About John O’Connor Blog

  • All
  • Deals
  • Eye Conditions
  • Eye Health
  • Eye Info
  • Eye Tests
  • Frames
  • Prescription Glasses
  • Sunglasses

Keratoconus: causes and treatment options

Keratoconus – Progressive thinning and distortion of the cornea Keratoconus is an eye disease of the cornea: the thin, clear tissue covering the surface of the front of the eye. A normal, healthy cornea is round in shape, but sometimes the cornea can weaken, losing its shape. Instead of a dome, it becomes cone-shaped, preventing clear vision. This is known as keratoconus. It is a progressive disorder that can either progress rapidly or take years to develop. It may affect only one eye but more commonly occurs in both. Causes of Keratoconus The cause of keratoconus is unknown. It is a relatively rare disease – it is estimated that 1 person out of 1,500 is affected – and seems to have genetic components.  Keratoconus is most prevalent in those who are near-sighted. Many patients who have keratoconus report vigorous eye rubbing. Although it is not proven that eye rubbing can cause or worsen keratoconus, it is probably a good idea to keep from rubbing the front of your eye too much anyway. Many patients with keratoconus also have allergies and eczema, but the link to allergic disease also remains unclear. Two theories for keratoconus have been suggested: Keratoconus corneas are more easily damaged by minor trauma such as eye rubbing. Keratoconus corneas lack the ability to self-repair routine damage easily repaired by normal corneas. Keratoconus affects people of all races and both sexes. Most patients develop keratoconus in their late teens to early twenties. It can begin at any age, but it is much less common after the age of 30. There are no preventative measures for keratoconus, but if you develop it, there are many good keratoconus treatment options available. Keratoconus Treatment The first symptoms of keratoconus are blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light. Contact Lenses In the mildest form of keratoconus, glasses can correct the mild near-sightedness and/or astigmatism caused by keratoconus. Eventually though, keratoconus may progress so far that glasses cannot correct your vision. As the disorder progresses and the cornea becomes increasingly distorted, specially designed soft lenses often work well. In more advanced keratoconus, rigid gas permeable (RGP or hard) contact lenses are good choices for vision correction. An RGP contact lens is designed so that its front curve is spherical (to provide undistorted vision) but the back curves are tailored so the lens stays on the irregular cornea. Fitting contact lenses on a keratoconus cornea is delicate and time-consuming. A poorly fitting lens can cause scarring on the eye surface as well as discomfort and poor vision. Correct fitting will require frequent follow-up visits to fine-tune. In some cases, many months. Lenses also need to be refitted regularly to maintain good vision and lens comfort. Advanced Keratoconus Treatment In advanced cases, the cornea wears down at the very point of the cone shape. If this happens, you may need to consider other keratoconus treatment and there are good options available. Corneal Collagen Cross-linking Corneal collagen cross-linking works by saturating the cornea with custom-made riboflavin drops which are then activated by ultraviolet light over a 30-minute session. This treatment increases the collagen cross-links which are the natural’ “anchors” within the cornea. These anchors are responsible for preventing the cornea from bulging out and becoming steep and irregular and collagen cross-linking will strengthen them. We don’t perform corneal collagen cross-linking at John O’Connor Optometrists, but should we think this is a good keratoconus treatment option for you, we can refer you to see an ophthalmologist, either privately or through the public hospital system. Collagen cross-linking is not a cure for keratoconus. It does not reverse any change that has already occurred, but it can arrest progression and further deterioration in vision. Glasses or contact lenses will still be needed following a cross-linking treatment, but with a change in prescription. Corneal Transplants Should keratoconus progress so much that contact lens wear becomes unsuccessful or the cornea becomes scarred, then a corneal transplant may be indicated. Although there is some risk of tissue rejection, it is relatively low. Few people may welcome the need for this procedure, but corneal transplants do enjoy a high rate of success. The main limitation is the number of donated corneas – the NZ National Eye Bank relies on organ donors to provide the sight-restoring corneal tissue. Most often, patients will still need to wear contact lenses after the surgery. Keratoconus Diagnosis Always see your eye care professionals at John O’Connor Optometrists immediately if you have any sudden changes in vision. This includes darkening around the edges of your vision, dark spots in front of your eyes, halos around bright lights, a loss of vision in one part of your field of sight or any other noticeable change. If your child or teenager has vision problems that cannot be corrected to 20/20 with glasses, they should be evaluated by an eye care professional with experience in diagnosing and treating keratoconus. Regular eye examinations are a must. Keratoconus can be diagnosed in a slit-lamp examination or by corneal topography. It is during these exams that your health care provider has a chance to detect any conditions like keratoconus before they become a bigger problem. Once-a-year check-ups are instrumental in maintaining health vision over your lifetime. Full eye exams start from $65 and you can get an eye test at either our Newmarket or Henderson optometry practice. Call 09 522 1283 or 09 836 1731 to book an appointment with one of our Auckland optometrists.

What are occupational glasses?

Feeling tired by the end of the work day? Spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen? Been a few years since your 21st birthday party? By the end of the day, many of us young folk over 40 can have difficulty seeing the words clearly on the computer screen, even with reading glasses. Eyes can become irritated, feel heavy and we can suffer blurred vision. Why? Basically, the optical correction for presbyopia (from the Greek meaning “trying to see as old men do”) or short arm syndrome is not designed for reading at near to intermediate distances: computer screens. What that means it that our reading glasses are not designed for computer work. But eye strain can cause fatigue and sometimes headaches in all prescription glass wearers, not just the less young. More and more of us routinely spend increasing numbers of hours in front of computers, tablets and smartphones. For your eyes to work comfortably, eyeballs and screens should be between 1m and 1.5 metres apart, and your glasses should be designed to suit. Variable optics are the best solution for clear vision at varying focal ranges. Work glasses that work Occupational glasses are particularly helpful for people who use screens and devices or extended periods of time. An occupational lens lets you see side to side, up and down, within working distances of up to about 2.5 m. Hoya’s occupational lenses Wearing incorrect lenses can result in neck and eye strain as we lean and stretch to see computer screens. Reading glasses can see people leaning in close to the computer screen or, if they’re wearing bifocal lenses, raising their heads to see through the lower section. For maximum comfort, we should be able to sit up straight in a chair and have the computer screen below our line of sight at a comfortable viewing angle. In Hoya’s occupational lenses, the middle of the lens is devoted to intermediate vision. You won’t have to tilt your head to find the best optical zone in the lens; it is designed to match what you need to see. Work lenses with depth of view Ordinary reading glasses do not offer sufficient width or depth of vision. Hoya’s occupational lenses have a much wider field of view than regular progressive lenses. With graduated lenses for work at short and intermediate distances, they can help your eyes adapt to the demands of screen work. The lower section of the lens is graduated for near vision (40 cm) and for distance the upper section is graduated for intermediate distances (1-1.5 m). Occupational glasses have progressed Progressive glasses have side margins between the different viewing areas. These side areas create zones where you cannot see clearly. However, in Hoya’s occupational lenses the graduations are minimal. For many, one of the limitations of wearing progressive lenses is that you have to learn to use them, to learn to change horizontal head and eye movements – you need to use your eyes to look downward, not your head. The new designs and materials in the occupational lenses we stock mean the transition areas are reduced and adapting to wearing occupational glasses is quicker and easier. Why choose occupational lenses? Occupational lenses are specifically designed to provide excellent vision for “work distances”. Perfect for people with tired eyes who spend a lot of time in front of computers they provide: Excellent depth and width perception at near and intermediate distances Wider field of view when you’re using digital devices A more ergonomic posture at your desk Comfortable vision and good working ergonomics are too important to leave to chance. Through individualised advice and expert evaluation, one of our skilled optometrists will find the right occupational lenses to meet your work needs. We’ll have you looking smart in no time. To learn more about  occupational glasses and how they can help you see your way through the busy work day, talk to our optometrists. You can email our Auckland Optometrists or phone the Newmarket Optometrist on 09 522 1283 or call our Henderson Optometrist on 09 836 1731.

Photochromic lenses

Sick of playing musical glasses? Do you get tired of having to carry around both prescription glasses and sunglasses and then switching between the two every time the sun comes out? Then you will definitely benefit from wearing Transition Sensity photochromic lenses. Designed for people on the go, these are smart lenses that seamlessly change when you move from indoors to outdoors, ensuring maximum visual comfort in all settings. By helping your eyes adjust to shifting light conditions, photochromic lenses let you discern objects of different size, contrast and brightness. You will see better in all light conditions. Good for all sorts of vision problems, light-reactive lenses can be used in single vision lenses and progressive lenses, and they come in different designs, colours and materials, ranging from standard to scratch and shatter-resistant materials. Busy? Always in and out and on the move? Wearing Transition Sensity photochromic lenses means that instead of mucking around with prescription sunnies or chopping and changing your eye glasses, you can relax, well, about your glasses anyway. How do photochromic lenses work? Light reactive lenses, also known as photochromic lenses, interact dynamically with the environment; they instantly detect the presence of UV rays and change accordingly to protect the eyes. They darken in bright sunlight and then fade back to clear when you’re indoors. They protect the eyes by absorbing harmful UV light, known to contribute to cataracts, macular degeneration and eyelid tumours. These lenses essentially mean you can wear eyeglasses and sunglasses at the same time. That’s pretty clever, but how do they know what to do? These lenses contain a photochromic substance that undergoes a reversible change in colour on exposure to light. Great, but what does that mean? Light reactive lenses are made with a photochromic dye. When exposed to sufficient light, or UV radiation, the glasses will tint, and then at night-time or when there is no ultraviolet light, the lenses appear clear. Tinting increases with light intensity. Who can wear photochromic lenses? They are suitable for all age groups, especially kids. The crystalline lenses in children’s eyes are young and not yet fully developed. Light reactive lenses cut out the potentially damaging ultraviolet rays when kids are busy enjoying the outdoors. What are the benefits of light reactive lenses? They offer full UV protection in all climates and seasons. You’ll have comfortable vision, no matter the light intensity. Cut your squint. Your glasses will darken rapidly when outdoors and fade back quickly to clear when indoors. Within 35 seconds of exposure to the sun, they can reach 70% tint. They help reduce glare, eye fatigue and eye strain because your eyes are protected against constant variations in light. These lenses are recommended for people with specific eye conditions, such as cataracts, that affect night vision, contrast and light sensitivity. Are photochromic lenses the perfect alternative to sunglasses? Not completely. Even at their very darkest, photochromic lenses don’t generally get as dark as good sunglasses would. In addition, sun protection is also about how large the lens is. The bigger your lenses, the better the protection.  For outdoor activities involving extreme glare, like walking on the beach or snowboarding, a pair of dark sunglasses with proper eye coverage will always be best. Fashionable, optical frames are typically reasonably small in size, allowing stray ultraviolet light from the top, bottom and the sides to slip through. If you’re going to spend time outside in a glary environment, you are better off wearing large wrap-around, polarised sunglasses. We receive 40% of UV radiation when we least expect it, like on cloudy days or over winter. Photochromic lenses can be a useful add on to prescription glasses. They provide UV and glare protection around the clock for people on the go who need indoor and outdoor glasses and want to get on with life without constantly changing them. Are they good driving glasses? Photochromic lenses go darkest in cool conditions. They also need exposure to UV light to activate, which is largely blocked by car windscreens.   If you spend a lot of time behind the wheel, a pair of dark polarised lenses will give you the best comfort. Transition Sensity photochromic lenses for life Photochromic lenses offer great lifestyle benefits. They are convenient, and by handling much of the day-to-day variation in light conditions, they protect your eyes from glare and UV light. If you spend much of your time indoors, but you would like the convenience of some protection from glare and UV as you’re in and out and on the move, then a photochromic lens is best for you. However, they are best supplemented with sunglasses for prolonged driving and outdoor activities like skiing, fishing or lying around on the beach. Photochromic lenses for me? Eye glasses come in many forms, shapes and sizes. When you have a wide range of options before you, choosing which glasses to wear can be tricky. Want to know more about choosing the best UV and glare protection for your eyes? Interested in Transitions photochromic lenses as part of your vision correction solution? At John O’Connor Optometrists we stock HOYA Sensity, the latest innovation in photochromic lenses that provides unparalleled performance and outstanding user comfort. We also stock a massive range of fashionable and practical frames, which can be custom designed to suit your lifestyle and visual needs. Talk to our eye experts. They’ll help you choose the right lenses for your lifestyle and frames for your face.

Progressive lenses for a clearer view

Suffering from ‘short arm syndrome’? A common eye condition as we age If you’re over 40, you’re probably starting to suffer from ‘short arm syndrome’, the need to hold a phone or the list of ingredients on the back of that packet of chips at arm’s length to see it. This almost inevitable development for most of us is also known as presbyopia, which endearingly comes from the Greek meaning ‘trying to see as old men do’. But don’t panic. This eyesight change does not mean you’ll be reduced to wearing ugly bifocals or trifocals like the previous generation did. Nor will you have to lug around more than one pair of glasses with you; you won’t need to swap between your reading glasses, glasses for driving and glasses for seeing a computer screen clearly. Thanks to technology, we have more choices today than ever, and that also applies to our vision and choice of spectacles. And then they made progressive lenses You can now have no-line bifocal reading glasses. Progressive lenses are multifocal eyeglass lenses that look exactly the same as single vision, regular glasses. They have a gradual curvature across the lens surface and provide clearer vision at near and far distances, as well as smooth, comfortable progression in between. Gone are those annoying, and tell-tale, age defining bifocal lines in your glasses. Progressive or multifocal lenses have 3 prescriptions in 1 pair of glasses, so you can do close-up work, like reading a text, middle-distance work, like computer work, or distance viewing, such as driving, without changing your glasses. For most people, progressive lenses are a great option. What are progressive lenses? Instead of having just two different viewing zones (near and distant), as you would with bifocals, progressive lenses have progressive powers of correction going from bottom to top. You get a smooth transition from distance vision through intermediate vision to near vision, with all the in-between corrections. The distance prescription is at the top and gradually increases in power to your full reading prescription as you move down the lens, providing the correct lens power to see clearly at virtually any distance. Vision with progressives can seem natural, you don’t get a jump like you would with bifocals or trifocals when you move from viewing something close up to something far away. So if you’re driving, you can look at your speedo, at the road, or at a sign in the distance with a smooth, seamless transition. Benefits of progressive lenses Progressive lenses ease eye strain and provide natural vision correction; they will help you see clearly at all distances. Progressive lenses are custom-made for your specific needs, right down to the frame, prescription, and even your lifestyle. Progressive lenses fit for purpose At John O’Connor we stock HOYA progressive lenses. Hoya has taken a research-oriented approach to progressive lens development revolutionising progressive lens design technology. Their progressive lenses have wider visual fields and can be tailored to your lifestyle. Hoya Vision’s most advanced premium progressive lens, the Individualized Dual Surface Progressive lens, lets you experience an unprecedented level of individualisation and clear, stable vision, every time and everywhere. Once our optometrists have your prescription sorted out, they then work with you to look at your lifestyle, for example how often you read from a smart phone, or drive at night, or play sport so your lenses can be customised for you. They will help you pick a good frame, because not every progressive lens design fits every frame. They will also make sure the lenses are perfectly centred over your eyes and they look at the way you actually wear your glasses: your precise fitting preferences. For example, if the lens we design for you assumes a distance of 14mm but you wear your glasses at 10mm then there will be a difference between the prescribed lenses and what you see; your prescription may not ending up being right. The way our optometrists fit your progressive lens is crucial. Basic lens designs make a set of assumptions about how the frame fits your face. All fitting details are based on your face shape, size, frame design – the tilt and wrap of the frame – and the interaction between them. Our optometrists will take measurements of the distance between the frame and the eye, as well as the curvature of the frame and angle of the tilt while on your face. They will measure the height of the area on the lens to which the progressive adds more power. Improper measuring can disrupt your sight; if the seg height is too low, you’ll find it hard to look through the intermediate channel or the intermediate will channel start where the distance channel should be. Poorly fitted progressives are a common reason why people can’t adapt to them. Adjusting to progressive lenses For many people, progressive lenses may take a little ‘getting-used-to’ time. Multiple powers are included in one lens, so some people can feel dizzy because they’re looking through the wrong part of the lens. Some wearers feel a seasick sensation while they’re moving. However, these sensations can be reduced or eliminated with changes to the way you shift your vision from one zone to another. Finding the lens correction ‘sweet spot’ may take a little time, but it will happen. The initial difference in your peripheral vision will also probably require some changes in your horizontal head and eye movements. It does take a little practice to adjust to reading with progressive lenses. The reading area of glasses is near the bottom of the lens, so if you tilt your head downward, you’re still looking through the distance portion of the lens instead of the section for close-up vision. Rather than tipping your head downward, use your eyes to look downward so the proper vision correction zone is used. Tips for wearing in progressive lenses Choose a quality optometrist who can guide you through the process. Give yourself one or two weeks to adjust to them. Practice

