NORTH WEST EYE SPECIALISTS

Clinical Specialties

DESIGNATED AVIATION OPHTHALMOLOGISTS (DAO’s)
Professor Daniell and Dr Meusemann are both registered aviation ophthalmologists with CASA. All relevant reports and tests can be completed for pilot licenses. The clinic has the Farnsworth Lantern and the anomaloscope available for colour vision testing.

For license applicants who have difficulty with CASA, we can do a comprehensive vision function report including occupational colour vision testing and contrast sensitivity testing.

Our Comprehensive ophthalmology services include visual acuity examinations, screening, detecting and managing eye disease and disorders, prescription for eyeglasses, prescription for medications and surgical evaluations.

Our team of ophthalmologists specialize in medical and surgical treatments for disorders of the eye. These include disorders such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, uveitis, dry eyes, conjunctivitis, genetic eye disease and other retinal conditions

Patients requiring cataract surgery are managed with close attention to ensure that specific visual needs are met by surgical outcomes. Patient care is personalised and our surgeons at Northwest Eye Specialists have access to the latest biometric and surgical technologies.

What is cataract?

Cataract is a change in clarity of the natural lens inside the eye and occurs with normal aging. It is not an eye disease and usually does not require urgent attention in adults. Cataracts can be induced by trauma to the eye or by certain medications. Cataract formation usually occurs more rapidly in people with diabetes or those who smoke. Some babies are born with cataracts and these do require urgent attention by your eye specialist so that normal vision can develop in the child.

How does cataract affect your vision?

Cataract leads to hazy vision because light entering the eye is scattered before being focussed on the back of the eye (retina). Some people notice glare outdoors or difficulty driving at night. Some types of cataract can lead to a loss of detailed vision or a subtle change in colour vision. Most cataracts develop and progress slowly, allowing us to adapt to changes in vision. Glasses will not improve poor vision due to cataract since the loss of clarity is occurring inside the eye.

Can poor vision due to cataract be improved?

If cataracts are affecting your vision to an extent that you cannot see as clearly as you would like to, our doctors at Northwest Eye Specialists will suggest cataract surgery. They might also recommend this surgery if your vision does not meet the driving standard or if there are other concerns with the health of the eyes that will be improved by cataract surgery. This surgery involves your eye specialist making a very small incision in the front of the eye so that your lens (cataract) can be removed and a new clear lens is then inserted in its place. Cataract surgery is performed on one eye at a time and eye drops are used for a couple of weeks after the surgery.

How do I know if my vision will be better after cataract surgery?

Our surgeons at Northwest Eye Specialists will only recommend cataract surgery once they have confirmed that it will be of benefit to you. Part of this involves a thorough examination of all parts of the eye, taking into consideration other aspects of your eye health that might affect the outcomes from cataract surgery. In preparing for your surgery, your eye specialist takes into consideration your specific visual needs and surgical outcomes. Many people no longer require glasses to see clearly in the distance once they have had cataract surgery.

What are the risks of cataract surgery?

The developments in expertise and technology for cataract surgery mean that cataract surgery is now a short, low risk, minimally invasive surgery. Most cataract surgery involves a day procedure completed within less than 20 minutes. There are very low risks of infection and our eye specialists will discuss any specific risks with you before your surgery.

Glaucoma management at North West Eye Specialists

Patients diagnosed with glaucoma are managed with an emphasis on comprehensive communication to ensure successful long term outcomes. Newly diagnosed patients are presented with a portfolio of their eye health status, encouraging understanding and involvement in their own management. The portfolio enhances monitoring efficiency and facilitates communication between other eye health care providers for the patient.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a slowly progressive disease of the optic nerve, leading to gradual loss in peripheral vision. Glaucoma often occurs in both eyes but is often different between eyes. The risk of developing glaucoma increases as we age. The development of glaucoma can also be associated with high pressure in the eyes, a family history of glaucoma or some eye diseases.

How do I know if I have glaucoma?

