the eye, either through heart injury, which reduces blood flow throughout the body or by a blocked carotid artery, which obstructs blood flow to the eye.

Harm from an inadequate blood supply can occur to any region of the body, and in these particular disorders, the SDDs and ruined retina constitute the damage.

Dr Smith’s researchers concluded that AMD patients were nine times more likely to suffer SDDs than individuals without these serious cardiovascular illnesses and strokes.

Co-investigator Chief of the Retina Service for the Mount Sinai Health System, Richard B. Rosen, MD stated “this work demonstrates the fact that ophthalmologists may be the first physicians to detect systemic disease, especially in asymptomatic patients.”

Follow this link if you’d like to read more about Macular Degeneration and book an appointment with the Best Practice Eyecare team.

Where Best Practice Eyecare comes in…

At Best Practice Eyecare, our ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast team is led by Dr Karpa, a Fellow of RANZCO, a comprehensive Ophthalmologist and expert in Ophthalmology Sunshine Coast. Whatever the diagnosis, the team at Best Practice Eyecare can help you identify the best treatment option for your case, understand your condition, help you manage it and stop the progression of the disease.

Based in the beautiful coastal suburb of Golden Beach, Dr Karpa and this expert team provide eye care services of the highest standard with a relaxed, friendly patient-focused approach. We service patients across all areas of the Sunshine Coast including Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba, and Maroochydore. As a leading cataract surgeon, eye specialist and ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast, Dr Karpa treats a wide range of eye conditions such as cataractsglaucomamacular degenerationdry eyes, and flashes & floaters.

Dry Eye Treatment: What Are Your Options?

Why Do I Have Dry Eyes?

In an ideal world, treating dry eyes would be simple—just add some moisture, and the issue would be resolved. In reality, it’s not quite that easy.

Our eyes are typically lubricated by our tears which prevent the surface from drying out. With each blink, a thin layer of tears coasts our eye – this layer of tears is protected by an even thinner coating of lipids to preserve the film. This tear film must stay intact in between blinks in order to preserve ocular comfort and health.

Dry eye syndrome is caused when your eyes don’t produce enough of the correct sort of tears. This may occur if you don’t generate enough tears to keep your eyes moist, if your tears are poor quality or if your tears don’t linger in your eyes for a long enough period of time. The surface of the eyeball may eventually get damaged due to the resultant dryness.

Anyone can develop dry eye, but it is more prevalent as we age since our ability to produce as many tears decreases. People with arthritis and postmenopausal women are also more likely to get dry eyes. Both certain medical disorders and several drugs have the potential to cause dry eye. Other causes include contact lens use, recent surgeries, irritants such as smoking, infrequent blinking such as long periods of screen time and climatic conditions – our eyes struggle in air-conditioned spaces like workplaces or shops.

What Can I Expect: Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of dry eyes include stinging, itchiness, blurred vision, redness, tired eyes, grittiness or the feeling of something foreign in your eye.

There are many tests and procedures which can be used in diagnosing dry eyes, your Best Practice Eyecare specialist will administer a non-invasive, simple eye exam which covers the following:

  • Comprehensive eye examination: a complete evaluation of the overall health of your eye and your complete medical history.
  • Measurement of the volume of your tears: called a Schirmer tear test, blotting paper strips will be placed under your lower eyelid to measure the amount of tears collected during a set time. A dye test alternative may also be used.
  • Determination of tear quality: special dyes will be used to evaluate the condition of the surface of your eyes. Specific cornea staining patterns and evaporation durations will help inform this.
  • Osmolarity test: measures the composition of your tears to determine how much water is in your tears.

From these tests, your specialist dry eye doctor can determine whether you have dry eye disease and what treatment is required.

What Are My Options?