Eye protection in winter

The not-so glaringly obvious risks of winter. Winter eye protection is just as important as it is in the summer.  In the gloominess of winter, many of us put away our sunglasses until the longer, sunnier days of summer come back. The overcast skies and lack of sunshine fool us into thinking that our eyes do not need to be shielded from invisible UV rays. But eye protection in winter is very important, sometimes even more so than in summer. UV (or ultraviolet) rays don’t take a break in the winter. In fact, the lower angle of winter sun in relation to the eyes means UV exposure can be even higher in winter mornings and afternoons. Lower sun angles and UV exposure on unprotected eyes increase the risk of cataracts, ocular melanoma, macular degeneration and and skin cancers around the eyelid. People relax their guard in winter. Many assume the ambient temperature is equivalent to UV levels and messages for UV protection, such as wearing sunglasses and hats, are not so visible as they are over summer. But New Zealand has relatively high UV levels and we all need to keep our eyes safe by wearing sunglasses – all year round. Hitting the slopes? Snow, ice and reflective wet roads cause the sun’s UV rays to reach your eyes from ground level as well as from above. In fact, winter snow reflects almost 80 percent of UV radiation, whereas the percentage of UV radiation reflected by a shimmering sandy beach is between 10 and 20% and green surroundings only reflect about 6% of UV light. Although you may remember to wear sunglasses when you’re at the beach, your risk of UV exposure is quadrupled when you’re outside in snowy, glary weather. Your eyes are sensitive Your eyes can become sunburned if exposed to harmful rays for prolonged periods of time, even when the temperature is low and it’s overcast. The symptoms of sunburn in your eyes (or photokeratitis) include: Pain Blurriness Watery Eyes Redness Headache Swelling Seeing halos Eyelid twitching Temporary vision loss or snow blindness (in rare cases) The vision-saving role of sunglasses Do you take the necessary precautions during winter? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t do so consistently. You should always wear UV protective eyewear when outside – all year round. When shopping for sunglasses, or googles, be sure to choose a pair with a high eye protection factor (EPF). Under the Australian and New Zealand Sunglass Standards, sunglasses with a value of 3 and 4 absorb almost all UV radiation. You should also always look for tints that provide 100% UVA/UVB protection. The best place to start looking for a quality pair of sunglasses is with your optometrist or eye doctor. Besides the risk of UV exposure, cold winds and bright glare are two more winter woes to be weary of. Good quality tinted sunglasses lenses protect your eyes from UV rays, but they do not eliminate glare. Glare washes out colours, obscures details and causes eye strain. Polarised lenses absorb glare and prevent fatigue by allowing your eyes to relax – no more squinting, watering eyes and headaches. The glare-blocking microscopic layer in polarised sunglasses improves your vision by enhancing clarity and contrast and reducing eye strain. Polarised lenses make driving on wet, wintery roads safer. At John O’Connor Optometrists we can help you with eye protection in winter: reduce wind, glare and ultraviolet radiation exposure. Our Bill Bass polarised sunglasses start from $189. If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, we can customise a pair of sunglasses to suit your eyes. Prescription polarised sunglasses using HOYA’s NuPolar lenses provide the ultimate glare protection. Our tinted polarised prescription sunglasses start from $488. Protect your eyes over winter Specialty eyewear exists for all winter sports and activities. Talk to us if you have any questions about UV exposure or any specialty eyewear you need to live an active, safe winter lifestyle! With an estimated 3 million people globally going blind every year due to prolonged UV exposure, it is important that everyone takes steps to look after their eyes over winter and summer. If you’d like to protect your eyes in winter give us a call and we’ll find the polarised lenses that are right for you. Call our Newmarket Optometrists on 09 522 1283 or Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731 or send us an email via our contact page. We’d be happy to discuss all our eye-saving options with you.

PVD – floaters and flashes in your eyes

Posterior Vitreous Detachment A common eye condition as we age Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a very common eye condition. It’s caused by natural changes to the vitreous gel that takes up the space inside the eye. Many people develop posterior vitreous detachments and never experience symptoms, whereas others may notice floaters and flashes. Although PVD causes some frustrating symptoms, it doesn’t cause pain, harm the eye or cause permanent loss of vision. Understanding PVD Basically, the eye is divided into three sections: the anterior chamber, the vitreous chamber and the posterior chamber. The vitreous chamber is positioned at the back of the eyeball between the lens and the retina. It is the largest of the chambers and takes up around 80% of the eye. It contains a clear, colourless, jelly-like fluid. The vitreous protects your eye, and most importantly, helps the eye to hold its ‘spherical’ shape and keeps the retina in place. Causes As you get older the vitreous in your eye becomes more watery, less gel-like and isn’t able to keep its usual shape. This causes it to move away from the retina at the back of the eye towards the centre of the eye. This is known as posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). Because these changes to the vitreous are natural, over 75 per cent of people over 65 develop PVD. It’s not a sign of disease or eye health problem and any symptoms usually get better with time. Diagnosis  The early symptoms of PVD are very similar to the symptoms of a retinal detachment. It’s really important for you to get a professional diagnosis to confirm that the symptoms aren’t related to a more serious condition. If you experience any of the symptoms below, you should arrange to have your eyes examined by one of our Auckland optometrists within 24 hours. a sudden experience of floaters or an increase in their size and number flashes of light and/or a change/increase in the flashing lights you experience blurring vision a dark curtain moving up, down or across your vision What are floaters and flashes? If you’ve had PVD, you may be aware of floaters and little flashes of light in your vision. Floaters: As the vitreous becomes more watery, small, harmless clumps of cells develop and “float about” in your vision. These can cast a shadow onto the retina. Floaters can be in different shapes and sizes from small dots to larger cloud shaped spots or long strands. Some people can have lots of small floaters in their vision, while others may have just one or two larger ones. Floaters might move around quickly or hardly move at all. Some larger floaters may be more noticeable and distracting because they get in the way when you’re looking at something. They generally move as the eyes move, and are most noticeable against a plain bright background, such as a white or light-coloured wall. This can be frustrating and make tasks such as reading more difficult. Flashes: These small flashes of light are comparable to “seeing stars” after hitting your head. They can last a few seconds or minutes. As the vitreous detaches, it can pull on the retina. The retina reacts by sending a small electrical charge to your brain that you see as short, small flashes of light, which you’ll often see more in the dark or dim lighting. When the vitreous gel becomes fully detached this symptom should settle down – although many people experience some flashes from time to time. Cobweb effect: You may begin to see the outer edge of the vitreous as it separates from the retina. This can change the way light passes through the eye and it can feel like you’re looking through a cobweb. This effect disappears when the vitreous comes away from the retina. Treatments PVD on its own does not cause any permanent loss of vision. Once your PVD has been diagnosed, you’ll find that the symptoms can be frustrating in the short-term, but they usually settle down over time. How does PVD change with time? You may find that your symptoms only last a few weeks, but it’s more common for them to last about six months. The floaters and flashes of light which come with PVD will gradually calm down over time as your brain learns to ignore your them; you should see just as well as you did before your PVD began. You may still be aware of your floaters even after the flashes of light have stopped. which can be very frustrating, but if your symptoms do take longer to improve, it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong. However, if you’re worried, you should get advice from the optometrist you saw at our Auckland practice when you first came in for your eye examination. Your brain will gradually learn to ignore the floaters but in the meantime: Some useful tips that might help you cope with floaters: If you have a particularly large floater, try moving your eyes gently around in circles. This moves the vitreous inside your eyes and can sometimes move the floater away from your direct field of vision, making you less aware of it. Wear any glasses you need. When your vision is clearer, you’re more likely to be able to concentrate on what you’re doing, rather than on the floaters. Wear sunglasses in bright conditions or reduce the brightness on your computer screen. When light comes into your eye, you notice your floaters because they cast shadows on the retina at the back of your eye. Tinted lenses reduce the amount of light entering your eyes, so the floaters cast a fainter shadow on your retina and are less noticeable. Between our Henderson Optometry practice and our optometrists in Newmarket our staff has dedicated over 35 years’ helping Aucklanders through many a see change. If you’re at all worried about changes in your vision, call 09 522 1283 or 09 836 1731 to schedule a comprehensive eye test.

Digital Eye Strain

Do you have tired eyes, irritated eyes, blurry vision or headaches? Looks like you could be suffering from digital eye strain. According to the Vision Council of America, 70% of U.S. adults experience digital eye strain as a result of digital devices. And it’s getting worse. As people spend more time each day looking at computers, mobile phones, tablets and other electronic devices, digital eye strain is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. The problem is also occurring more frequently in children as they acquire phones and tablets at younger ages and use them for longer periods throughout the day. What Causes Eye Strain? Digital eye strain, dry eyes, irritation and discomfort can be the result of straining our eyes  in order to focus on small print, poor lighting, improper use of devices through holding them at the wrong angle or too far from our eyes, blue light emitted by digital devices or prescription eyewear that is not intended for viewing the mid-distance range of computers and electronics. What Are the Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain? Red, dry or irritated eyes Blurred vision Eye fatigue Back, neck and shoulder pain Headaches Preventing Digital Eye Strain There are several approaches to treating digital eye strain. First and foremost, screen time should be limited and interspersed by frequent breaks. For those who cannot reduce their device usage, there are other ways to lessen the impact of screen time on your eyes. Pay attention to your body. Eye, neck, head or shoulder pains are warning signs that digital eye strain may be occurring. Blink. Breathe. Break. Remind yourself to blink more often. Staring at a digital screen can affect the number of times you blink, causing eyes to dry. Take a 20-20-20 break: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. Even short breaks make a huge difference. Reduce glare. Adjust the brightness of your screen. Make sure your screen’s background colour is set to grey as opposed to white. Consider using a glare filter over your screen. Use indirect lighting on the monitor. Avoid lighting directly behind or above a computer screen. Don’t use a lamp pointing at the screen as this may create glare. If your monitor faces a window, angle it to reduce glare. Clean your screen. A dust-free, smudge-free screen helps reduce glare and improves contrast. Dim surrounding lights. Reduce the amount of light competing with your screen. Dim inside lights. Don’t watch TV or work on a computer in a dark room as the contrast between the screen and the surrounding environment is too high. Sit right. When using a computer, first sit in your chair and extend your arm. Your palm should rest comfortably on the screen as if you’re high-fiving it. All digital screens should be directly in front of your face, and slightly below eye level, always. Increase text size. Try increasing text size to help better define screen content and to make reading more comfortable for your eyes. Wear computer glasses. Computer glasses reduce both computer eye strain and the potentially damaging effects of blue light through the specially treated lenses. Computer glasses also help the eye adjust to intermediate-distance objects, such as computer screens and the anti-reflective coating helps by softening the glare from harsh indoor and outdoor lighting and improving contrast. Blink more often. Remind yourself to blink more often. Stick a note that says ‘blink’ on the computer. Blinking also helps the eyes refocus. If you wear prescription glasses and suffer from red, dry or irritated eyes, blurred vision, back, neck and shoulder pain or headaches, you should see our optometrists to make sure your glasses are optimal for computer work. If you suffer from dry eyes, you may also find artificial tear solutions for dryness helpful. Lubricating eye drops such as Optimel Manuka Honey Eyedrops are available from our Auckland optometry practices. Although digital eye strain can cause discomfort, it usually goes away once you rest your eyes. We understand you may not be able to change the amount of time you spend in front of a screen, but you can take steps to reduce eye strain. Also, when you see us for your next eye health test, make sure you let our optometrists know you use computers often. Between our Henderson Optometry practice and our optometrists in Newmarket our staff has dedicated over 35 years’ helping Aucklanders enjoy more comfortable lives. Call 09 522 1283 or 09 836 1731 to schedule a comprehensive eye health check and treatment plan.

Eye-deals You Can’t Overlook

Eye Exam, Frames & Lenses Package Need glasses? Save up to $164 on our eye care package. Get a free eye exam with your new pair of prescription glasses – frame and lenses – a savings of $65. Buy any set of frames from either of our Auckland optometrists and we will give you the HOYA brand single vision stock lenses – another saving of $99. Get a complete glasses eye test and glasses package from either of our two Auckland optometrists in Newmarket or Henderson and you can save your eyesight and your wallet up to $164. Only $89.00 for frames, lenses and eye exam – looks like a good deal to me. If you looking to buy new prescription glasses, you’ve come to the right place. As one of Auckland’s leading supplier of prescription glasses, we provide some of the best eye care services and deals on glasses in Auckland. Our comprehensive eye exams include a prescription check, glaucoma check with an eye pressure test and cataract assessment. Affordable Prescription Glasses in Auckland Whether you’ve been thinking you may need corrective glasses for a while, or your current frames style or lens strength is out of date, a visit to the friendly team at John O’Connor Optometrists for our latest deals on glasses will see you right. Amazingly affordable spectacle frames and lenses: only $89.00 for frames, lenses and eye exam. At John O’Connor, we use Hoya lenses. Hoya is a Japanese lens company recognised worldwide for their range of eyeglass lens designs, materials and designer coatings. Hoya supplies a complete range of premium quality single vision, multi-focal, occupational and bifocal lenses to suit everyone’s individual needs and lifestyles. Upgrade your frame to a designer brand for a competitive price and you can choose from a huge range of frames, including Dior, Boss, Fendi, Emilio Pucci, Gucci, Armani, Rodenstock, Charmant, Neubau, Barkers, Vanni, Bellinger, Safilo, Shisheido, Ted Baker, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), Lacoste, Adidas Original, Adidas frames for kids, and more. Our optometrists will help you to choose the perfect pair of frames to suit your face shape and lifestyle. Eye-catching Promotions Cast an eye over these great deals on glasses. Looking for ultra-clear lenses? We can add a scratch resistant, Hoya brand anti-glare coating for only $70 for a pair. The coating comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty. If you need the lenses over -6, you can choose 1.55 mid thinner lenses with anti-reflection coating built in for an extra $120 per pair. Like your glasses but need new lenses? Bring in your own frames and we’ll fit a pair of single vision stock lenses for only $99.00. Sound like good eye-deals? We think they are. We believe eyewear should be affordable for everyone in New Zealand. So, since 1978 we’ve been providing well-priced quality eyewear for toddlers through to adults. We have a great reputation for outstanding service and products. Come in and see us for eyeglasses Auckland families can afford and we’ll get your vision sorted. Eye Problems Hidden From View Eye examinations can detect hidden eye problems, so even those who feel they have perfect vision should have regular vision checks. As we age, we need more frequent vision exams. People with poor vision, a family history of eye disease or a condition that increases the risk of eye disease, such as diabetes, should have more frequent eye exams. Recommended eye exam frequency Ages 0-19 At 6 months, 3 years, 5 years and then every 2 years Ages 20-54 Every two years Ages 55-64 Every one to two years Ages 65+ Every one to two years Eyesight usually begins to change around the age of 40. Most adults need vision correction and reading glasses to correct presbyopia (sometimes referred to as age-related long-sightedness). Rates of myopia (short-sightedness) are also increasing – a phenomenon that some studies have linked to environmental and lifestyle changes, including more time spent in front of computers. To see the best in everyone, come and talk to us or call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.

Keratoconus Subsidy – Need Help?

If you suffer from keratoconus, there is financial help available. What is keratoconus? Keratoconus: progressive thinning and distortion of the cornea causing reduced vision. The cornea is the window of the eye. Light travels through the cornea past the lens to the retina and then the brain to form a visual image. A normal, healthy cornea holds its round shape. However, sometimes the cornea becomes structurally weakened and loses its shape. Instead of a dome, the cornea becomes cone shaped and the surface irregular. This prevents the light entering your eye from being focused correctly on the retina, so a distorted image is projected onto the brain. What are the symptoms of keratoconus? Common symptoms include: ghosting increased sensitivity to light multiple images glare at night halos starbursts around lights blurred vision frequent prescription changes in glasses and contact lenses What causes keratoconus? This is a question that optometrists have been looking into for a long time and as yet, we don’t actually know the answer. However, even though the cause of keratoconus is unclear, we do know that there is a strong link to allergies and eczema, as well as eye rubbing, and quite probably a genetic component. The condition usually happens in the late teens to early twenties; however, it can be present at any age. It is a progressive disorder and can happen rapidly or take years to develop. It usually affects both eyes, although sometimes only one eye is affected. Keratoconus treatment. What can we do about it? If you think you may have keratoconus, the first thing you need to do is see one of our optometrists who will do a corneal topography to determine whether the cornea shows any abnormalities. If keratoconus or another corneal disorder is spotted, we will then look at all the options available to you. Contact lenses In the early stages, or with mild cases of keratoconus, glasses or soft contact lenses may be enough to correct your vision. However, as the disorder progresses, and the cornea becomes increasingly distorted, specially designed soft lenses can help. In more advanced keratoconus, rigid custom-made gas permeable contact lenses (RGP) are usually the best option. These are designed so that the front curve is spherical (to provide undistorted vision) but the back curves are tailored so the lens stays on the irregular cornea. The best lens is the one that fits your eye, corrects your vision and is comfortable to wear. The process of fitting a keratoconic eye is highly specialised and can take several months to get everything perfect so that you have you the safest, clearest vision fit for driving, work and study. Keratoconus subsidy for contact lenses In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health provides a keratoconus subsidy: a contact lens subsidy for eligible patients who are unable to have their vision corrected by spectacles. The keratoconus subsidy assists in the payment of your eye examination, contact lens fitting and the contact lenses themselves. Although it generally doesn’t cover all the costs, the keratoconus subsidy will significantly lower the cost for you. The keratoconus subsidy is managed between our optometrists and the MOH (Ministry of Health), so our optometrists can make the application on your behalf. For those patients who are entitled to it, further assistance to cover the patient part charge may also be available from WINZ. Keeping an eye on your health Regular eye examinations are vital. They ensure your eye doctor has a chance to detect conditions like keratoconus before they become a bigger problem. Our optometrists recommend once-a-year eye health checks. Full eye exams start from $65 and you can get an eye test at either our Newmarket or Henderson optometry practice. Call 09 522 1283 or 09 836 1731 to book an appointment with an optometrist.