The only way of knowing whether or not you have glaucoma is by having your eyes tested. The majority of types of glaucoma do not have symptoms until a substantial amount of peripheral vision is lost. Rarely, the pressure inside the eye can increase substantially and rapidly; this type of glaucoma is associated with pain and a red eye. During your eye test, your eye specialist will examine the optic nerve thoroughly and measure your eye pressures. If there are any suspicions of glaucoma, your peripheral visual field will be assessed using a ‘visual field test.’ Different imaging techniques are often used to provide detailed recordings of the appearance of your optic nerves and to monitor for subtle changes over time.

What happens if I am diagnosed with glaucoma?

If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, your eye specialist will recommend treatment and discuss a long term monitoring and management plan with you. Glaucoma cannot be cured. Treatments and monitoring are important to ensure that you do not continue to lose vision due to progression of the glaucoma.

How is glaucoma treated?

Your eye specialist will discuss with you the most appropriate treatment for your glaucoma and its stage of progression. Commonly, treatment involves using eye drops that reduce the eye pressure. These drops do not have any noticeable effect on your vision; rather they are used on an ongoing basis to slow the progression of your glaucoma. Some people are offered a specific type of laser or other surgery to control the eye pressure.

Why is monitoring important?

Your eye specialist will closely monitor the progression of your glaucoma to ensure that you have the most appropriate treatment for your specific type and stage of glaucoma. Glaucoma manifests differently in different people and its rate of progression can fluctuate over time. Since progression is gradual, it is very difficult for us to detect change in our vision ourselves. Your eye specialist will ask you to repeat your visual field tests and you will have ongoing imaging of your optic nerves.

What is the retina?

The retina is a thin layer of tissue with specialized cells that line the back wall of the eye. It converts the visual image into a neural signal, which is transmitted via the optic nerve to be interpreted by the brain. The macula is the part of the retina that serves to provide central vision that is necessary for reading and driving.

Medical retina conditions

Some common medical retina conditions include age-related macular degeneration (dry and wet forms) and diabetic changes of the retina including diabetic macular oedema and diabetic retinopathy. There are many other conditions including retinal vein occlusions, central serous chorioretinopathy and rare genetic disorders that can affect the retina.

We offer the latest in technology!

At Northwest Eye Specialists we are equipped with state of the art technology to provide the most accurate and complete diagnostic information for medical retina patients. Some of our technologies include high-resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT).

What treatments do we provide?

At North West Eye Specialist, patients receive the most up-to-date treatments. Retinal laser for conditions such as diabetic retinopathy is performed with the latest laser machine to provide the safest treatment. We also perform intravitreal injections (injections in the back of the eye) for conditions such as wet macular degeneration on-site in our procedure room. Our specialists have a great deal of experience in these injections and ensure a painless procedure.

What is the retina?

The retina is a thin layer of tissue with specialized cells that line the back wall of the eye. It converts the visual image into a neural signal, which is transmitted via the optic nerve to be interpreted by the brain. The macula is the part of the retina that serves to provide central vision that is necessary for reading and driving.

What is the vitreous?

The vitreous is a liquid-gel structure that occupies around 80% volume of the eye. It is located in the back part of the eye between the retina and the front structures of the eye.

Surgical Retinal conditions

Common surgical retinal conditions include macular pucker (epiretinal membranes), macular holes, diabetic eye disease and retinal tears as well retinal detachments. There are other rare and complex vitreoretinal conditions.

Vitreoretinal surgical procedures

At North West Eye Clinic our vitreoretinal surgeons are fellowship trained in this highly specialized area. They perform small gauge vitrectomy surgery that usually does not require any stitches. Vitrectomy surgery is the removal of the vitreous fluid from the back of the eye and is combined with other retinal procedures such as membrane peeling to treat epiretinal membranes. Sometimes a gas or air bubble is left in the back of the eye, which is slowly absorbed and replaced by the eyes natural fluids. Other procedures include scleral buckling (band around the eye) to treat certain types of retinal detachments. These procedures are performed in an operating room within a day surgery centre.

Vitreoretinal surgeons also perform in-office procedures such as retinal laser for retinal tears, intravitreal injections and pneumatic retinopexies to treat retinal detachments.