Dry eye disease is a complex condition, chronic in nature; while we can’t cure it, we can manage its symptoms. There is a range of treatment options including medications, home remedies, lifestyle changes and specialised medical conditions. Dr Karpa and his team of specialists may recommend the following to increase tear production, maintain film volume and decrease tear evaporation:

  • Eye Drops: these can be natural such as Manuka Honey eye drops to reduce inflammation, over-the-counter eye drops – also known as ‘artificial tears’ – or even prescription eye drops which act as anti-inflammatories and can help stimulate tear production.
  • Eyelid washes: washes such as hypochlorous acid washes or tea tree foams help to reduce bacteria in and surrounding the eye to reduce eyelid inflammation.
  • Lifestyle changes: simple adjustments such as avoiding smoke, wind, long periods of screen time and using a humidifier to add more moisture to the air in your home can minimise the symptoms of dry eyes. Wearing sunglasses in our strong Queensland sun and getting enough sleep and water intake are all essential changes to help your dry eyes.
  • Tear duct plugs (Punctal plugs): to increase tear duration, a specialist from Best Practice Eyecare, Dr Karpa, can place special plugs into the inner corners of your eyes to keep the tears in your eyes for longer.
  • Specialised contact lenses: scleral lenses, or bandage lenses, may be recommended as contact lenses which protect the eyes’ surface and keep moisture in.
  • Surgery: in some instances, the lower eyelid may be too loose leading to quick drainage of tears, a specialised surgery can be done to help remedy this.
  • Light therapy: an Intense Pulsed Light therapy treatment and eyelid massage may help dry eye symptoms.

There are also a range of alternative medicines which may assist in relieving dry eye symptoms but which require further medical study. These include:

  • Omega fatty acids: this has been a major source of contention as clinical trials show no signs of benefits from using these supplements, while other doctors contest some of their patients find great benefits from it. Regardless it’s something worth trying – and you can discontinue if you personally see no benefit.
  • Manuka Honey or Castor Oil eye drops: these may reduce tear evaporation and inflammation.

While there is a range of mitigation treatment options, figuring out which strategies and tools work best for you is something you will have to discuss with your specialist. The team at Best Practice Eyecare Sunshine Coast are here to help you through the diagnosis and treatment process so you can stay as informed as possible and we can work together to find the best arrangement for you.

Follow this link if you’d like to read more about Dry Eyes and book an appointment with the Best Practice Eyecare team!

Where Best Practice Eyecare comes in…

At Best Practice Eyecare, our ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast team is led by Dr Karpa, a Fellow of RANZCO, a comprehensive Ophthalmologist and expert in Ophthalmology Sunshine Coast. Whatever the diagnosis, the team at Best Practice Eyecare can help you identify the best treatment option for your case, understand your condition, help you manage it and stop the progression of the disease.

Based in the beautiful coastal suburb of Golden Beach, Dr Karpa and this expert team provide eye care services of the highest standard with a relaxed, friendly patient-focused approach. We service patients across all areas of the Sunshine Coast including Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba, and Maroochydore. As a leading cataract surgeon, eye specialist and ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast, Dr Karpa treats a wide range of eye conditions such as cataractsglaucomamacular degenerationdry eyes, and flashes & floaters.

International World Sight Day 2022: ‘Love Your Eyes’

Every year, World Sight Day is held in October and represents one of the most important days of the year for the eye health sector. World Sight Day is an international event that provides an opportunity to draw attention to the critical importance of eye health and vision care.

  

This year’s theme was ‘Love Your Eyes‘, and the campaign aimed at raising awareness and driving demand for eye health by encouraging individuals to pledge to take a sight test with the goal of reaching 5 million people. The ‘Love Your Eyes’ campaign received a total of over 6.8 million pledges, almost doubling the 2021 results.

The purpose behind ‘Love Your Eyes’ is to create awareness that everyone will experience an eye health issue at some stage in life. The World Health Organisation recently reported almost 2.2 billion people across the globe – or 25% of our planet’s population – are affected by some kind of visual impairment, most of which could have been avoided. Here on the Sunshine Coast, we are very fortunate to have easy access to a wide range of eye health services, such as ophthalmologists and other allied eye care professionals. to help people prioritise their eye health and prevent sight damage. World Sight Day aims to target key, influential, stakeholders and world leaders to create accessible, affordable and inclusive eye care services around the globe.