Computer Glasses

Our lives are increasingly dominated by digital equipment. Most of us are virtually glued to our devices or exposed to LCD/LED lighting, televisions, laptops, screens etc. Combine blue light radiation with screen glare and you have the leading causes of eyestrain. Blue light and eyestrain Due to the high-energy visible (HEV) artificial blue light emitted by these supposedly time-saving technologies, many of us suffer from headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision and eyestrain. But blue light is everywhere … Blue light itself isn’t a bad thing. It’s everywhere; it’s in sunlight. Blue light is short-wavelength light – at the high end of the light spectrum right before UV. It is high energy light that scatters more easily than other visible light, so it is not as easily focused. Its unfocused visual “noise” reduces contrast, making eyes work harder and leading to eye strain, red irritated eyes, headaches or blurry vision. One of the jobs of cornea and lens in the human eye is to block UV rays from reaching the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eyeball, which they do very well. However, virtually all visible blue light reaches the retina. Too much exposure can damage light-sensitive cells in the retina, causing macular degeneration and permanent vision loss. As blue light is emitted from the sun, we align our circadian rhythms to it. Too much exposure to blue light late at night from tablets, computers or phones can disrupt our sleep / wake cycle, potentially causing sleepless nights and daytime fatigue. Possible permanent vision loss The amount of time we spend in front of our electronic devices and the proximity of screens to our eyes has optometrists concerned about possible long-term effects of blue light on our health and the increased risks of macular degeneration. How to protect your vision against blue light exposure Protective computer glasses and blue light filters can shield your eyes against the effects of blue light. Lens filters like blue control with anti-reflective lens coatings can make digital screen viewing so much more stress free, for your eyes at least. What are blue control lenses? Blue Control lenses reduce screen brightness and improve contrasts and flickering, so the chances of eye fatigue are also reduced; your vision is strain free and your eyes are protected. Blue control is a blue light filter built into the lenses of your glasses which neutralises blue light emitted by LCD and LED screens. This coating helps to prevent eye fatigue and eye strain. To give you even clearer vision while looking at a screen, the blue control lenses we stock at John O’Connor optometrists in Auckland have a Hoya BlueControl finish coating which makes your lenses extremely scratch resistant, water, grease- and dirt repellent, and they have anti-glare properties. What are anti-reflective coatings? Anti-reflective coatings eliminate virtually all reflections from the front and back surfaces of your eyeglass lenses. With reflections gone, more light passes through your lenses making for sharper vision with less glare. AR coatings also make you look better by drawing more attention to your eyes; the lenses on your glasses become almost invisible. Blue light computer glasses don’t have to be ugly No longer are blue light blocking computer glasses yellow, ugly, and the cause of endless sniggering from friends, family and workmates. Blue control lenses are available for both adults and children. For non-eyeglass wearer, there are stylish computer glasses available with no prescription. If you are already a specs wearer, we offer blue control lenses and anti-reflective coatings for most prescriptions. You can choose new frames or use your existing ones. Talk to one of our optometrists. What do blue control lenses do? Neutralise blue light, preventing eye strain and fatigue Reduce glare for a more comfortable and relaxed vision Reduce dry eyes, sticky eyes, and the feeling of grittiness or “sand” in the eye. Enhance contrast perception offering a more natural colour experience Protect your lenses against water, dirt, grease and dust, keeping them clean for longer See how blue light glasses help Effective blue light protection keeps your eyes in better condition while offering more comfortable, relaxed vision. If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, computer glasses with blue control lenses are a fantastic choice, as they offer more comfortable vision and better contrast perception. You’ll definitely notice the difference. Find out more about the benefits of blue control lenses and anti-reflective coatings to see if they can make your world view better. If you would like to know more about computer glasses, call our Newmarket Optometrists on 09 522 1283 or Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731 or send us an email via our contact page. We’d be happy to discuss all options with you.

Why Get Prescription Sunglasses

UV Rays Damage Eyes UV rays cause ten times more damage to the eyes than they do to our skin. UV eye damage is cumulative over a lifetime: everyone – children and adults – should always use protection. Be it sunny or cloudy, UV rays are always there. Damage to the eyes can occur through direct exposure to the sun and from indirect exposure through reflections from water, windows, sand or buildings. Protect Your Eyes From UV Rays Sunglasses provide protection for the eyes, but make sure you wear sunglasses with a high eye protection factor (EPF) – 3 and 4 is good – and always look for tints that provide 100% cover from both UVA and UVB rays. Prescription Sunglasses: A Good Investment? Prescription sunglasses not only correct your vision, they also protect it. Our Auckland opticians strongly recommend you wear prescription sunglasses while out in the New Zealand sun. Sure, you could just keep swapping your normal glasses for a pair of sunglasses, but it is incredibly inconvenient to keep switching back and forth, and you look pretty uncool. Wouldn’t it be nice to see where you’re going in life, read a text, do a crossword or enjoy a book at the beach? Why Get Prescription Sunglasses? There are many reasons for investing in a pair of prescription sunglasses. Convenience Safety Preventative eye care The look …… Convenience Rather than switching back and forth between your normal prescription lenses and non-prescription sunglasses, having a pair of prescription sunglasses is just so much easier. There’s less to carry, one less thing to lose, and your normal glasses are less likely to get scratched in your bag or when you put them down. If you’re out, you only need to take your prescription sunglasses and that’s all you need to worry about. If you need glasses just for reading, being able to see what you’re looking at in the sun is very empowering. Safety There’s an obvious matter of safety to consider if you don’t have your glasses on, particularly if you’re driving. If you are near-sighted, not wearing your prescription glasses make accidents more likely. With prescription sunglasses, you’ll see fine while you’re outdoors and keep others around you safer. Protecting Your Eyes from Sun Damage Prescription sunglasses have UV protection, which helps reduce your risk of cataracts and other kinds of sun damage affecting your vision. There are many different lens colours and tints available. Some lenses, such as Transitions® lenses, automatically adjust from clear to dark depending on the amount of direct sunlight in the environment. Stylish Frames If you wear prescription glasses, you know just how much the frames can make a difference. The same is true with prescription sunglasses. We’ll ensure you find the right frames that fit your personality and complement your face. And believe us when we tell you that your new prescription sunglasses will look a million times better than shamelessly trying to wear your sunglasses over your eyeglasses or wearing old-fashioned “clip-ons”. Helping You Enjoy Life In New Zealand New Zealand beaches are beautiful, and there are a lot of outdoor activities to be enjoyed year-round. We’re lucky to live in a place so sun-kissed, and we need to be careful of our eyes throughout the year, not just in summer Prescription sunglasses just make sense if you want to make the most of being outdoors – or even lying on the window seat with a good book. Sunglasses To Protect Your Eyes From the Summer Sun At John O’Connor Optometrists, we stock anti-reflective clear lenses, prescription tinted lenses and polarised lenses, which offer 100% UV protection. Our Bill Bass non-prescription sunglasses start from $189.00: cool sunglasses frame with non-prescription lenses. Most of our lenses are polarised. but we also stock a few non-polarised lenses. Prescription tinted lenses start from $90.00 for our stock range. So, if you choose a pair of Bill Bass sunglasses and want your prescription lenses fitted, they will cost from $279.00: $189.00 for the frames + $90.00 for the fitted prescription lenses. We will even give you free prescription tinted lenses* with every second pair of glasses you purchase from our West Auckland or Newmarket optometrists. How convenient! That’s two for the price of one! Why get prescription sunglasses? To learn more about prescription sunglasses and how they can help you see clearly while protecting your vision, talk to our optometrists. You can email our Auckland Optometrists or phone the Newmarket Optometrists on 09 522 1283 or call our Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731. *Single vision stock lenses in the range +/- 6.00 DS with up to -2.00 DC astigmatism.

Polarised Sunglasses

Summer is here and whether you’re fishing, boating, at the beach or just out for a walk, it might be time to start thinking about polarised sunglasses. Why? So you can enjoy the word around you without the bright white stain of glare. Tinted lenses vs. polarised lenses While tinted sunglasses are great for reducing brightness and UV rays, they don’t necessarily eliminate harsh glare like polarised sunglasses can. Polarised lenses will not only reduce glare caused by water, snow, flat roads and windscreens, they enhance visual clarity and contrast and reduce eye strain. What are polarised lenses? They are filters that only let in one kind of light, depending on their orientation. Light waves travel in different orientations: vertically, horizontally and everything in between. Our naked eyes perceive vertically polarised light as glare. Sunglasses with polarised lenses absorb these horizontal light waves, while still allowing vertical waves to pass through. On flat roads or smooth bodies of water, light is generally reflected in a horizontal direction, instead of its usual scattered fashion, creating glare. Polarisation adds an extra filter within the lens so the horizontal light is removed: no glare. How polarisation works Polaris lenses are coated with a special chemical film. This film contains a chemical compound made up of molecules that align in rows, like blinds on a window. This creates a microscopic filter blocking light waves oriented in the same direction. However, all filters are not made equal. A poor manufacturing process can cause scattered alignment on the filtering film. If molecules of the film are not aligned evenly, they will not reduce glare evenly. You can get cheaper polarised sunglasses, but the lenses are quite thin, and the polarisation is usually just a layer on the front that can be scratched off. Or you can get a pair that has had polarisation embedded into a layer within the lens. The lens will also have additional layers, from anti-reflective coding to tints, to keep the polarisation protected and away from the surface. At John O’Connor Optometrists we sell NuPolar Lenses – these polarised lenses eliminate excessive brightness and glare. They provide 100% UV protection and increase visual clarity and colour perception. Our Bill Bass polarised sunglasses start from $189 and our tinted polarised prescription sunglasses start from $488. Benefits of polarised lenses Ever find yourself wearing sunglasses but still squinting? Got sore eyes? Do you sometimes have headaches or feel a little dizzy when wearing wraparound sunglasses? It might be time to discover the difference of polarised lenses. See the difference polarised lenses can make on your view in the image below. Eye Comfort – the sun’s brightness interferes with comfortable vision and the ability to see properly often resulting in squinting, watering eyes and headaches. Glare Protection – glare washes out colours, obscures details and tires your eyes. Polarised lenses provide safety when driving on wet roads and on sunny days. Reduced glare = reduced eye strain. Better world view – increase your ability to  perceive the world more clearly. Looking into water, you’ll see more than you typically would without the reflection of a blinding amount of light. The good news is that even if you wear prescription glasses, you can still have polarised lenses. Prescription polarised sunglasses using HOYA’s NuPolar lenses provide the ultimate glare protection. If you’d like to know more about the benefits of a glare-free world give us a call and we’ll find polarised lenses that are right for you. Call our Newmarket Optometrists on 09 522 1283 or Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731 or send us an email via our contact page. We’d be happy to discuss all options with you.

Blue Control Glasses

Why do I need blue control glasses? Using your computer or smartphone for hours each day can have long-term effects on your vision. We use these devices at work, on the road and at home, often holding them at a short distance, so our eyes have to constantly refocus. Digital devices, LCD and LED screens, fluorescent and LED light globes emit blue light and protecting your eyes from this high-energy visible (HEV) light can significantly mitigate the risks of retinal degenerative diseases. Why is blue light harmful? It’s natural light, isn’t it? Blue light is a naturally occurring light. Its short, high-energy blue wavelengths collide with air molecules, causing blue light to scatter everywhere; that’s why the sky looks blue. As this light is emitted from the sun, we naturally align our sleep cycles to its stimulus. Using tablets or computers late at night may lead to difficulty falling asleep. Blue blue light scatters more easily and is not as easily focused, so less contrast is visible to the eye, causing strain on our eyes. This particularly affects people who work most of the day looking at smartphones or computer screens that emit significant amounts of blue light. Many people also suffer from red, irritated eyes, eye fatigue, headaches and blurry vision during or after using digital equipment. the discomfort level only increases with the amount of time spent on a screen. Prolonged exposure to blue light can damage light-sensitive cells in the retina and the macular pigment. Severe damage can lead to macular degenerations, glaucomas, and retinal degenerative diseases – loss of vision. Protecting your world view While we all know that we need to wear sunglasses for protection from sunlight. We now understand the need to wear computer glasses and /or blue light blocking lenses to shield eyes from direct exposure to blue light. Computer glasses To protect and enhance your vision we sell a variety of eyeglasses for computer work. Computer glasses differ from regular eyeglasses or reading glasses; they put the optimum lens power for viewing your computer screen in the intermediate zone of vision, closer than distance vision, but farther away than reading or near vision. Computer glasses give a clear, wide field of view, reducing the need for excessive focusing effort. The lenses can also incorporate special filters such as the HOYA BlueControl coating and anti-reflection coatings. Blue control lenses Wearing blue control glasses while you use your computer, phone or other devices can prevent headaches, disrupted sleep, dry eyes and eye fatigue. Our blue control lenses have a coating with Hoya BlueControl finish. They are not only extremely scratch resistant, water-, grease- and dirt repellent, they also neutralise the high energy visible light emitted by LCD and LED screens. If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, blue control lenses are a fantastic choice as they offer more comfortable vision and better contrast perception. You’ll definitely notice the difference. We offer blue control lenses for computer glasses and for most prescription lenses. You will find that your eyes are no longer strained, dry, and irritated after using your digital devices for long periods of time. Furthermore, headaches and sleep problems that arise from overexposure to blue light may no longer be an issue. Blue control glasses greatly eliminate the dangers of overexposure to blue light from digital devices and reduces the likelihood of suffering from macular degeneration later on in life. Ask us if you’d like to know more about the benefits of blue control lenses and if they’re right for you. For many people, wearing a pair of blue light filter glasses has been found to help ease eye strain. However, you should see our optometrists if you continue to experience any of the symptoms listed below. ·         Sore, tired eyes ·         Dry eyes ·         Eye redness ·         Burning or itchy eyes ·         Blurred vision ·         Headaches ·         Increased sensitivity to light. If you would like to know more about blue control glasses or computer glasses, call our Newmarket Optometrists on 09 522 1283 or Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731 or send us an email via our contact page. We’d be happy to discuss all options with you.

Myopia – what you can do

Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness. Myopia is where the eyeball is too long or too powerful. The result is blurred vision; far away objects become blurry, but vision for close objects is clear within a certain range. 60 years ago, 10-20% of the Chinese population was short-sighted. Today, up to 90% of teenagers and young adults are. In Seoul, 96.5% of 19-year-old men are short-sighted. In USA and Europe, approx. half of young adults are myopic, double the prevalence of half a century ago. Worldwide, it is estimated that 2.5 billion people (roughly 1/3 of the world population) are myopic. Myopia is on the increase and carries with it risks of myopic macular degeneration, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and cataracts. Eyecare specialists are seeing myopia in younger and younger children. Child myopia is reaching what are now referred to as epidemic proportions. Why do we need to control myopia? Generally, once you become myopic, it tends to worsen over time. Myopia suffers need stronger glasses with thicker, heavier lenses year after year. What causes myopia development and progression? Contributing risk factors identified for myopia include: Family history Time spent outdoors Time spent on near work Age of onset Ethnicity Why are we seeing higher incidence, higher degrees and earlier onset of myopia? The answers are not clear, but because such rapid changes have been observed over such a short time (25 to 30 years) genetics alone cannot be the cause. Research has come up with two simple things which have a very strong influence. Children who spend a lot of time engaged in near activities (reading, using hand-held electronics, etc.) appear to have a greater risk of becoming nearsighted. Research also shows spending more time outdoors lowers the risk of childhood myopia. So, tell your kids to go outside and play! Time outdoors There is strong evidence that spending more time outside in natural daylight will delay the onset of myopia and reduce the final level. Indoor light is much dimmer than outdoor, even on a cloudy day. Studies have also shown that myopic children become more myopic in the winter months than they do in the summer. Shorter periods of natural daylight being viewed as the reason. Outdoor open spaces have farther viewing distances, whereas more confined indoor environments force the eyes to focus at relatively shorter distances. “At-risk” children who spend 14 hours per week outdoors (two hours per day) can delay the onset of myopia. Spending more time outside, walking the family dog, playing sport, going to the park are highly recommended. Reducing near work Whether it’s reading, writing, playing on a tablet, taking photos, learning a musical instrument or computer games, close-up activities increase the focusing demands on the eyes. Guidelines should be established for the limitation on number of hours spent on near tasks and children should take frequent vision breaks. After every 30 minutes of concentrated near work, children should take a short break, look outside and rest their eyes. Good lighting is also important, as is distance from the screen (both TV and computer). Balancing the amount of time children spend inside with more time outdoors and forming good habits when reading and studying is a good way of helping prevent their eyes from getting worse. Get an eye test A vision test by an optometrist can determine a myopia diagnosis. If a vision problem is detected during an eye chart test, the retina may be examined using a retinoscope. This device shines light on the retina so one of John O’Connor’s eye doctors can examine it more thoroughly. To check your vision is 20/20, book an eye test by calling a Newmarket optometrist on 09 522 1283, Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731 or send us an email enquiry via our contact page. We’d be happy to organise an appointment for you to come in talk to our optometrists at a time that suits you best. Free parking is available at Newmarket and both optometry practices are open six days a week.