The cornea is the clear structure at the front of the eye. It forms part of the external structure of the eye and is the first optical element of the eye involved in forming a focused image on the retina. Disorders of the cornea can result in an irregular shape or loss of transparency of the cornea which can degrade the quality of vision. The cornea is also very sensitive so small foreign bodies ulcers or abrasions can be very painful.

Common conditions of the cornea that require specialist treatment include keratoconus, herpetic keratitis and Fuch’s dystrophy.

At North West Eye Specialists we have extensive equipment and expertise in evaluating the cornea. These include:

  • Corneal topography – a technique for precisely measuring the curvature of the cornea
  • Anterior segment OCT – a high resolution method for measuring corneal thickness
  • Corneal pachymetry – an ultrasonic measurement of corneal dimensions

 

Professor Mark Daniell consults at North West Eye Specialists and can offer our patients the latest techniques of surgical treatment including:

  • Collagen Cross Linking – a technique for early keratoconus which can arrest or reverse the disease
  • DSAEK – a new partial thickness corneal transplant technique
  • Penetrating Keratoplasty – Full thickness corneal transplantation

What is oculoplastic surgery?

Oculoplastic surgery involves procedures or surgery to the eyelids, surrounding structures or orbit. This is a specialised area of plastic surgery for the delicate structures around the eye.

Why might I need oculoplastic surgery?

Oculoplastic surgery is offered if we have uncomfortable, abnormal or traumatic changes to our eyelids or eye socket. Common procedures include removing skin cancer on or around the eyelids and repairing the alignment or shape of the eyelids. Our eye specialists at North West Eye Specialists also look after the health of the eye socket if there has been trauma, problems with the muscles around the eye or if the eye needs to be removed due to serious disease.

What are the risks of oculoplastic surgery?

Any surgery in or around the eye is extremely delicate and requires specialised surgical experience. Our surgeons at North West Eye Specialists are experienced in performing eye lid surgery with precision and attention to functional outcomes. Orbital surgery is performed according to the latest accepted techniques.

Uveitis is a general term describing a group of inflammatory diseases affecting the eyes that can lead to slightly reduced vision or severe loss of vision if not properly treated. While uveitis may occur at any age, working-aged persons between 20-50 years old are most frequently affected.

The term “uveitis” is used because the disease often affects a part of the eye called uvea (iris, ciliary body and choroid). Nevertheless, uveitis is not limited to the uvea. These diseases may also affect the retina, optic nerve, lens, and vitreous, leading to reduced vision or blindness if not detected and treated.

Uveitis may be localized just to the eye or may occur as part of a systemic inflammatory diseases affecting other parts of the body. Uveitis can last for a short (acute) or a long (chronic) time. The most severe forms of uveitis may recur many times during a patient’s lifetime but with proper treatment, recurrences can be limited or eliminated altogether.

Symptoms

Uveitis can affect one or both eyes. Symptoms may develop rapidly and can include:

-blurred vision
-dark, floating spots in the vision (floaters)
-eye pain
-redness of the eye
-sensitivity to the light
-small pupil

Anyone suffering eye pain, severe light sensitivity, and any change in vision should be seen immediately.

Dr Tow Lim at North West Eye Specialists offers anti wrinkle injections for the improvement of frown lines, crow’s feet around the eyes and forehead wrinkles. These injections have a temporary muscle weakening effect, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles, which results in a fresher, smoother complexion.

Anti wrinkle injections are a safe and straightforward procedure that is carried out routinely in the clinic. Treatment involves the injection of selected areas with a muscle-relaxing drug and takes a few minutes to perform. Subsequently, the appearance of lines and wrinkles slowly improves with the full effect seen at about two weeks after the treatment. The duration of the effect of the medication usually lasts between three and four months and can be repeated when necessary.

The procedure is generally low in risk and safe. Minor side effects that can occur are bruising and mild headache that normally settles in a few days. More serious but rare side effects reported are droopy eyelid or double vision. These side effects are temporary and resolve with time.

At Northwest Eye Specialists Dr Lim and Dr Meusemann use anti-wrinkle injections for neuro-ophthalmic conditions such as blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm.

Please book an appointment with our staff if you wish to discuss this treatment option with a specialist. All anti-wrinkle injections in this clinic are performed by specialist eye surgeons.

         

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