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) has developed 10 tips for how you can ‘Love Your Eyes’:

  1. Give your eyes screen breaks by following the 20/20/20 rule. Looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes can help you avoid eyestrain and reduce headaches.
  2. Enjoy some time outside. While this applies to people of all ages, children, in particular, should be spending at least two hours a day outside to help their eyes develop and reduce near-sightedness.
  3. Protect your eyes from the sun. Wearing sunglasses that have UVA and UVB protection when outside can prevent the sun’s radiation from harming your eyes.
  4. Wear prescription glasses should you need them. Wearing prescription glasses will help you see clearly and reduce strain on your eyes.
  5. Avoid eye infections from cosmetics. Expired makeup and dirty makeup brushes can carry bacteria that could cause an eye infection.
  6. Regular exercise. Exercising regularly can reduce the risk of developing a range of conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure which can negatively affect your eyesight.
  7. A healthy diet. Eating a healthy and balanced diet will ensure you are receiving the necessary vitamins and minerals for maintaining eye health.
  8. Avoid smoking. Smoking adversely affects eye health, increasing your risk of developing serious eye conditions and potentially leading to permeant loss of sight.
  9. Detect problems before they arise by getting your eyes tested or visiting an ophthalmologist. Getting an eye test at your local ophthalmologist or optometrist can help detect eye conditions before they can permanently affect your eyesight. If your optometrist uncovers any eye conditions, they will refer you to an ophthalmologist where you can receive treatment and management options.
  10. Look after your eyes.  Your eyes need to last you all your life, take care of them. Remind yourself to have regular eye checks every year or so.

 

Where Best Practice Eyecare comes in…

At Best Practice Eyecare, our ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast team is led by Dr Michael Karpa, a Fellow of RANZCO, a comprehensive Ophthalmologist and expert in Ophthalmology Sunshine Coast. Whatever the diagnosis, the team at Best Practice Eyecare can help you identify the best treatment option for your case, understand your condition, help you manage it and stop the progression of the disease.

Based in the beautiful coastal suburb of Golden Beach, Dr Karpa and this expert team provide eye care services of the highest standard with a relaxed, friendly patient-focused approach. We service patients across all areas of the Sunshine Coast including Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba, and Maroochydore. As a leading cataract surgeon, eye specialist and ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast, Dr Karpa treats a wide range of eye conditions such as cataractsglaucomamacular degenerationdry eyes, and flashes & floaters.

The Sneak Thief of Sight: Glaucoma Risks, Identification & Treatment

THE CRUCIAL FACTS YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF REGARDING THE RISKS OF GLAUCOMA.

Glaucoma, also known as the “sneak thief of sight” is the second-leading cause of blindness worldwide due to its ability to cause damage to the eye even before a diagnosis.

Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve, which links the eye to the brain, is damaged by eye pressure. In the long term, glaucoma’s progressive and irreversible damage results in permanent eyesight loss. Damage that has already occurred cannot be repaired, but if it is caught early enough, we can reduce the eye pressure and stop the damage from getting worse. Regular checks for glaucoma can result in a prompt diagnosis and treatment to prevent potentially detrimental outcomes.

As a leading Sunshine Coast glaucoma specialist and ophthalmologist, Dr Michael Karpa has compiled these crucial facts you should be aware of regarding the risks of glaucoma, how to identify it and treatment options.

Causes and Risks

Anyone can get glaucoma, but several risk factors make it more likely for you to do so. It is important that you schedule routine eye exams if you have any of these risk factors:

Family History

Glaucoma risk is significantly influenced by genes. Some genetic diseases are triggered by a single set of genes, but glaucoma is polygenic, meaning that it is caused by potentially hundreds of genes, each of which modifies a person’s chance of developing the condition to varying degrees.