What is Myopia?

Myopia, or shortsightedness is a refractive disorder. Myopia occurs when the eye physically grows too long. When a light wave enters the eye, it is bent by the cornea as it makes its way through to land on the retina – the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. If the eye is too long, the lens of the eye focuses the image in front of the retina instead of on top of it. People with myopia have good near vision but poor distance vision. Causes of myopia Myopia is most often inherited. However, the recent dramatic increase in the prevalence of myopia worldwide strongly suggests environmental causes, such as lack of time spent outdoors and a lot of close work like typing, reading, lab work or screen-time, may also significantly contribute to its development. Prevalence of myopia in the United States has increased to about 40 per cent over the last 30 years. In East Asia, about 75 per cent of the population is myopic and, in some countries, myopia is as high as 90 per cent. Eyecare specialists are diagnosing myopia at younger and younger ages and the incidence of high myopia is increasing. Myopia is of great concern for the World Health Organisation, eye care professionals, as well as parents. It is predicted that nearly half of the global population may be myopic by 2050. Myopia leads to an increased risk of serious eye conditions such as myopic macular degeneration, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and cataracts that can lead to visual impairment or blindness. These eye diseases become more prevalent as the levels of myopia increase. Myopia levels Optometrists work out how much focusing power your eye has. This is measured using dioptres – how strong a lens would have to be to give you focused vision. Myopia levels are based on how many dioptres your lens would need to be to correct your sight back to normal. The higher the number the more short-sighted you are. Mild myopia can be defined as up to -3.00 dioptres (D). At this level of myopia, you normally are 100% dependent on glasses and or contact lenses, but you are not restricted in what glasses you can choose. Your spectacle lenses will be relatively thin and light. Moderate myopia has values of diopters from -3.00 to -6.00D. Usually, wearing the correct prescription glasses or contact lenses will mean your vision is fully functional. High myopia is usually myopia over -6.00D. In most cases, without glasses or contact lenses you will be legally blind. The WHO believe that myopia will become a leading cause of permanent blindness worldwide. Myopia control The treatment for myopia includes spectacles, eye drops, contact lenses (orthokeratology or soft multifocal contact lenses), binocular vision training and exposure to light and the outdoors. Intervention before age 12 will have the biggest impact on reducing progression. Myopia most often appears in children between the ages of eight and twelve and can worsen quite quickly through the teenage years. Between the ages of 20 and 40, there may be little or no change in vision. After 40, vision may begin deteriorating again. Early, customised intervention myopia control plans have proven that the progression of myopia can be significantly slowed down or even stopped, and the subsequent risks from associated diseases also reduced. It is important that children have regular eye examinations. Eye tests are even more critical if one or both parents are shortsighted. Get an eye test Early diagnosis of myopia can save your sight. To check your vision is 20/20, book an eye test by calling our Newmarket optometrist on 09 522 1283, Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731 or sending us an email via our contact page. What is myopia? We’d be happy to talk you through the causes and control programmes we can develop for you.

Eye Colour

Where’d the green-eyed monster come from? If both parents have blue eyes, the children will have blue eyes. True or False? False. It’s rare, but blue-eyed parents having brown-eyed children does happen. Why? Well, it’s complicated, but we can start by telling you that what you learnt at school, assuming you are of a certain age, is wrong. The human eye comes in many different shades and intricate, unique iris patterns. Eye colour comes from a combination of two black and yellow pigments, melanin, in the iris. If you have no melanin in the front part of your iris, you have blue eyes. An increasing proportion of the yellow melanin, in combination with the black melanin, results in shades of colours between brown and blue, including green, grey and hazel. Brown is the most frequent eye colour worldwide. Mix it up It was originally thought that eye colour was a simple Mendelian trait, that it was determined by a single gene. But modern science has shown that eye colour is not at all that simple. Eye colour is a polygenic trait; it is determined by multiple genes and the interactions between them. This is what makes it possible for two blue-eyed parents to have brown-eyed children. There is evidence that up to 16 genes can influence eye colour; the two most important genes are OCA2 and HERC2. In the simplest models of eye colour, there are two genes involved. For each gene, we inherit two copies, one from our mother and one from our father. (This model is too simple to explain a lot of things, but it will suit our purposes.) Why are our kids’ eyes different colours? Let’s look at why a blue-eyed parent (dad) and a brown-eyed parent (mum) and can have brown, green, and blue-eyed children. For gene 1, OCA2, there are two possibilities: brown or blue. The brown version of gene 1 is dominant over the blue one. Dominant means that if at least 1 of your two copies is brown (Bb), then you will have brown eyes. Geneticists represent the different versions of the eye colour gene as B for brown and b for blue (the capital letter is the dominant, the lowercase, recessive). So brown eyes are either Bb or BB and blue eyes are bb. For gene 2, there are two possibilities, green or blue. Green is dominant over blue. Green eyes can be GG, or Gb, while blue eyes are bb. Brown is dominant over green, so if you have a B version of gene 1 and a G version of gene 2, you will have brown eyes. The possible gene combinations that can give you brown, green, or blue eyes are shown in the chart. Back to the green or blue-eyed children. Dad can only be bb bb as he has blue eyes. Since mum has brown eyes, she could have any of six different possibilities. But since they have brown-eyed, green-eyed and blue-eyed children, the most likely possibility is that mum is Bb Gb, meaning she has brown eyes but carries genes for both blue and green eyes. What colour will your baby’s eyes be? How eye colour is inherited is far more complicated than what was thought back in the day. Generally though, it’s far more likely for two brown-eyed parents to have a blue-eyed child than for two blue-eyed parents to have a brown-eyed child. This is because the generally less dominant blue-eyed trait can be passed along by brown-eyed people until the genes for the lighter eye colour happen to match up, possibly many generations later. So, to try and clarify things, let’s think about this situation. Someone with brown eyes may be carrying one blue allele and one brown allele, so a brown-eyed mother and a blue-eyed father could give birth to a blue-eyed child. Now mix in a third green allele, which is dominant to blue, but recessive to brown. If the brown-eyed mother carried the green allele (bG), she could pass the green allele on 50% of the time, so when married up with the father’s blue allele, they could have a green-eyed child. Eye colour is much more complicated than our explanation here, and involves genes that determine the amount of pigment in your eyes, as well as genes that can modify even dominant alleles, but I hope it clears things up for you. For more information, this site is very helpful. If you have or any other questions about eye colour or eyes in general, ask our Newmarket optometrists or our optometrist in Henderson. They are pretty clued up on all things related to eyes and optometry.

What Is Macular Degeneration?

Facts About AMD AMD causes damage to the macula and can gradually destroy your central, sharp vision. AMD, or age related macular degeneration, is a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people age 55 and older. It is the most common cause of legal blindness in this age group. (Legal blindness means that a person can see 6/60 or less with glasses.)  The macula is made up of millions of light-sensing cells. It is the most sensitive part of the retina and is smaller than the size of a pinhead. The macula allows us to make out sharp detail and lets us see objects that are straight ahead of us. For many, the loss of central vision due to macular degeneration can interfere with simple everyday activities, such as reading, writing, driving, recognising faces, watching television, cooking and fine work, even though colour vision and peripheral vision may remain clear. What are the symptoms of AMD? When the macula is damaged, the centre of your field of view may appear blurry, distorted, or dark. Over time, the blurred area may grow larger, or you may develop blank spots in your central vision. Objects can also appear to be less bright than they used to be. Straight lines can suddenly appear curved or wavy. You should see our optometrists if: you have blurry vision when attempting to focus you have a loss in sharpness or saturation of colour more light is needed to see more time is needed to adjust to a sudden change in lighting conditions you have dark areas in your central vision you have difficulty recognizing people or objects objects or people appear to be different sizes when viewed from different eyes. What causes macular degeneration? What is macular degeneration? What causes it? Optometrist still don’t still know. There are two forms of age-related macular degeneration: wet and dry. Dry AMD occurs when light-sensitive cells in the macula gradually break down. Seventy percent of AMD patients suffer from the dry form. Dry macular degeneration is diagnosed when yellowish spots known as drusen begin to accumulate in and around the macula. It is believed these spots are deposits or debris from deteriorating tissue. In the wet form, tiny new blood vessels grow behind the retina which can cause bleeding, swelling and scarring. The wet form of the disease usually leads to more serious vision loss. AMD advances slowly for some people; vision loss occurs over a long period. In others, the disease progresses more quickly and can lead to vision loss in one or both eyes or at different rates. Is there a cure for AMD? There’s no cure, but treatment for age-related macular degeneration may slow the disease or even improve vision. Treatments for macular degeneration depend on the stage of the disease and whether it is the dry or wet form of the disease. Severe forms of dry macular degeneration can be operated upon, but treatments and success levels do vary. As with dry AMD, there is no proven cure for wet AMD, but certain treatments such photo-dynamic therapy and innovative new drugs, which inhibit the growth of blood vessels, have been of help for some sufferers. Nutritional intervention has also been helpful in slowing the progression of wet AMD. Talk to our optometrists about the best way to manage your condition. Who is at risk? Age is a major risk factor for AMD. The disease is most likely to occur after age 60, but it can occur earlier. Other risk factors for AMD include: Race: AMD is most common among Caucasians Family history  Disease and injury: diabetes, nutritional deficits, head injury, infection. Can AMD be prevented? You can reduce your chances of developing AMD by not smoking, wearing sunglasses, maintaining low blood pressure and cholesterol levels and eating a balanced diet with fruit, vegetables and fish or seeds high in omega 3 and 6. How is AMD spotted? The early and intermediate stages of AMD usually start without symptoms. Only a comprehensive dilated eye exam can detect AMD. Our optometrist may also spot pigmentary changes under the retina. In addition to the pigmented cells in the iris (the coloured part of the eye), there are pigmented cells beneath the retina. As these cells break down and release their pigment, your eye care professional may see dark clumps of released pigment and later, areas that are less pigmented. These changes, however, will not affect your eye colour. Because AMD has few symptoms in the early stages, it is important to have your eyes examined regularly. If you are at risk for AMD because of age, family history, lifestyle, or some combination of these factors, you should not wait to experience changes in vision before getting checked for AMD. If you notice distortion or blurred vision, even if it doesn’t have much effect on your daily life, consult an eye care professional. If you have experienced any of the above symptoms or are simply worried about your eyesight, contact John O’Connor Optometrists and come and see our eye specialists for an eye test. What is macular degeneration? Still got questions? To get answers about everything eye related, call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists or 09 836 1731 to speak to an optometrist in Henderson.

Treating Dry Eyes

Are your eyes dry, red, irritated or watering? You may be one of the many New Zealanders who suffer from dry eye syndrome. Dry eye is a debilitating, common condition, particularly in older adults. The two most common causes of dry eye are oil glands getting clogged and inflamed or glands not producing enough lubricating tears. Tear production tends to diminish with age or as a side effect of certain medications. Environmental conditions, such as wind, air-conditioning, smoke, dust, dry heat and low humidity, can also affect tear volume. Intense concentration associated with close or computer work, which affects blink rate, can also lead to dry eyes. Dry eye symptoms If you don’t have sufficient tears, or your tears evaporate too quickly, it can lead to blurred vision, contact lens intolerance, increased risk of infection and, in severe cases, progressive eye disease. Dry eye symptoms may include itchiness, dryness, grittiness, stinging, watering and blurry vision. The symptoms can worsen as the day progresses. Don’t let dry eyes go untreated Taking care and treating dry eye not only relieves discomfort, it can help avoid infection or even scarred corneas. Eyelid hygiene It is very important to clean your eyes and eyelids every day. People with dry eyes tend to rub their eyes, a lot, which is not good. Eye rubbing can cause inflammation while letting dust and microbes enter the eyes. Good eyelid hygiene not only relieves the symptoms, it is the most important part of treating dry eye. The aim is to soothe the eyelids, unplug any blocked meibomian glands and clear out any stagnant oily secretions. This daily routine consists of three parts: warmth, massage and cleansing. Heat More effective than damp cloths, heated wheatie bags provide a steady, continuous heat to unblock oil glands by melting the oil so it can flow freely. Heat up the bag in the microwave, then apply the bag to the eyelid area for about five minutes. Next, massage your eyelids from the inside of your eye to the outside. We sell wheat bags custom made for this job. Eye massage One of our optician team can show you how to do eye massages comfortably and safely. Massaging helps to push out the oily fluid from the tiny, clogged glands. Make sure you look up when massaging the lower lids and down when massaging the upper lids so that you are not pressing on the cornea at the front of the eye. To massage the eyelids, gently rub along the length of the upper and lower eyelids towards the lashes, sweeping downwards along the upper eyelid, and upwards when moving along the lower eyelid. Then press on four points from the inside of your eye to the outside, extremely gently.  Press and hold for four seconds at each point and repeat five to ten times. Do this twice a day for best results. Cleanse The next very important step is cleaning the eyelids. Debris built up on the lashes can cause inflammation and infection. Cleansing the eyelids will remove any buildup along the eyelid or on the eyelashes. The delicate skin of the eyelid requires a gentle, pH-balanced cleansing solution which is why we recommend an eyelid cleanser such as Sterilid. Rewetting Drops Lubricating eyedrops can refresh the eye, relieving the symptoms of dryness. Talk to our optometrists about Optimel Manuka Honey Eyedrops. We also recommend preservative free eyedrops such as the Lumecare Singles Eye Drops range. They provide dry eye relief by replacing tears, while providing your eye surface with the electrolytes it needs. Optimel Antibacterial Manuka Eye Gel Some sufferers of dry eye have an overabundance of ocular flora. Topical antibiotics can significantly help reduce bacteria in cases of chronic lid disease. If appropriate, we may recommend the application of Optimel Antibacterial Manuka+ Eye Gel three times daily to lower lid margins. Nutrition Taking Omega 3 orally can also reduce irritation and inflammation. Fish and flaxseed oil both contain omega 3 fatty acids, essential to good eye health. Omega 3 oils are used by the oil glands to help produce lubrication. Other research shows that ingesting Omega 3 fatty acids may also reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. We sell Thera Tears Nutrition Omega-3 Supplement Easy Swallow Capsules. Speak to one of our opticians about how they could help your eyesight and well-being. Blephasteam Dry Eye Treatment For patients at our Auckland city optometrists, we have Blephasteam Goggles. By warming the eyelid, unblocking the meibomian glands and improving tear quality, these electric goggles are great for treating dry eye. Blephasteam Goggles look a bit like swimming goggles. Disposable paper rings soaked in water are placed inside the electric goggles and heat makes the paper rings produce steam, melting the waxy oils in the eyes. Our optometrists can let you know if using Blephasteam treatment would be beneficial for you. Change Your Outlook On Dry Eyes Our Auckland optometrists specialise in treating dry eye. Between our Henderson Optometry practice and our optometrists in Newmarket our staff has dedicated over 35 years’ helping dry eye patients enjoy more comfortable lives. Treating dry eye requires a multi-pronged approach. We offer an in-house treatment which is very effective at clearing the glands and returning your eyelids to normal function and we can show you how you can maintain a treatment plan at home for good eye health. Call 09 522 1283 or 09 836 1731 to schedule a comprehensive eye check and treatment plan.

Blue Control Lenses

Looking To The Future Stepping into sunlight, flicking on a light, turning on your computer, phone or other digital device, all these things cause your eyes to be exposed to visible, and invisible, light rays. Sunlight contains red, orange, yellow, green and blue light rays. Light moves as waves of different lengths: some are short with more energy, making bluer light, and some are long, with less energy, making redder light. As sunlight reaches our atmosphere, molecules in the air scatter the bluer light but let the red light pass through. We see the sky as blue because the shorter, smaller waves of blue light are scattered more than other colours. Approximately one-third of all visible light is high-energy visible (HEV) or blue light. What Is Blue Light? Sunlight is the main source of blue light and being outdoors during daylight is where most of us are exposed to it. However, blue light is also emitted from electronic devices such as flat-screen televisions, monitors, laptops, tablets and smartphones as well as LED and fluorescent globes. As blue light is emitted from the sun, we have evolved to align our sleep/wake cycles, circadian rhythms, to the stimulus from it.  Exposure to blue light during daytime hours helps maintain healthy rhythms; too much blue light late at night from tablets, computers or phones can disrupt this cycle, potentially causing sleepless nights and daytime fatigue. The amount of HEV light our electronic devices emit is only a fraction of that emitted by the sun. But our daily lives are increasingly dominated by digital equipment. The amount of time people spend in front of these devices and the proximity of these screens to our eyes has optometrists concerned about possible long-term effects of blue light on eye health and the increased risk of macular degeneration. The Effects of Blue Light Exposure Vision Loss The cornea and lens in the human eye are very effective at blocking UV rays from reaching the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eyeball. However, virtually all visible blue light reaches the retina. Some blue light exposure is essential for good health, but too much exposure can damage light-sensitive cells in the retina causing macular degeneration and permanent vision loss. Eye Strain Blue light also contributes to digital eye strain. Because short-wavelength, high energy blue light scatters more easily than other visible light, it is not as easily focused. When you’re looking at computer screens and other digital devices that emit significant amounts of blue light, this unfocused visual “noise” reduces contrast and can contribute to digital eye strain and red irritated eyes, eye fatigue, headaches or blurry vision. How Can You Protect Your Vision Against Blue Light Exposure? Protective computer glasses and blue light filters can shield your eyes against the effects of blue light. What Are Blue Control Lenses? Blue control is a filter built into optical lenses to neutralise the blue light emitted by LCD and LED screens, digital devices, fluorescent and LED lights. The filter helps prevent eye fatigue and eye strain. If you spend a lot of time in front of digital devices, blue control lenses, or computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses, provide more comfortable vision and better contrast perception. Computer glasses are available without a prescription, or they can be prescribed to suit your visual needs. Our eye specialists can recommend lenses and filters that protect your eyes from blue light. Ask the opticians at John O’Connor Optometrist about blue control lenses. They are scratch resistant, water-, grease- and dirt repellent, and the Hoya BlueControl coating neutralises the high energy visible light emitted by LCD and LED screens. The coatings filter the harmful portion of blue light while allowing the good portion of blue light to pass through. The reduction in screen brightness improves contrasts, flickering and eye fatigue are reduced, vision is strain-free and eyes are protected.  The Benefits of Blue Control Lenses Neutralise blue light, preventing eye strain and fatigue Reduce glare for a more comfortable and relaxed vision Reduce dry eyes, sticky eyes, and the feeling of grittiness or “sand” in the eye Enhance contrast perception offering a more natural colour experience Protect your lenses against water, dirt, grease and dust, keeping them clean for longer. Ask us about the benefits of blue control lenses and if they are right for you. We can offer blue control lenses for most prescriptions and the lenses can be fitted to most frames. We can work out which lens best suits your needs and best protects your eyes from blue light. If you would like to know more about Blue Control and where to buy computer glasses, call our Newmarket Optometrists on 09 522 1283 or Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731 or send us an email enquiry via our contact page. We’d be happy to discuss all options with you.

Makeup and Eye Health

Healthy Eyes Are Beautiful Eyes Beauty is timeless, but unfortunately, beauty products are not. For many women, putting on makeup can be a part of their daily routine, but when makeup is not used properly, cosmetics can cause infections, allergic reactions and even injuries. Our eye specialists also see patients coming into our optometrists with eyeliner and mascara residue stuck to contact lenses or trapped in tear films and tear ducts. Some of the most common causes of eye infection come from dirty sponges and old cosmetics: mascara, eyeliner and eye shadow. In fact, according to a Reuters news article published in 2010, 89 per cent of British women are using cosmetics well past the use-by date. More than two thirds of women (68 percent) said they only replace makeup and skincare when they run out, however long that might take. This could be risky. Cosmetics such as foundation, eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara include a “period after opening” indicator, denoted by an open pot with the number of months of safe use written inside. Products used after the expiry date carry a risk of irritation and infection due to contamination from air and bacteria. We wouldn’t hesitate about chucking out mouldy or bacteria-ridden food, the same standards should apply makeup and eye health. In addition, nearly three-quarters of those surveyed (72 percent) said they never wash their makeup sponges or brushes, even though they should do so at least once a week, and 81 percent of British women also regularly (at least once a week) go to sleep without removing makeup. Not good eye health practices. Don’t panic and don’t swear off eye makeup. Our opticians at John O’Connor Optometrist have put together these best practices so your eyes can look fabulous while staying healthy. Tips to keep your eyes healthy and beautiful: Throw out old makeup after three months. Infection-causing bacteria grows quickly, especially on liquid eye makeup. If you do develop an eye infection, immediately get rid of all your eye makeup. For your eyes only. Never share eye makeup. You wouldn’t share a toothbrush, so why would you share mascara or eyeliner? Do not mix and match cosmetics. Even though your eyeliner might look good on your lips, you could introduce bacteria back into your eye. Throw away old eyeliner pencils. Liner tips become stiff over time and require more pressure to apply. Eyeliner pencils that are not properly sharpened and rough wood casings can scratch the cornea. Any corneal injury causes pain and requires immediate attention. Avoid flaky mascara or glitter shadows, particularly if you tend to have dry eyes. They can cause irritation and potentially tear the film of the eyes. Remove eye makeup, especially mascara, before sleeping: it can lead to clogged tear ducts, infections and irritation. Brush a clean cotton swab along your eyelashes to remove all mascara flakes. Keep eyeliner away from the inner lid margin. It should be applied along the eyelid, outside the lash line, to avoid blocking the oil glands of the upper or lower eyelid. These glands secrete oil that protects the eye’s surface. Wash brushes and sponges. Makeup brushes gather bacteria and dirt over time which you may be spreading onto your eyelashes, eyelid margins, tear film and possibly onto your cornea. Eyelash curlers can also build up bacteria. Never apply makeup while in a moving vehicle. Do not separate your mascara-clumped lashes with sharp items. If you have eye surgery, do not wear makeup around the eye until your ophthalmologist tells you it is safe to do so, and then use only fresh, new makeup. As long as you exercise caution, there’s no reason you can’t still enjoy makeup. Remember you can always come to us with any eye health concerns you have or any other questions about makeup and eye health. Call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.

Looking and Learning

Young Eyes and Learning We live in a visual world and there is a very clear connection between good eyesight and learning success at school. Experts say that about 80 percent of what children learn at school is presented visually: good vision is essential for students of any age if they are to reach their potential. Research has shown that in New Zealand around 15% of children have problems with their vision; many of the children are pre-schoolers. If left untreated, eyesight problems can impact on learning, confidence and sports. If your child is not doing so well at school, ruling out vision problems is an easy first step to take on your journey to helping your child achieve academically and participate comfortably in classroom and after-school activities. Visual Screening At School While vision screening occurs at pre-, primary and intermediate schools in New Zealand, only around 25% of those children with visual problems get spotted. This means that almost three-quarters of kids who have problems with their sight continue to struggle with eyesight and learning at school. Screenings typically test how well a child can see over a distance, but not much more. Comprehensive eye exams assess ocular health, as well as vision, to determine if any lens correction is needed. Looking Good Is More Than Just Eyesight Vision is not just about how each eye focuses and sees, but how the eyes work together, focus together, and how the images are then processed. As children have no way of knowing if what they see is any different from what others can see, visual issues in children can be difficult to spot. Our opticians and optometrists have the skills and expertise to identify if a vision problem is interfering with your child’s ability to access information and take part in social and sports activities. Nearsightedness (myopia) – the inability to see things clearly unless they are close to the eyes Farsightedness (hyperopia) – the inability to see things clearly especially if they are close to the eyes Astigmatism (distorted vision) – blurs or distorts both near and far objects. These issues can be fully corrected with glasses or contact lenses ,which our optometrists can help with. But there are other, less obvious learning-related vision problems aside from nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism that can affect kids’ eyesight. Eye focusing – the ability to quickly and accurately focus as objects’ distances change Eye tracking – ability to keep eyes on target as they move from one object to another Eye teaming problems – the ability to use both eyes together in movement and in judging distance. Spotting Vision Issues Parents and care-givers play a very important role in picking up problems in their children’s sight and there are several tell-tale signs to look out for: is your child sitting too close to the TV, do they rub their eyes repeatedly, blink over-frequently, are they clumsy, show poor eye-hand coordination, do they squint, complain of headaches, tilt or turn their head to use only one eye, frequently lose their place while reading and/or use a finger to track or do they have a notably short attention span during visual tasks? If you do see your child displaying any of these signs, we recommend you schedule an eye exam. Contact your Auckland child eye care team today on 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731. Having your child’s eyes checked is fast, easy and can relieve a lot of worry and guess work as they journey along the complicated path that is school. Our friendly staff have been trained to help put children at ease and make regular eye checks a pleasant experience for all concerned. Paying For Eye Tests and Glasses for Children The Enable children’s spectacle subsidy from The New Zealand Ministry of Health can help pay for eye tests and corrective glasses for kids aged 15 years and under. The subsidy also covers repairs to glasses. Who can get the eyesight subsidy? You can get the Enable Spectacle Subsidy for child or young person who is 15 years of age or under, provided: the parent/guardian or child has a valid community services card, or the child has a current high use health card. A higher-level subsidy is also available for children and young people with more complex vision needs. Talk to our staff at John O’Connor optometrist to check if your child is eligible.  

Magic Of OrthoK Therapy

Looking For an Eyewear-Free Lifestyle? Wearing glasses or contacts is necessary for some people, but they can also be a nuisance. Glasses can fall off your face or break if you play sports or have a physical job. Contacts often lead to dry eyes or can be uncomfortable. You can’t swim with glasses or contacts. Children’s glasses are constantly needing to be fixed, adjusted or replaced because they get broken or are scratched to the point of uselessness. Imagine a world where visually challenged people could wake up in the morning and could suddenly see clearly; could see all obstacles in their way, and at the correct distance! No more glasses, no more contacts lenses and getting dust stuck in them, no more taking out contacts to go swimming. Just imagine. Well for quite a few of us, it’s a reality. It might sound far-fetched, but many people go to sleep at night short-sighted and wake up with 20/20 vision. And no, they don’t get sucked up into an alien space craft and get experimentally operated upon. They simply wear special corneal moulds overnight while sleeping. When they wake up, they have clear eyesight throughout the day without needing to wear any form of corrective eyewear. Magic? No, it’s orthokeratology. Orthokeratology, also known as OrthoK therapy, is a non-surgical way of correcting nearsightedness, or myopia. Refractive errors are caused by irregularities in the structure of the eye. These “misshapes” interfere with the eyes’ light-bending processes, so we don’t see properly. Myopia, for example, results from having an elongated eye shape or an overly curved cornea. Orthokeratology contacts are rigid, gas-permeable moulds designed to be worn overnight. They are specially designed for each patient and work by gently reshaping the cornea to help eyes focus better. Users remove them as soon as they wake up, and, “Hey Presto”, better vision. No need for glasses or daytime contact lenses. OrthoK therapy delivers quick results. After wearing the moulds for just one night, people can immediately enjoy sharper, clearer eyesight. One day they were wearing glasses and the next they’d forgotten how they used to see the world. Of course, perfect vision is not permanent. Myopia slowly returns after 12 hours so users need to wear the Ortho-K lenses at night for them to work their magic again. Over time, clear vision will be longer lasting, and some people can even enjoy perfect vision for up to two whole days! Who Would Benefit Most From OrthoK Therapy? People with mild to moderate myopia (nearsightedness) are the primary candidates for OrthoK therapy. And studies show that this corneal reshaping can significantly reduce myopia progression, especially in children. OrthoK therapy can also help people with astigmatism and hyperopia (farsightedness). The Clear Alternative To Surgery If you’re looking for a safe and effective alternative solution to treating eye problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism, for you or your child, we think Orthokeratology is a truly great option. It is a non-surgical, low-risk way to help improve vision so you can take back the freedom to play sports, go swimming, and live your life without the restrictions of daily-use corrective lenses. The best way to find out if you’re a good candidate for orthokeratology is to have your eyes checked by one of our eye care specialists at John O’Connor Optometrists in Auckland. Our friendly opticians will be there to explain all the ins and outs of OrthoK therapy and how you could see a clearer brighter future. Keen? Call our Newmarket Optometrists on 09 522 1283 or Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731 or send us an email enquiry via our contact page. We’d be happy to organise an appointment for you to come in talk to our optometrists at a time that suits you best.

Prescription Sunglasses

Want To Know Where You’re Going In Life, Wear Your Shades! Prolonged periods of exposure to sunlight can cause serious damage to your eyes: not only to the cornea, but also the lens of the eye itself. You know this. So to avoid damaging to your eyes, you wear your sunglasses, particularly when you’re outdoors, at the beach, on the water, skiing or driving. You do the right thing. However, if you’re anything like the majority of people climbing the hill of their 40s, you now need a little bit of visionary help, particularly when trying to see something closer then the length of your arm or print smaller than a peanut. What to do? Are you switching back and forth between your sunglasses and prescription glasses, or even, horror of horrors, shamelessly trying to wear your sunglasses over your eyeglasses? Heaven forbid you use those ghastly old-fashioned “clip-ons”. Cool Prescription Sunglasses? Good news, help is here! Believe it or not, groovy, affordable prescription sunglasses do actually exist! Long gone are the days when your average pair of prescription sunglasses were expensive, unfashionable and with a distinct lack of style. The times when you could only buy bulky, rectangular frames with very little in the way of colour are out. No longer do people have valid, reasonable excuses to avoid prescription sunglasses. At John O’Connor Optometrists in Auckland we stock such a wide variety of styles and brands; you’ll be able to find the perfect pair for your personality and lifestyle. All our prescription sunglasses give 100% UV protection, guaranteed! Why Buy Prescription Sunglasses? No more switching back and forth between glasses or having to squint painfully while trying desperately to read your book on holiday. You’ll even be able to read text message while outside. Imagine! Maybe over summer you would just like a break from dealing with contact lenses. Prescription Sunglasses Are The Sensible Option. Prescription sunglasses not only correct your vision, they also protect it and our opticians strongly recommend you wear prescription sunglasses while out in the New Zealand sun. To ensure optical health we can provide sunglass lenses tailored to your prescription, to keep your eyes protected while giving you a clear view. We offer a fashionable selection of shapes, frames and colours. We have sunglass styles suitable for both men and women from iconic brands like Armani and Lacoste, and with prices that are just as great as the frames, you’ll end up getting two pairs. Our Bill Bass polarised sunglasses start from just $189. Bill Bass sunglasses complete with tinted prescription lenses and UV protection in the stock range start from $279. We also sell HOYA NuPolar, polarised lenses that increase visual clarity and colour perception. We will even give you free prescription tinted lenses* with every second pair of glasses you purchase from our West Auckland or Newmarket optometrists. How convenient! That’s two for the price of one! Choosing Prescription Sunglasses Couldn’t Be Easier.   Your future is bright, but your eyes needn’t suffer from the same glow. Buy a pair of prescription sunglasses from John O’Connor Optometrists in Auckland to protect your eyesight from glare and the sun’s damaging UV rays. Our friendly opticians will be there to help you look great. Call our Newmarket Optometrists on 09 522 1283 or Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731 or send us an email enquiry via our contact page. We’d be happy to organise an appointment for you to come in try our prescription sunglasses at a time that suits you best. *Single vision stock lenses in the range +/- 6.00 DS with up to -2.00 DC astigmatism.

Protecting Your Eyes From The Sun

How Do UV Rays Damage Eyes? In New Zealand we are aware of the importance of protecting ourselves from exposure to the sun. While we all hear about the need to protect our skin, we don’t here so much about protecting our eyes. UV rays cause ten times more damage to the eyes than they do to our skin. UV eye damage is cumulative over a lifetime. Harmful UV rays can damage your eyes and increase your risk of developing cataracts. Whenever going out in the sun, wear sunglasses or contact lenses that have a UV filter. Be it sunny days or cloudy, UV rays are always there. Damage to the eyes can occur directly from the sun and also from indirect exposure through reflections from water, windows, sand or buildings. A hat in conjunction with good quality sunglasses and UV protection contact lenses is the most effective way of protecting your eyes from the sun. All About UV Rays UV rays are divided according to their wavelength. The shorter the wavelength, the more harmful it is. UVA Rays This is closer to the visible light spectrum. UVA rays penetrate the most deeply, passing through the cornea to reach the lens and retina inside your eyes. UVA rays are the prime culprit behind macular degeneration if you are exposed to sunlight for long and without any kind of eye protection then. UVB Rays This is a medium-wavelength radiation and can penetrate your skin surface. UVB rays cause pingueculae and pterygia, growths on the eye’s surface and can distort your vision and cause other corneal problems. UVB rays also cause a painful eye condition called photokeratitis or snow blindness, the inflammation of your cornea that can cause temporary vision. Some Of The Best Ways To Protect Your Eyes from UV Rays: Sunglasses Sunglasses do provide protection for the eyes, but not all sunglasses are created equal; most of them do not block all UV rays. Wear sunglasses with a high eye protection factor (EPF). Under the Australian and New Zealand Sunglass Standards, sunglasses with a value of 3 and 4 absorb almost all UV radiation. Always look for tints that boast 100% blocking capabilities for both UVA and UVB rays. We all like cool-looking shades. Unfortunately, many styles can leave the sides of your face unshielded from UV light. The lenses of well-made sunglasses do block UV radiation from around the lens itself, but a lot of radiation enters the eye from above, below and the sides of the lenses. Wrap-around sunglasses are the best way of protecting your eyes from the sun. Contact Lenses Wear contact lenses with sun protection. There are many lenses that safeguard your eyes from UV rays. However, contact lenses alone do not offer sufficient protection by themselves, as they do not cover the whole eye. If you are using these lenses, always wear UV protected sunglasses while stepping out in the sun. While contacts with UV blockers are no substitute for a good pair of sunglasses, there will be times when sunglasses won’t be worn. Therefore, wearing a contact lens with UV blockers can make a difference, especially over time. UV Glasses & Lens Combo The UV protection from sunglasses can be improved with contact lenses. Even if you wear sunglasses, as much as 50% of the surrounding UV radiation can reach the eyes. Large sunglasses that cover the eye worn together with contact lenses that have UV protection can effectively provide UV protection. The risk of eye damage from UV radiation is cumulative. It is crucial that we all wear sunglasses and a hat before going out in the sun, particularly kids. At John O’Connor Optometrists, we stock antireflective clear lenses and polarised lenses which offer 100% UV protection. To talk to our optometrists about eye protection from UV rays email our Auckland Optometrists or phone Newmarket Optometrist 09 522 1283 and Henderson Optometrist 09 836 1731.