You must consider your family history carefully. Does anyone in your family currently have or have ever had glaucoma? You can ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast how often and at what age you should be checked for glaucoma if the disease runs in your family.

Age

Another significant glaucoma risk factor is age. In general, glaucoma risk and severity rise with age. Although genes are acquired at birth, some of their effects do not manifest until much later in life. The age at which your ancestors’ glaucoma was first discovered might serve as a reference for when to start monitoring if you have a family history of the disease.

Eye Trauma

Glaucoma can result from eye injuries that occurred in previous years. It can take years or even decades after the initial trauma for glaucoma to manifest. If one of your eyes has been injured, you should get your ocular pressure checked often.

Eye Conditions

Glaucoma risk is higher in eyes that have had many procedures or surgeries, as well as other illnesses and ailments. Glaucoma may result from numerous surgeries for corneal or retinal illnesses, previous eye inflammation, bleeding, or issues with the veins and arteries of the eyes.

Individuals who are short-sighted may also have an increased risk of developing glaucoma. The short-sighted eye frequently exhibits glaucoma-like symptoms without really having the disease. Short-sightedness can cause alterations that mimic glaucoma even in glaucoma diagnostic tests like the visual field test. Therefore many patients with more severe short-sightedness require ongoing, thorough glaucoma monitoring.

Health and Lifestyle Conditions

Finding the connections between glaucoma and many prevalent illnesses and lifestyle factors has been a major focus of research in recent years. Some of the risks for glaucoma include excessive caffeine consumption, allergen exposure, certain yoga positions, and wearing tight swimming goggles. Medical disorders with an effect include low blood pressure, unmanaged diabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea, and recurrent headaches to name a few.

Identifying Glaucoma

Glaucoma is generally un-identifiable until the disease has already progressed and irreversible damage has occurred meaning routine eye exams are the only way to find out if you have glaucoma.

Your optometrist or ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast can use a tonometer to measure the pressure in your eyes during your normal eye exam to screen for glaucoma. If the pressure readings are more than 20 mmHg, you should undergo further testing to rule out glaucoma. glaucoma is not always present in those with elevated intraocular pressure, although it is a significant risk factor.

It’s also important to evaluate your peripheral vision as glaucoma can impair it. This vision exam can be carried out by your local optometrist or ophthalmologist, using specialised equipment.

Treatments

If you visit your optometrist and they suspect glaucoma, please do not hesitate to arrange an appointment with eye specialist Sunshine Coast, Dr Karpa at Best Practice Eyecare. Dr Karpa is our resident glaucoma treatment Sunshine Coast expert.

It is important to recognise that the damage already incurred from glaucoma cannot be reversed; however, by intervening early, we have a higher chance of protecting your sight. Best Practice Eyecare Sunshine Coast ophthalmologists can provide a range of glaucoma treatments and glaucoma surgeries.

Vitamin B3

Numerous laboratory and clinical research have suggested that vitamin B3 has a beneficial protective effect on glaucoma. Although it has not yet undergone a full clinical study review, this interesting chemical has been demonstrated to protect glaucoma patients’ optic nerves. When visual neurones are under stress from increased pressure, vitamin B3 seems to provide nerve cells with protection against oxidative damage.

Tropical Drops

The more traditional treatment option for managing glaucoma is continual monitoring and the prescription of eyedrops to reduce the pressure in your eyes.

Surgery

A surgical solution is often the only way to resolve the drainage problem in the eyes, which will relieve the pressure. As a glaucoma surgeon on the Sunshine Coast, Dr Karpa performs a range of surgeries including SLT Laser treatment, YAG PI Laser treatment and a Trabeculectomy. A Trabeculectomy is the most common glaucoma procedure as it aids the drainage of intraocular fluid from the eye’s inside to its outside.

 

Where Best Practice Eyecare comes in…

At Best Practice Eyecare, our ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast team is led by Dr Karpa, a Fellow of RANZCO, a comprehensive Ophthalmologist and expert in Ophthalmology Sunshine Coast. Whatever the diagnosis, the team at Best Practice Eyecare can help you identify the best treatment option for your case, understand your condition, help you manage it and stop the progression of the disease.

Based in the beautiful coastal suburb of Golden Beach, Dr Karpa and this expert team provide eye care services of the highest standard with a relaxed, friendly patient-focused approach. We service patients across all areas of the Sunshine Coast including Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba, and Maroochydore. As a leading cataract surgeon, eye specialist and ophthalmologist Sunshine Coast, Dr Karpa treats a wide range of eye conditions such as cataractsglaucomamacular degenerationdry eyes, and flashes & floaters.

The Silent Disease a Quick Eye Exam Can Detect

While the majority of adults over 40 frequently visit an ophthalmologist or optometrist, many are unaware of how much our eyes may reveal about our health. The eyes are truly the windows to your soul! According to the American Heart Association, before most individuals are even aware they have high blood pressure, the eyes may be one of the first parts of the body to exhibit symptoms.

Only half of the estimated 1.3 billion individuals who have hypertension (high blood pressure) around the globe are aware of it or have had a diagnosis. Due to the lack of symptoms or warning indications associated with high blood pressure, many people may be unaware they have it. It is known as “the quiet killer” for this reason.

How does high blood pressure develop?

It takes time for high blood pressure to develop. Risk factors such as having a family history of high blood pressure as well as other illnesses including diabetes and renal disease can lead to high blood pressure. It frequently occurs in individuals who have spent years leading a bad lifestyle of an unhealthy diet, insufficient exercise, smoking, and excessive alcohol intake.

High blood pressure increases the chance of developing heart disease, including heart attacks and heart failure, stroke, renal disease, vascular dementia, as well as eye issues, if it is not controlled. This is why it’s critical to identify high blood pressure early; doing so may be possible through routine eye exams.

How do I know if I have high blood pressure?

There are several methods you may use to determine if you have high blood pressure. You can use a home testing kit, visit a drugstore, or have it examined by your doctor. Typically, a stethoscope, an arm cuff, or an automated arm cuff that may be used at home are used for this. Checking your blood pressure every few years is recommended; more frequent checks may be required based on your lifestyle choices and family history. However, your Sunshine Coast ophthalmologist may be able to identify high blood pressure symptoms before your doctor does.

How does an Ophthalmologist identify high blood pressure?

Many elements of the eyes, including the tiny blood vessels, may be seen by peering inside the eye using a slit-lamp (a specialised microscope used during an eye exam) or taking a retinal snapshot. In order to determine if a person is likely to have high blood pressure, an ophthalmologist may be able to measure the diameter of blood vessels during an eye examination.

These blood vessels are extremely sensitive to changes in blood pressure and high blood pressure can damage these tiny blood vessels, causing blurry vision. This damage may cause red regions of haemorrhaging in the eyes making this a strong indicator of elevated blood pressure. Individuals with high blood pressure may experience an accumulation of fluid under their retina, which can harm the health of the eyes. High blood pressure is a known risk factor in the onset and/or progression of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and other diseases.

Our eyes are often also referred to as ‘the window to the brain’ as the blood circulation of the eye and brain are similar and our eyes are created from brain tissue. Because of this, alterations in the blood vessels of the eye can serve as an indicator of not only high blood pressure but also potential problems in the brain and other parts of the body.

Although your ophthalmologist may notice these signs in your blood vessels, this is not a diagnosis as changes in the blood vessels may be caused by other disorders such as diabetes; a GP can confirm any suspicions of high blood pressure.

Ophthalmologists will examine a patient’s eyes to detect signs of high blood pressure, indicators may be fluid accumulation (which might result in edema), inflammation, and blood vessel malfunction. To determine who has a higher risk of getting high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, they can evaluate the diameter of the blood vessels in the eyes. To better detect risk factors for certain eye disorders – including high blood pressure – your ophthalmologist may additionally enquire about your health during an examination.