Blepharitis Treatment

Treating Blepharitis This is a stubborn eye disorder requiring  systematic, on-going treatment; not only to eliminate redness and irritation but to prevent further blepharitis outbreaks. Blepharitis symptoms are similar to other more serious eye diseases, which is why it is vital that you get a professional diagnosis of your condition from one of our optometrists. If you do suffer from blepharitis it is very important you understand the type you have so we can provide the correct blepharitis treatment. The most common form, seborrhea blepharitis, is caused by small oil glands on the eyelid becoming clogged, causing waxy, greasy scales to build up on the eyelid margins. We strongly recommend you come and see our optometrists for a diagnosis if you notice some of the symptoms typical of seborrhea blepharitis such as  gritty, burning or stinging of the eyes, itchy eyelids, red swollen eyelids, sticky eyelids, loss of eyelashes and sensitivity of light. Call 09 522 1283 or 09 836 1731 to schedule a comprehensive eye health check. Blepharitis Treatment Guide If you do have blepharitis, then it is very important to clean your eyes and eyelids every day, even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms. Good eyelid hygiene can relieve the symptoms of the condition and even prevent it. Heat A continuous, steady heat helps to unblock the oil glands, allowing oil to flow more freely. The best way to apply heat is a heated bag; we sell wheat bags custom-made for this. Heat also helps to loosen any debris which may be in the lashes and along the eyelid. Place the wheat bag on your eye for 5 minutes and then massage your eyelids, pressing gently downwards towards the lashes for the top lid and gently pressing upwards towards the lashes for the bottom lid. Press on four points from the inside of your eye to the outside, extremely gently. Repeat twice a day for best results. Cleanse The next, and very important, part of blepharitis treatment is cleaning the eyelids with an eyelid cleanser such as Sterilid. Debris built up on the lashes can easily cause painful inflammation and cleansing the eyelids will remove any debris lurking along the eyelid or matted to the eyelashes. You may hear that baby shampoo and bi-carb are good treatments. However, eyelids are very delicate, which is why we don’t think scrubbing them with these products is a good idea. They can disrupt the pH levels of the eye and increase inflammation. The skin of the eyelid requires a gentle, pH balanced cleansing solution. Squeeze some Sterilid foam onto your fingers and gently rub on your eyelids and lashes. The key here is to be extremely gentle, don’t apply too much pressure. Leave foam on for a minute then splash cold water and rinse. Rewetting Drops Clogged tear glands can lead to dry, uncomfortable eyes. Lubricating eyedrops can refresh the eye, relieving the symptoms of dryness. Talk to our optometrists about Optimel manuka honey eyedrops. Dry eyes We have recently purchased Blephasteam goggles for moist heat therapy, which is great for improving the symptoms of eye conditions like posterior blepharitis. This device warms the eyelid and unblocks the meibomian glands, improving tear quality. Our optometrists can let you know if using Blephasteam treatment would be beneficial for you. Learn More About Blepharitis Symptoms If you would like to learn more about blepharitis symptoms and their management, please contact John O’Connor eye care practice in Newmarket or West Auckland today. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, call 09 522 1283 or 09 836 1731 to see our optometrists for a thorough eye check, advice and blepharitis treatment. We take your eye care seriously and so should you. Do you think you may be suffering from blepharitis? Don’t let the condition get worse. Call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.

Blepharitis

What is Blepharitis? At John O’Connor eye care, we provide a wide range of optometry services, including the treatment of eye infections such as blepharitis. Are your eyelids red, itchy, swollen or irritated? Do you get flaky eyelid skin? Do you get a sticky discharge along your eyelashes? Are you losing your eyelashes? Do you wake up with crusting along your eyelids? Is your vision sometimes blurry between blinks? Are your eyes watery? Do your eyes sting or feel gritty? Are your eyes sensitive to light? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have an ocular condition called blepharitis. This is a very common eye disorder that affects the area of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow. It is characterised by inflammation of the edges of the eyelids. In most cases it also causes sore eyes, especially in the mornings. Your eyes may feel progressively better as the day goes on, but redness of the eyelids tends to persist throughout the day. It is rare for blepharitis to affect only a single eye; it almost always affects both. It can be very uncomfortable, but it isn’t contagious and permanent damage to eyesight is rare. The disease is a chronic condition that is easy to treat, but difficult to cure. Don’t Confuse Other Eye Disorders For Blepharitis Due to its recurring nature, many people often confuse blepharitis with conjunctivitis. Symptoms do overlap with other potentially more serious eye conditions and diseases, which is why it is absolutely essential that you get a professional diagnosis of your condition from one of our optometrists straight away. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, call 09 522 1283 or 09 836 1731 to see our optometrists for a thorough eye check. Different Types of Blepharitis Anterior – affects the outer edge of the eyelid, near the eyelashes. Posterior – occurs at the inner edge of the eyelid which touches the eyeball. What causes blepharitis isn’t completely clear, but the disorder is most often associated with: An overgrowth of the normal bacteria that live on the eyelid skin Blocked glands Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff of the eybrow and scalp) Eyelash mites or lice Allergies to eye medications, makeup or contact lens solution Seborrhea blepharitis, the most common form, is caused by small oil glands on the eyelid becoming clogged. The tear film then becomes unstable, causing waxy, greasy scales to build up on the eyelid margins. If your eye are red, dry, inflamed or itchy it is important that you come to see us so we can diagnose that your condition is in fact blepharitis as opposed to another eye condition. If you do suffer from the disorder, it is also important we diagnose the type of blepharitis you have so we can treat it accordingly. See us for an eye examination: we take your eye care seriously and so should you. Do you think you may be suffering from blepharitis? Don’t let the condition get worse. Call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.

Is Glaucoma Hereditary?

Glaucoma – Keep An Eye On Your Family Glaucoma has a hereditary and non-hereditary form, meaning everyone is at risk of developing it. However, individuals with a family history of the disease are more likely to be affected. Glaucoma, the leading cause of preventable blindness in the developed world, is caused by a rise in pressure within the eye that damages the optic nerve. The increased pressure is most often due to a blockage of the eye’s drainage channels; this prevents eye fluid from flowing out. As the pressure builds, the nerve deteriorates, and blind spots develop in your vision. If left untreated, glaucoma leads to blindness. Treating Glaucoma There are a variety of glaucomas and most cannot be prevented. The good news is that regular eye exams can catch this condition early, and even though there is no way to reverse the existing damage to the optic nerve, treatment to lower pressure in the eye can prevent or slow down vision loss. It cannot be cured, but with proper treatment, further damage can be prevented. Managing glaucoma by staying organised and following treatment plans, as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, can help you retain your quality of life. Watching Out For Family Family history is a very important risk factor for glaucoma. Having a first degree relative (father, mother, brother, sister or child) with primary open angle glaucoma, which accounts for 90 per cent of glaucoma cases, increases the risk of developing it by about 2-3 times. If you have a close relative who has been diagnosed with glaucoma, make sure our optometrists are fully aware of it. Glaucoma And Age Primary open angle glaucoma becomes much more common as we age. It is uncommon below the age of 40, but the number of people with the condition rises from about two per cent of the population over the age of 40 to more than five per cent over the age of 80. Spotting Glaucoma In its early stages, glaucoma usually doesn’t have any symptoms. Sadly, it is not until the late stages of the disease, after significant damage has already been caused, that people with glaucoma begin to notice eye problems, such as a loss of peripheral vision and slow vision loss. Glaucoma is sometimes called the “silent thief of sight” because of the way it slowly sneaks up and causes irreparable harm before you know it. Regular eye exams that include checking for glaucoma are so very important, particularly if people in your family have the disease. Regular eye exams at John O’connor Optometrist include examining the optic nerve through a microscope, as well as measuring pressure within the eye. We also recommend digital retinal photography. This allows our optometrists to see about 80% of the retina so we can detect even the earliest signs of disease. See us for regular eye tests: we take your eye care seriously and so should you. In general, a comprehensive eye exam is recommended once every two years for people aged 40 to 54, and every one to two years for those aged over 55, even if there are no known problems with eyes or vision. Don’t Lose Sight Of Your Family If you, your parents or your siblings have glaucoma, then everybody in your family should most certainly have regular eye examinations, particularly if they are over 40 years of age. Taking a retinal image and testing for glaucoma and other eye diseases at each annual eye exam gives our optometrists the opportunity to compare your photos from year to year; we can then spot even the most subtle changes to help monitor your eye health. Is Glaucoma Hereditary? A family history of glaucoma increases your chances of developing it, but everybody is at risk. To get answers to all your questions about glaucoma call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.

We’ve Got Great Eye-deals

Affordable Prescription Glasses in Auckland Priced for every budget, we have designer frames, prescription glasses and sunglasses that will have you seeing as well as you look and feel! If you want to buy new spectacles, you’ve come to the right place. As one of Auckland’s leading supplier of prescription glasses, we offer a fantastic range of quality eyewear. Buy Quality Eyeglasses Safely and Easily We believe eyewear should be affordable for everyone in New Zealand. Our range covers toddlers through to adults. We source frames of the highest workmanship in large volumes from local suppliers in order to pass the big savings on to you. Our frame buyers have extensive industry knowledge and carefully choose  to suit individual style and fashion needs. Lenses are supplied from reputable lens manufacturing companies ensuring the highest level of quality and accuracy. At John O’Connor we recommend Hoya lenses. Hoya is a Japanese lens company that has achieved worldwide recognition for their complete range of eyeglass lens designs, materials and designer coatings. They have been at the forefront of lens development for many years. Hoya supplies a complete range of premium quality single vision, multi-focal, occupational and bifocal lenses to suit everyone’s individual needs and lifestyles. Hoya takes the very latest lens designs and applies them to the thinnest and most durable lens materials. Eye-catching Promotions Cast an eye over these great eye-deals. Amazingly affordable spectacle frames and lenses: Get a free eye test! If you get an eye exam with us and then buy glasses on the same day, you’ll pay nothing for the eye exam. That’s a saving of $65.00! Our comprehensive eye exams include a prescription check, glaucoma check with eye pressure test and cataract assessment. Buy new frames and get vision stock lenses free. We add a scratch resistant coating for no charge. Buy 1, get 1 free deal. Get a second pair of glasses and we’ll throw in prescription single vision stock tinted lenses for free.  Like your glasses but need new lenses? Bring in your own frames and we’ll fit a pair of single vision stock lenses for only $99.00. Sound like good eye-deals? We think they are. Come in and see us and we’ll get your vision sorted. Glasses Online – Are They Worth It? Today it is relatively easy to find glasses online for a lower price than from an established Auckland optometrist. However, buying specs online isn’t without risks. A recent investigation by a UK consumer organisation, which was reported  by Consumer NZ, found 15 out of 36 prescription glasses bought online weren’t up to scratch. 10 had lenses that didn’t meet required standards and 3 had sub-standard frames. A further 10 were given a borderline pass. The most serious problems were with multifocals glasses. The experts found that several companies had sold these glasses without asking for vital information such as the wearer’s vertical pupil position and pupillary distance (the distance between the centre of the pupils). This meant the glasses could be unsafe when driving or using stairs. Some eyeglass prescriptions come with specific instructions and may require a maximum or minimum frame depth, lens thickness or other special features. You need to watch out! Changing Glasses You may also wish to change the eyeglasses you bought over the Internet. This could be for a myriad of reasons: not fitting properly, wrong colour, wrong lenses, faulty/inferior product. What a hassle if you bought them online. Buy from us, and we’ll sort out any issues in the blink of an eye. We believe in good service; we carry out minor repairs such as replacing screws in your glasses free of charge. We can also repair broken glasses. Optometry involves much more than just selling glasses. You may choose to buy prescription glasses online, but remember healthy adults should get an eye exam every 2 to 5 years. Exceptional patient care, quality eyewear and reasonable prices are the focus of our optometry practice. Regular Eye Tests Eyesight usually begins to change around the age of 40.  Most adults need vision correction and most will require glasses for reading to correct presbyopia (sometimes referred to as age-related long-sightedness). Rates of myopia (short-sightedness) are also increasing – a phenomenon that some studies have linked to environmental and lifestyle changes, including more time spent in front of computers. The New Zealand government provides a spectacle subsidy for children under the age of 16 if their parent/guardian holds a valid community services card. This subsidy covers both eye exams and prescription glasses. See us for eyeglasses Auckland families can afford. Eye Problems Hidden From View Eye examinations can detect hidden eye problems, so even those who feel they have perfect vision should have regular vision checks. As we age, we need more frequent vision exams. People with poor vision, a family history of eye disease or a condition that increases the risk of eye disease, such as diabetes, should have more frequent eye exams. Recommended eye exam frequency Ages 0-19 At 6 months, 3 years, 5 years and then every 2 years Ages 20-54 Every two years Ages 55-64 Every one to two years Ages 65+ Every one to two years See us for regular eye tests. To see the best in everyone, come and talk to us. John O’Connor Optometrists is a 100% New Zealand company for quality eyeglasses Auckland families can trust. To get all your questions about quality, eyeglasses in Auckland call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.

Vision Insurance

Are Eye Exams Covered By Health Insurance? Yes, vision insurance is designed to reduce your costs for routine preventive eye exams and prescription eyewear such as eyeglasses and contact lenses. John O’Connor Optometrists have recently become an easy-claim provider for Southern Cross. What that means for you is that if you’re with Southern Cross and you have vision insurance, you can see us for eligible eye care services at either our Newmarket Optometrists or Henderson Optometrists and you won’t have to pay or fill out a claim form. You don’t have to pay us. We claim from your insurance provider directly. Simply present your Southern Cross Insurance card or use the mobile app at our counter. If your plan covers our optometry services, glasses, frames or contact lenses, you’ll only pay for any remaining contribution you’re responsible for; you don’t have to fill out claim forms or wait for a refund from Southern Cross. Vision insurance generally covers: Basic preventive care such as eye exams and vision tests Eyeglass lenses Contact lenses Eyeglass frames Lens protection for glasses, such as scratch-resistant coating. Regular Eye Tests Most adults need vision correction: it is estimated that around 66% of the New Zealand population 18 years and over will use glasses, contact lenses, or both. Eye examinations can detect hidden eye problems, so even those who feel they have perfect vision should have regular vision checks. As we age, we need more frequent vision exams. People with poor vision, a family history of eye disease or a condition that increases the risk of eye disease, such as diabetes, should have more frequent eye exams. Recommended eye exam frequency Ages 0-19 At age 6 months, 3 years, 5 years and then every two years Ages 20-54 Every two years Ages 55-64 Every one to two years Ages 65+ Every one to two years See us for regular eye tests. If you’re covered, you won’t pay a thing. Eye-catching Promotions Cast an eye over these great deals: If you get an eye exam with us and then buy glasses on the same day, you’ll pay nothing for the eye exam. That’s a saving of $65.00! Our comprehensive eye exams include a prescription check, glaucoma check with eye pressure test and cataract assessment. Buy new frames and get vision stock lenses free. Stock lenses are hard coated in the range +/- 6.00 DS with up to -2.00 DC astigmatism. Get a second pair of glasses and we’ll throw in prescription single vision stock tinted lenses for free.  Bring in your own frames and we’ll fit a pair of single vision stock lenses with antiglare coating for only $169.00. Sound like good eye-deals? We think they are. Come in and see us and we’ll get your vision sorted. We see the best in everyone. To get all your questions about vision insurance answered call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.

Do I Need a Test For Glaucoma?

Glaucoma Test Safeguarding Your Vision: Priceless Do I need a test for glaucoma? The short answer: Yes! Worldwide, it is estimated that about 66.8 million people suffer from poor vision due to glaucoma, with 6.7 million suffering from blindness. Optometrists estimate that half of those affected may not even have been aware they initially had glaucoma; symptoms often do not appear during the early stages of the disease. This is why glaucoma screening and treatment is so very important; without treatment glaucoma can simply creep up and steal your vision. While there is no current cure for glaucoma, treatment can be very effective in managing vision and slowing the disease’s progress. What Is Glaucoma? Glaucoma is progressive damage of the optic nerve: the bundle of nerve fibres that carries information from the eye to the brain. The anterior chamber sits at the front of the eye. In a normal eye, clear liquid flows in and out of this anterior chamber. However, with glaucoma the fluid drains too slowly out of the eye leading to fluid build-up, and pressure inside the eye. Unless the pressure in the eye is lowered and controlled, the optic nerve and other parts of the eye can be damaged, leading to loss of vision. Do I need a test for glaucoma? Absolutely! Untreated, glaucoma causes irreversible blindness. The good news is that with routine eye exams, early signs of glaucoma can be detected and treatment plans put in place. What Treatment Is There For Glaucoma? Glaucoma treatment is focused on lowering the pressure in the eye, usually through eye drops, but in some cases laser surgery or more complex surgical procedures may be effective. If caught early, glaucoma can be managed. Treatment can save remaining vision, but it is not able to restore sight already lost from glaucoma. This is why it is so very important that glaucoma is spotted early. See our optometrists for a thorough eye check. See Us For a Glaucoma Test At John O’Connor Optometrists we recently purchased a second retinal camera. We can now offer digital retinal photography as part of the glaucoma testing at both our Henderson and Newmarket optometry practices. What Is A Glaucoma Test? There are a few tests to check for glaucoma. We check your eye pressure because sometimes high eye pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve at the back of the eye. We also check your field of vision with a visual field machine because glaucoma can cause a reduction to the field of vision and tunnel vision. Without treatment, this loss continues until the eye is blind. We assess the appearance of your optic nerve head at the back of your eye because this can show signs of damage due to glaucoma or other eye diseases. We recommend for everyone to have digital retinal photography done with a retinal camera. Retinal imaging is non-invasive and takes only seconds to do. It allows our optometrists to see about 80% of the retina so we can detect even the earliest signs of disease. All you have to do is place your head on a chin rest with your forehead against a bar. The optician will then focus and align the camera to focus on the back of the retina and take the photograph. All you see is a bright flash. Done! The charge for the retinal photos is $18 for both eyes: such a very small price to pay for your vision. Taking a retinal image and testing for glaucoma and other eye diseases at each annual eye exam gives our optometrists the opportunity to compare your photos from year to year; we can then discover even the most subtle changes to help monitor your eye health. See us for regular eye tests: we take your eye care seriously and so should you. Do I need a test for glaucoma? To get answers to all your questions about eye health call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.