Although regular eye exams don’t replace regular medical visits, because patients are frequently asymptomatic, ophthalmologists are frequently the first-place high blood pressure is discovered. Your ophthalmologist may also be able to see symptoms of other conditions, such as diabetes, which can also potentially harm the eyes.

 

Where Best Practice Eyecare comes in…

At Best Practice Eyecare, our ophthalmologist sunshine coast team is led by Dr Karpa, a Fellow of RANZCO , a comprehensive Ophthalmologist and expert in Ophthalmology sunshine coast. Based in the beautiful coastal suburb of Golden Beach, Dr Karpa and this expert team provide eye care services of the highest standard with a relaxed, friendly patient-focused approach. We service patients across all areas of the Sunshine Coast including Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba, and Maroochydore. As a leading cataract surgeon and ophthalmologist sunshine coast, Dr Karpa treats a wide range of eye conditions such as cataractsglaucomamacular degenerationdry eyes, and flashes & floaters.

CPD Accredited Optometry Seminars Sunshine Coast

Best Practice Eyecare CPD Seminars

THE CPD POINTS/HOURS EARNED AT BEST PRACTICE EYECARE SEMINARS CAN BE USED TO STAY COMPLIANT

Throughout the year, Best Practice Eyecare hosts education events for optometrists on the Sunshine Coast where Ophthalmologist Dr Karpa presents information on the most up-to-date procedures and complex and interesting cases for review and discussion.

These events are free for optometrists and provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points from Optometry Australia. If you would like to join us for our next CPD event, please email our Practice Manager at practicemanager@bestpracticeeyecare.com.au for further details.

Our June 2022 event was held at Pier 33, Mooloolaba and was a very lively evening with 55 attendees. Topics included:

dr karpa best practice eye care optometrist cpd ophthalmologist sunshine coast2dr karpa best practice eye care optometrist cpd ophthalmologist sunshine coast3

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Sunshine Coast Optometrists

In order to retain registration as an optometrist, optometrists must attain a minimum of 20 CPD hours each year. This includes:

  • Minimum of 5 hours of Interactive CPD
  • Maximum of 5 hours of non-clinical CPD
  • An additional 20 hours of Therapeutic CPD if therapeutically endorsed.

Optometrists are also required to maintain a professional learning plan detailing their learning goals, CPD points and the CPD activities that contributed these points. These requirements apply to all registered Optometrists holding a registration with AHPRA.

For further detail on optometry CPD requirements, please see Optometry Australia’s detailed description on CPD requirements or the Optometry Board of Australia’s official definition of the standards registrants are required to meet.

At Best Practice Eyecare we host CPD accredited seminars with Ophthalmologist, Dr Karpa, discussing a range of topics including different procedures and complex case examples. Contact us today to enquire about our upcoming CPD seminars.

Best Practice Eyecare

At Best Practice Eyecare, our ophthalmologist sunshine coast team is led by Dr Karpa, a Fellow of RANZCO , comprehensive Ophthalmologist and expert in Ophthalmology Sunshine Coast. Based in the beautiful coastal suburb of Golden Beach, Dr Karpa and this expert team provide eye care services of the highest standard with a relaxed, friendly patient-focused approach. We service patients across all areas of the Sunshine Coast including Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba, and Maroochydore. As a leading cataract surgeon and ophthalmologist sunshine coast, Dr Karpa treats a wide range of eye conditions such as cataractsglaucomamacular degenerationdry eyes, and flashes & floaters.

  • 1
  • 2
Best Practice Eyecare Ophthalmologists

Based on the Sunshine Coast, we provide ophthalmologist, eye care and surgical services of the highest standard. We treat and manage a wide range of eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration and more.

© 2023 Best Practice Eyecare. All Rights Reserved.