Through A Child’s Eyes

Looking After Young Eyes It’s easy for poor eyesight to go unnoticed in children. Young people may find it difficult to explain any difficulties the’re having with their eyesight. In fact, they may not even be aware they have any problem at all. To make sense of the world we rely on many different kinds of information and 80% of what children learn is through vision. How young people see the world affects how they respond to us, how they learn and how the world will respond to them as they grow and develop. Poor eyesight can cause learning and behavioural problems. Vision and learning are closely related and some estimates are that up to 40% of children may have vision problems which affect their learning. Testing your child’s vision before they go into full-time education means that any problems that they may have are identified early. The Sooner  Vision Problems Are Detected, The Better The Outcome Most young children have their eyesight assessed as part of routine developmental checks. While these tests are effective, they aren’t as comprehensive as an eye test by one of our qualified Auckland optometrists. At John O’Connor Optometrist we recommend getting your child’s vision assessed early so we can set them up with better vision for life. Our friendly staff have been trained to help put children at ease and make regular eye checks a pleasant experience all round. If your child’s eyesight does need some help, our glasses for kids range is pretty cool! Eye Exams For Your Child It’s often difficult to tell whether your kid has sight problems, which is why regular eye tests are so important. Children’s eye tests are different from eye test for adults. As we need to test kids’ eyes even if they are unable to read, our optometrists use specially designed charts that allow children to recognise shapes, pictures, or match letters. Our optometrists have been specially trained to test children’s eyes; they understand the test room can feel a little intimidating so they will make it feel as welcoming as possible. Eye tests for children are not invasive or painful. They usually involve bright lights, coloured lenses or charts. You can, of course, stay with your child throughout the entire eye test so you can see everything that happens. What Will Happen In Your Child’s Eye Test? Depending on your child’s age, our opticians will use different approaches to test their eyes. But whatever their age, your child will have the vision in each eye tested separately and then tested together to see if they work properly. Because a child cannot really explain which lenses have improved their vision, our optometrists will use an retinoscope which shines a light on the retina at the back of the eye. This allows us to measure the eye’s ability to focus. If our optometrists think your child needs glasses we’ll then test out lenses of different strengths. Your child will then be asked to either read the standard letters chart, a special chart with shapes on it or picture books and other visual materials to test for colour blindness and how clearly your child can see. Our optometrists also evaluate the muscles and associated structures to ensure they too are healthy. Conditions such as squint and amblyopia (lazy eye) can be treated much more effectively when picked up early and allowed to develop into more permanent eye problems. Call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists to let us know any concerns you may have regarding your child’s vision. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731. Glasses and Contact Lenses For Children Children of all ages, including babies, can wear glasses and contacts. Our eye specialists can help you decide what type of eyewear is best for your child’s vision. We have some great glasses for kids to choose from. We also offer orthokeratology lenses for myopia control. Glasses For Kids If your child does need help with their eyesight, these tips might help: Let your child choose their own frames Plastic frames are best for children younger than two If your child has chosen metal frames, make sure they have spring hinges, which are more durable An elastic strap attached to the glasses will help active toddlers keep them in place Poly-carbonate lenses are best for all kids, especially those who play sports. Polycarbonate is light and impact-resistant, but these lenses do scratch more easily than plastic lenses. We’re here to help and we take your child’s vision seriously. Contact us today for an eye check for your child. Your Children’s Eyes In The Sun Experts are constantly warning us of the risks to children’s eyesight by exposing them to bright sun without appropriate protection. Our UV protection glasses for kids range is very affordable and looks cool. Paying For Eye Tests and Glasses for Children Subsidies for children 15 years and younger who have eyesight problems The New Zealand Ministry of Health can help pay for eye tests, eye patches and glasses for kids aged 15 years and under who have eyesight problems. The subsidy also covers repairs to glasses. This is the Enable children’s spectacle subsidy. Who can get the eyesight subsidy? You can get the Enable Spectacle Subsidy for child or young person who is 15 years of age or under, provided: the parent/guardian or child has a valid community services card, or the child has a current high use health card. A higher level subsidy is also available for children and young people with more complex vision needs which require assessment 6 monthly, possible 6 monthly modification to spectacles, or more extensive intervention. Please ask your friendly John O’Connor optometrist to check if your child is eligible.

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts – the most common cause of blindness What are cataracts? Is your vision cloudy when you’re watching television? Are your eyes sensitive to light and glare? Does sunlight or indoor lighting seem too bright? When you’re driving, do oncoming headlights have a “halo” around them? Do colours seem faded or are you having trouble differentiating between certain colours? If you have any of these symptoms, it is possible you have cataracts on your eyes. You’re not alone. This eye disease is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. 5,000 out of 100,000 people aged 52–62 are affected by cataracts. 46% of people aged 75–85 have significant vision loss due to cataracts. Cataracts and your eye A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens that causes a progressive, painless loss of vision. Light is crucial for vision. It bounces off objects and enters your eyes, which allows you to see. In a normal eye, light enters and passes through the lens. Your eye is like a camera and uses a lens to focus. This lens of your eye is made up mostly of water and protein, arranged in a precise pattern to let light pass through. Colours are vibrant, images are clear, and the eyes are able to adjust to changes in lighting. Normally, the lens at the front of your eye is clear. But as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This cloudy or blurry spot is a cataract which affects the way you take in light and blurs your vision. Halos are a common symptom. Glare might make you think that lights are too bright. People, objects, and colours can look hazy, cloudy, and “washed out.” The lack of detail makes it difficult to tell the time, read, watch television, see food on a plate and judge distances accurately due to problems with depth perception. Some people with cataracts describe life as being similar to looking through a window hazed and streaked with dirt. What causes cataracts? Although the exact cause of cataracts remains a mystery, many experts believe there are a number of contributing factors, such as age, illness, injury, or certain medications. Cataracts seem to be more common when age is coupled with: Malnutrition or poor eating habits Exposure to certain drugs for long periods Exposure to ultraviolet light over long periods Alcohol use Injury to the eye (cataracts can develop many years after an injury) Family history of cataracts Cataracts over time Cataracts start small and initially things might just seem a little hazy. But as cataracts grow bigger they darken with a yellow or brown tinge, clouding more of the eye lens and distorting the light passing through. If not treated, cataracts may lead to a complete loss of vision. Treatment for cataracts Surgery is more than 95 percent successful in restoring the vision of people who have age-related cataracts and no other eye disease. Although surgery is the only remedy for cataracts, it is almost never an emergency. What are cataracts? Worried? See our Auckland optometrists! If you find yourself frequently needing stronger glasses or contacts, you may have cataracts. See our Auckland optometrists if your eyesight is rapidly changing. You may well have cataract-like symptoms, but those symptoms may also be a sign of another eye-related problem. It is always a good idea to see an optometrist if you are experiencing any changes in your vision. We can give you a thorough eye check. If caught early, eye conditions can often be corrected. What are cataracts? To get all your questions answers call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.

Cataracts and Glare

Cataracts: Sensitivity to light and glare People with cataracts usually have issues with glare or halos which interfere with being able to see surroundings clearly. Cataracts cause light to be scattered inside your eye rather than following a usual path to the retina in the back of the eye. Vision is blurred, you can’t see sharp images and coping with bright light is difficult. An example of cataracts and glare is discomfort when leaving a dark room and moving into bright sunlight; the light is just too strong. The glare of bright lights can be painful, causing people to squint, look away and eyes may tear up. People may also experience a loss of contrast in dim environments. Halos are bright circles around a light source, like headlights, appearing when people are in dim poorly lit places. The clouding of the lens can result in diffraction of light entering your eye, causing a halo to appear around light sources. Cataracts and glare The easiest way to cope with cataracts and glare is to limit the light coming into the eye. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, wearing tinted glasses or sunglasses with a UV filter to protect eyes from harmful UV rays can reduce glare, helping with light sensitivity. Preventing cataracts Although cataracts are not completely preventable, they can be delayed. The simplest and most effective way to is to protect against ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Stay out of the sun. Wear a hat. Wear sunglasses that have a protective coating against ultraviolet rays. Additional steps you can take to reduce the risk of cataracts include: If you have diabetes, ensure blood sugar levels are well controlled Give up smoking Avoid excess amounts of alcohol Make sure to get enough vitamin C, vitamin A, and carotenoids, found in leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach Get regular or annual eye examinations, especially after the age of 40. What do cataracts do? Cataracts start small and initially may have little effect on your vision. Things might just seem a little hazy. But as cataracts become more advanced, they grow larger and darken with a yellow or brown tinge. The eye lens clouds, distorting the light passing through. Cataracts and glare become an even bigger issue. If not treated, cataracts can lead to a total loss of sight. See your optometrist If you find yourself bothered by glare, bright lights, halos or have trouble with definition in dim light, you may have cataracts. See our Auckland optometrists if your eyesight is bothering you. It is always a good idea to see an optometrist if you are experiencing any changes in your vision at all.  We can give you a thorough eye check. If caught early, eye conditions can often be corrected. Call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.

Your Child’s Vision

How Children See The World Children are usually not able to tell you if they can’t see well. At John O’Connor Optometrist we recommend getting your child’s vision assessed early so we can set them up with better vision for life. Our friendly staff have been trained to help put children at ease and make regular eye checks a pleasant experience for all concerned. Children’s Eyesight At Risk Children’s eyesight is getting worse. The latest evidence shows short-sightedness has increased from twenty to forty percent of the population in the last twenty-five years, probably due to lifestyle factors. Numerous studies have linked increased time spent indoors focusing on near objects, such as computers, TVs and mobile phones, as the key factors. Natural daylight and looking into the middle distance are both needed for eyesight to develop correctly when children are young. Eye Exams For Your Child Short-sightedness in children typically develops during the early school years and progresses more rapidly during the pre-teens, while the eye is forming. Many vision problems and eye diseases can be detected and treated early. Our optometrists recommend children have an eye exam by no later than 6 months of age, then again at 3 years of age, and again before starting school. School-aged children then need an eye exam every two to three years, even if they have no vision issues. If there is a history of myopia in the family, it is recommended they have an eye test every six months. Prescriptions change frequently because vision matures along with your child, so if your child does require prescription glasses or contact lenses, schedule regular annual visits. Our optometrists can also ensure your child has the necessary visual skills, such as using the eyes as a team, peripheral vision, ease of focusing from distance to near and eye/hand coordination, that make seeing the world easier. Have you noticed your child covering up one eye while reading? Is your child falling behind at school? It might be time to book an optician appointment. Spotting Eye Problems Keeping an eye on your child’s vision: what to look for? If you notice crossed eyes, or any eye problems, bring your child to see us at our Newmarket Optometrist or our Henderson Optometrist. We can give your child a thorough eye check. If caught early, eye conditions can often be corrected. Signs that your child may have eye problems can include: frequent eye rubbing straining or tilting of the head to see better sitting too close to the TV extreme light sensitivity poor visual tracking (following an object) abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes (after 6 months of age) chronic redness of the eyes chronic tearing up of the eyes a white pupil instead of black In school-aged children other signs to watch for include: being unable to see objects at a distance having trouble reading the whiteboard squinting difficulty reading; losing their place while reading, or using a finger to guide their eyes sitting too close to the television, computer screens, or holding a book too close closing one eye to read, watch TV or see better complaining of headaches or tired eyes Call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists to let us know any concerns you may have regarding your child’s vision. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.

Winter Eye Care

UV Eye Safety Sunglasses in Winter — Why They’re Essential And Not Just For Snow Bunnies Studies show that sun exposure, regardless of season, may increase the risk of developing cataracts and growths on the eye, including cancer. We are exposed to UV radiation daily, even in overcast weather; a fact many of us forget when the temperatures start to drop. The overcast skies and lack of sunshine fool us into thinking that our eyes do not need to be shielded from invisible UV rays. Most of us are good about protecting our eyes from the summer glare. We keep a pair of sunglasses in our car and wear eye protection when outdoors. During the short, cold days of winter however, many of us stash away our sunglasses. Be aware: winter can wreak havoc on unprotected eyes. Winter eye care – do you take the necessary precautions? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t do so consistently. To keep your sight sharp and your eyes healthy, proper eyewear is essential, no matter the season. We’re here at John O’Connor Optometrists to help you protect your eyes from the elements this winter: wind, glare and UV exposure. We want to ensure your comfort today and long-term eye health tomorrow. Skiers and Snow Boarders UV exposure is nearly doubled when skiing, snowboarding, working or playing in the snow. Snow reflects almost 80% of UV radiation and eyes can get sunburned. Excessive exposure can damage the eyes’ front surface causing intense pain, discomfort and even temporary vision loss or snow blindness. UV radiation on the eyes can also cause cataracts or lead to cosmetically unappealing lesions and tumours that may require surgical removal. Location, Location, Location When it comes to winter rays, snow isn’t the only factor at play. UV exposure also increases with elevation. At height, the air is thinner and there is more ultraviolet radiation in the atmosphere. Shield Yourself Besides the risk of UV exposure, cold winds and bright glare are two more winter woes to be weary of. Dry, fatigued, or itchy eyes can be irritating and potentially dangerous. Keep eye drops handy; moisturising drops help keep eyes lubricated. Driving in bright, wintry conditions can also be damaging and dangerous. Look for special polarised lenses, which absorb glare and prevent fatigue by letting your eyes relax. Get the Right Pair Wind, UV and glare protection are all very important. When shopping for sunglasses or googles, be sure to choose a pair with 100% UVA/UVB protection. To better block out drying wind, choose wraparound sunglasses or goggles with a foam liner. Protect Your Eyes This Winter Specialty eyewear is available for all winter sports and activities. Talk to us if you have any questions about UV exposure or glasses or googles you need to enjoy an active, safe winter lifestyle! Call our Newmarket Optometrists on 09 522 1283 or Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731 or send us an email enquiry via our contact page. We’d be happy to discuss your options for winter eye care with you.

Tired Eyes

Give It A Rest The muscles of the eye, just like any other muscle in the body, can tire from overuse. Any discomfort caused in your eyes by excessive wear and tear is collectively referred to as eye strain. In most cases, eye strain is not a serious medical condition and usually goes away once the eyes are given adequate rest. There are many possible causes of eye strain. Eye strain occurs when your eyes get tired from long hours of driving, reading, exposure to bright light or straining to see in dim light. Stress and fatigue are also significant risk factors for eye strain. Finally, underlying eye problems such as eye muscle imbalances or uncorrected vision should also be considered when experiencing eye fatigue. However, using computers and digital electronic devices such as cell phones are one of the most commonly reported causes of eye fatigue. This type of eye strain is called computer vision syndrome. Several factors increase the likelihood of CVS, including dry eyes, glare on the screen, poor lighting, poor posture and even the angle of the monitor. Another big factor is incorrect prescriptions in your glasses. Symptoms of Eye Strain Eye strain or eye fatigue is prevalent in well over 50 percent of the working population. The symptoms of eye strain vary from person to person. However, most people who are experiencing mild eye strain complain of sore, tired dry and burning eyes, blurring or double vision and also an increased sensitivity to light. Headaches, neck, shoulder or back pain due to poor posture for a prolonged period are also common symptoms associated with eye strain. Generally, the treatment of eye strain starts with identifying the underlying cause. In some cases, correcting vision problems with prescription lenses will reduce the symptoms. In other cases, modifying work habits or environmental factors will be necessary. Prevention Of Eye Strain Usually eye strain can be prevented or reduced by making simple changes in your work habits or environment. Make changes to your computer screen. The screen should be about an arm’s length away and positioned directly in front of your face, not off to the side. Position the monitor so its centre is about 15 -20 cms below your eyes, which allows the neck to relax while you read and type. Regularly clean off dust and fingerprints from the screen. Smudges on the screen can reduce contrast and increase problems with glare and reflections. Choose screens that tilt and swivel. Consider using a glare filter over your screen. Change lighting to reduce glare and harsh reflections. Adjusting window blinds and changing the screen contrast and brightness can help reduce glare and reflections. Position the light source behind you when reading printed material. This will avoid having the light glaring directly into your eyes. However, avoid lighting directly behind or above a computer screen. In order to avoid high contrast between the screen and the surrounding environment don’t watch TV or work on a computer in a dark room. Use an adjustable chair. Place a document holder next to your computer screen. Take Care Of Those Tired Eyes Apply a flannel soaked in warm water to tired, dry eyes (with eyes closed). To help prevent dry eyes while working indoors, consider using an air cleaner to filter dust and a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Ensure air vents or fans aren’t blowing on your face. Try the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look away – ideally to the horizon or infinity – or at least six metres in front of you for 20 seconds. Try eye exercises. Keep the head steady and stretch the eyes by looking from side-to-side, upwards, downwards, and cross ways. Clockwise and counter-clockwise circular movements are also good. All eye movements need to be done slowly and smoothly. Do each exercise three times. If driving, try wearing polarised sunglasses which will reduce glare and prevent tired eyes due to exposure to excessive sunlight. Stick a note that says ‘blink’ on the computer as a reminder. Blinking frequently can prevent dry eyes. If that doesn’t work, consider using lubricating eye drops available from our Auckland optometry practices. Try computer glasses. Unlike everyday eye wear, they’re designed specifically for looking at computer screens. We stock a wide range of computer glasses at both our Henderson Optometrists and our Newmarket Optometrists in Auckland. Take regular breaks from computer work. What Can Be Done To Help Tired Eyes? Anyone who has more than occasional discomfort from tired eyes should have a thorough eye check. If eye strain persists despite the interventions outlined above, make an appointment with one of our optometrists for a comprehensive eye check-up. Your eye strain may be related to an underlying condition such as an eye muscle imbalance. If you wear prescription glasses or lenses, recurring eye strain may be an indication that you need updated glasses or a new prescription. For high quality eyecare and friendly service see our optometry practices in Newmarket and Henderson. For your convenience both stores are open 6 days a week. Call 09 522 1283 or 09 836 1731.

How to Get the Best Prescription Glasses

What to look for when buying glasses Seventy-five per cent of us need glasses. The standard validity of a prescription is normally around two years. If your prescription is outdated, you really should visit your local Auckland optometrist to get a new one. Check your vision, book an eye test with us. To get the best prescription glasses you need to consider both your vision and your look. It is important to match the size and shape of your eyeglasses to the proportions of your face so the look is balanced. If you see a qualified optometrist, they have the knowledge to tell you if the frame you select is suitable for your prescription or if the glasses frame suits your face and fits your nose correctly. If you have a complicated prescription an experienced vision specialist is a must to ensure you choose the right eyeglasses. The material and type of lens you choose should depend on your prescription, preferred frame style, frame type, lifestyle activities, facial measurements, and most importantly, the recommendation of your optometrist at John O’Connor Optometrists. Where everyone gets a bargain – or do they? Online retailers that sell cheap eyeglasses and sunglasses claim they can offer low prices because they don’t have the same expenses associated with a “brick-and-mortar” high street optometrist. However, as with everything “bargain”, lower prices often come with a hidden cost: you do not get the best prescription glasses specifically matched to you, nor the personalised attention, skill and fitting expertise of a qualified optician. Instead, you’re on your own to select a frame and lenses for your cheap glasses and hope for the best. And the warranty on faulty prescription glasses? Certainly not as easy as seeing your friendly, reputable, local optometrist right here in Auckland. Though you may see reasonably well with cheap glasses from the $2.00 shop or an overseas online outlet, are you really seeing your best and doing what you should to protect your eyesight? We feel that if you don’t buy eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses from a qualified eye expert, you can rob yourself of the opportunity to see and look your best, and fully protect your vision. Seeing an optometrist A knowledgeable optometrist can educate you about the latest advances in eyeglass lens technology and ensure you get the best prescription glasses for your eyes. Our optometrists in Auckland will talk to you about: Glasses Frames Prescription glass frames are generally made from the following materials: Plastic, metal, stainless steel and titanium. Which frames would suit your prescription, skin sensitivity, lifestyle and budget? Lenses There are several different types of lenses to choose from: Standard plastic lenses are the cheapest lenses and generally the ones you’ll see advertised in “bargain” offers. However, without a proper coating they’re prone to scratches and are not usually suitable for the more complex prescription lenses. Polycarbonate lenses are impact-resistant and used for safety eyewear, kids and sports glasses. The material is not recommended for reading. High-index lenses are made from special plastic that is very good for strong prescriptions. They’re more resistant to impact and give good UV protection and are the first choice for rimless or semi-rimless frames to avoid chipping. Which lenses would make the best prescription glasses for your eyes? Best you see an optometrist. Coating After deciding on the type of lens you want, you will need to consider the coating: Anti-scratch, anti-reflective and UV eye protection. The best person to consult on this would be your optometrist. At John O’Connor we recommend Hoya lenses. Hoya is a Japanese lens company that has achieved worldwide recognition for their complete range of eyeglass lens designs, materials and designer coatings. Hoya supplies a complete range of premium quality single vision, multi-focal, occupational and bifocal lenses to suit everyone’s individual needs and lifestyles. To get the best prescription glasses for your vision, book an eye test with us. Free parking is available at Newmarket and both optometry practices in Newmarket and Henderson are open six days a week. At just $65, our eye exams are affordable and very comprehensive. All our eye checks include a prescription update and full eye health check which will detect any conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. For advice on how to get the best prescription glasses please contact us by either email or phone our Auckland Optometrist at Newmarket on 09 5221283 and Henderson on 09 8361731.

Choosing Designer Glasses For You

Instant Specs Appeal – Choosing designer glasses for you Your glasses can be a glamorous accessory, giving you instant specs appeal. Choosing designer glasses, however, can be a little daunting. In an ideal world, you’d have loads of pairs in different colours, shapes, and styles to suit your ever-changing mood and look. In reality though, you’re probably limited to just one or two pairs of glasses, so we’re here to make sure the designer glasses you choose are as flattering as possible. To ensure the world sees you at your best, we suggest keeping these tips in mind when you come to our Newmarket or Henderson optometrists to buy your next pair of designer glasses. You will be able to choose designer eyeglasses that not only give you a better view of your surroundings, but also highlight your unique sense of you. Contrast – The shape of your frame should contrast the shape of your face: rounder features suit more angular glasses while angular features can be softened with more curved frames. Proportion – When getting prescription glasses you want your frames to be in proportion with the rest of your face. Designer sunglasses tend to be larger in order to have greater coverage and more eye protection, but what looks good in designer sunglasses will not necessarily look good as everyday prescription glasses. Colour – Just as the shape of your face helps determine which frames look best, so does your skin tone. More important than hair colour and more decisive than eye colour, you should select the shade of your designer glasses that is closest to your skin tone. People with darker hair/skin can wear brighter colours than those with a fairer complexion. If you have a yellow, bronze or golden cast to your skin, you have a warm complexion. Stay away from contrasting colours such as pastels. White and black frames are not flattering either. Instead, the best frame colours for you are light tortoise, browns shades, gold or honey, beige, and olive green. If your skin has pink or blue undertones, you have a cool complexion. Avoid colours that wash you out and instead reach for frames that are silver, black, dark tortoise, pink, purple, blue, mauve and grey. If you’re an “early grey” then avoid grey and silver as these accentuate grey. Older grey-haired folk could try black, gun, silver or gold frames. Face Shape – Knowing how to choose designer frames for your face shape is the first step to looking glamorous when wearing prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses. If you are having trouble picking out the right pair of glass frames to best suit your face shape, our opticians will of course be able to help. Below are tips for choosing designer glasses to suit six basic face shapes: heart-shaped, square, round, oval and triangle-shaped and diamond-shaped. Heart-Shaped Faces Those with a heat-shaped face have a broad forehead, high cheekbones and a narrower jaw line and a more pointed chin. Gasses where the frames angle or flare outward at the bottom suit you best as they balance out a broader forehead and chin. People with heart shaped faces should choose frames that are bottom heavy as this adds width to the lower part of the face. Glasses with arms that attach to the lower part of frame draw attention to the lower part of the face. Classic aviators are a great fit for you. Rimless styles are also good, because they keep the face from looking too top heavy. Recommended frames for heart-shaped faces: Aviator, round, oval, wayfarer and cat-eye frames are the flattering styles for women with heart-shaped faces. Not recommended frames for heart-shaped faces: Avoid rectangle and square frames as well as frames that are wider at the bottom. Square-Shaped Faces Square faces have an angular bone structure, a wide forehead and a prominent jawline. Generally, the length and width of the face are in proportion with each other. The glasses that suit a square face best are those that don’t highlight the angles but soften them. Narrower oval and rectangular styled glasses with rounded edges are great for softening a strong, square jaw and lengthening the face. Ovals and more cat-eye frames are your best option. You could also try fabulously oversized round styles that that double up as sunglasses as well. People with a square face should avoid geometric frames. These accentuate the angles of the face. Also, arms set low on the frames should be avoided because they make the chin appear more square. Recommended frames for square faces: Consider retro cat-eye, oval or round glass frames to soften the sharp angles of your square face. Not recommended frames for square faces: In order to avoid emphasising the sharpness of your square face and the strong jawline, you should stay away from glass frames with sharp angles, such as square or rectangle frames. Designer Glasses for Round Faces Round faces have a circular form, equal in length and width, full cheeks, and a rounded chin, while the forehead is wide. Well-chosen designer glasses can reduce the round look and create length. We recommend glasses that are rectangular in shape, because this can help the face appear longer and thinner. Lines and angles help elongate the face, creating a more balanced look. Glasses with wider frames will also make your round face look visually slimmer. Go for bolder, thicker glass frames or try a contrasting bridge which can make your eyes look farther apart. Recommended frames for round faces: Go for square, rectangle, wayfarer, classic cat-eye, aviator or edgy wrap/shield frames to visually slim down and elongate your round face shape. Not recommended frames for round faces: You definitely want to avoid round and oversized frames, which will make your face look seem even rounder. Glass Frames for Oval Faces Oval faces suit most frames, but people with oval faces should avoid frames that look too large. The features of an oval face are balanced with high cheekbones, a narrow chin and a narrow forehead. Look for styles that are thicker or darker on the top than the bottom, or try a butterfly style which

Blue Light Glasses

It has been reported that 63% of people don’t know that electronics emit HEV blue light. This blue light exposure may increase the risk of macular degeneration and contributes to digital eye strain. With the ever increasing use of LCD and LED computers and TV screens not only in our workplaces, but homes too, the need to take care of our eyes is becoming more necessary. Along with adults, many children regularly use computer tablets and smartphones which all emit blue light. Although blue light in itself occurs naturally, (it is present in daylight and helps us to stay awake) over exposure however, can cause damage. Macular Degeneration Blue light, which is part of the visible light spectrum, reaches deeper into your eye and its cumulative effect can cause damage to your retina and as mentioned, it is connected to the development of age-related macular degeneration. Blue light is not just entering your eye from natural sources like the sun. While we all enjoy the connectivity and entertainment that our digital devices provide, more and more people are thinking about what this increase in screen time means to our eye health. The question becomes, how we can protect our eyes from the artificial blue high-energy visible (HEV) light that is emitted from not only our devices, but also television screens, computers, and artificial lighting? Blue Light Filter Glasses Blue light filter glasses, are glasses that are designed to filter out the (HEV) harmful blue light. Anti-blue light glasses are a must for people who spend time in front of electronic screens that emits blue light, during not only the day but the evening as well. It is a sign of our times that even children are spending on average 6.5 hours a day in front of a screen. BlueControl Eye fatigue, dry eyes and headaches are symptoms of spending too much time in front of a digital screen. BlueControl, custom lens tints and filters block harsh blue light and glare so your eyes can finally relax and this allows you to focus for longer, work more efficiently and be comfortable doing it. Prescription computer glasses ensure you have the appropriate eye care. The best computer glasses option is one where they are tailored to you. An initial eye examination ensures the appropriate glasses are fitted. Without correctly prescribed glasses you may not receive the benefit you seek, and this can lead to the very problem you’re wanting to avoid. There are many traditional and modern frame options and styles so you needn’t worry about looking out of place. These lenses can be fitted to most frames. If you would like to know more about Blue Control and where to buy computer glasses call our Newmarket Optometrists on 09 522 1283 or Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731 or send us an email enquiry via our contact page. We’d be happy to discuss your options with you.      

Protect Your Eyes From UV Rays

How Can I Protect My Eyes From Harmful UV Rays?   New Zealand has high ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels during summer. This is due to Earth’s orbit around the sun which puts New Zealand closer to the sun during summer time and our low air pollution and large ozone hole allowing more UV radiation through. Many people do not realise that exposure to UV rays can harm eyes and affect vision. How Do UV Rays Damage Eyes? UV rays are classified in three different groups – UVA, UVB and UVC. The mid range UVB rays are a risk factor for cataracts (lens in the eye becomes cloudy) and macular degeneration (the gradual loss of central vision). It can also cause pterygium (skin growth on the eye surface) and skin cancer around the eyelids. Certain conditions such as glare reflections from the snow and ocean, can increase the intensity of UV radiation. Hence, it is important to protect your eyes from UV radiation and to wear sunglasses for activities such as fishing and skiing. Children are at greater risk of UV damage due to their larger pupil size and clearer lens in their eyes which do not filter out as much UV rays. Children also spend more time outdoors and are less likely to wear sunglasses or hats. Some Of The Best Ways To Protect Your Eyes from UV Rays Wear sunglasses with UV protection to block out UV radiation. Wrap-around sunglasses offer better protection as they block UV rays coming in from the sides, over and under the lenses. Talk to your optometrist about fitting prescription tinted lenses into sunglasses to help you see well. You should wear sunglasses even on cloudy days for best protection. Polarised lenses in sunglasses can reduce glare reflecting off other surfaces providing more comfortable vision. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to provide shade for your face outdoors. Wear contact lenses that are designed to block UV rays. However, sunglasses should still be worn with the contact lenses to protect the areas of the eye not covered by the contact lenses. At John O’Connor Optometrists, our HOYA antireflective clear lenses include 100% UV protection and reduce the glare from computer screens and car headlights. We also offer Hoya NuPolar polarised lenses with 100% UV protection. To talk to our optometrists about eye protection from UV rays please email our Auckland Optometrists or phone Newmarket Optometrist 09 522 1283 and Henderson Optometrist 09 836 1731.  

Allergy Season Itchy Eyes

What Can I Do About Allergy Season Itchy Eyes? Spring usually means allergy season is here. Seasonal allergic rhinitis or hayfever affect about 20 per cent of the population during spring and early summer. Common symptoms include itchy, red, dry, or watery eyes. Seasonal allergies are caused by the high pollen released by trees, grass, outdoor moulds and weeds. Have you ever wondered what’s actually causing our eyes to react? We have receptor cells called mast cells on the surface of our conjunctiva, the mucous membrane covering the white surface of our eye and the inner lining of the eyelids. When the allergen comes in contact with our body, they bind to the mast cells. This causes the mast cells to release a chemical called histamine which stimulates the nerves in the eye to make it itchy and watery. This is our body’s way of trying to remove the allergen. Histamine also causes dilation of the blood vessels on the eye and make your eyes red. Many patients usually visit the local pharmacy to pick up an oral antihistamine for relief. These medications can clear up systemic symptoms like runny noses and sneezing, but can make the eye condition worse. A side effect of antihistamines is that they have a drying effect on the eyes. Reduced tears make it more difficult to flush out allergens on the eyes and they remain on the eye longer, making things worse. Dry eyes can also cause burning and stinging. Some of the Best and Safest Ways to Manage Your Allergy Season Itchy Eyes Stay indoors especially on windy days, close the windows at home and drive with the windows up in the car. Flush your eye with artificial tears lubricating eye drops after being outside to remove allergens. See your optometrist for a personalised treatment. An antihistamine-mast cell stabiliser eye drop like Patanol can be prescribed to help relieve symptoms if discomfort persists. Place cold compresses on your eyes, for example with a cold wet towel, this can help relieve the itching sensation. Avoid rubbing your eyes, as this will only make your eyes worse and can potentially cause long-term damage. People with keratoconus have a higher incidence of eye allergies. Eye rubbing causes more histamine to be released and increase itching and the urge to rub. This can cause keratoconus to get worse. If your eyes are uncomfortable as a result of seasonal allergies, be sure to book an appointment with your John O’Connor optometrist to check your eyes. Email our Auckland Optometrists or phone Newmarket Optometrist 09 522 1283 and Henderson Optometrist 09 836 1731.

Choosing Reading Glasses

Are Designer Reading Glasses Right For Me? There are many options when it comes to choosing the right designer reading glasses. in this article we outline the main things you should consider. Cheap Reading Glasses Vs Prescription Glasses Eyeglasses are not all made equal. Cheap reading glasses may have different optical centres to your eyes which may cause eyestrain and pulling sensation for your eyes. Custom made prescription glasses are made with the optical centres of the lenses aligned to the distance between your eyes. The prescription for ready readers are always the same in both eyes for off the shelf glasses. However, many people have slightly different prescription for each eye and need custom made reading glasses for best vision and comfort. Ready readers come in a selected range of frames and the frame size may not fit your face. Prescription reading glasses from an optometrist have gone through a careful frame selection process to get the best fitting frame and style for your individual face. The frames can be adjusted around the nose and temples around your ears for a perfect fit and avoid frames that slide down your nose or pinch on your nose. For advice on reading glasses please contact us by either email or phone our Auckland Optometrist at Newmarket on 09 5221283 and Henderson on 09 8361731.

We deliver peace of mind about the way you see the world, your sight.

We offer high quality eyecare and friendly service at our optometry practices in Newmarket and Henderson. For your convenience both stores are open 6 days a week.