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Stuart Macfarlane Optometrist
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Stuart Macfarlane Optometrist's posts

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Exposure to cats and cockroaches may be associated with an increased risk of glaucoma, however exposure to dogs may reduce the risk of developing the eye disease. This was the finding in a 2015 paper published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

It was discovered that people diagnosed with glaucoma had higher levels of immunoglobulin E than the standard population.

This is an allergic antibody which is found in immunological conditions such as asthma or hayfever. However generally raised levels of this antibody were not associated with glaucoma. It was specifically cat and cockroach allergens associated with this antibody that were related to the development of glaucoma. Glaucoma sufferers had approximately twice the levels of immunoglobulin E than someone without the condition.

Levels associated with dogs were elevated in just six per cent of glaucoma patients, compared with nine per cent of those without the eye disease.

It is thought that exposure to dog allergens are mildly protective of glaucoma because the allergens behave differently since dogs spend more time outside.

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Both Stuart and Geraldine have been invited to participate in the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital (LCCH) Eye Clinic's Paediatric Optometry Alignment Pilot Program. This innovative program plans to establish a network of dedicated and specialised eye health clinicians (Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and Orthoptists) with up-to-date knowledge and skills to deliver an exceptional level of care for children with eye-related problems. The program will provide aligned optometrists with access to education resources for effectively treating children as well as a direct communication link with the clinicians of the LCCH Eye Clinic in order to seek advice in the care of individual children where necessary. This ensures your child will be treated by an optometrist who is in partnership with some of Queensland's leading children's eye health clinicians with a charter to deliver the best possible care.

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Living in Australia, we are subjected to glare and ultraviolet light on an almost constant basis. The harmful effects of ultraviolet light are well-known and include an increased risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, ocular surface disease such as pterygium, and dry eye. It also increases the risk of developing cancers on the eye surface. Obviously the way to reduce your risk is to wear sunglasses. However what about glare and flare reflecting off surfaces? Normal tinted lenses and sunglasses will reduce the general amount of visible light and ultraviolet light that enters your eye. Only polarised lenses will specifically reduce the amount of reflected light. This is a particularly important in cases such as fishing and boating where there is a lot of light reflected off the water's surface.
Polarised lenses rely on a polarising filter in the lens which cuts out a large proportion of the polarised reflected light. The one disadvantage of polarised sunglasses is that you see stress patterns in glass such as windscreens, however this is minor and generally does not disturb people.

Polarised sunglasses are available in prescription and non-prescription forms. Prescription polarised sunglasses are available in single vision, bifocals and multifocal glasses. The most effective polarised sunglasses are permanently tinted and do not change colour. You will require one clear pair for inside and night-time driving and the polarised pair for use outside.

So if you do activities that involve a lot of reflected light such as boating, fishing, surfing or snow skiing then come in and ask for polarised lenses and your eyes will thank you for it.

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I am often asked if there are any other factors that will slow the progression of glaucoma or reduce the risk of developing glaucoma. The primary treatment for glaucoma consists of lowering the eye pressure and this is generally achieved with the use of drops or sometimes laser or surgery.

A recent study of over 100,000 patients which was published in the January 2016 edition of the Journal of American Medical Association, found that an increased consumption of green leafy vegetables was associated with a 20 to 30% reduction in the risk of developing glaucoma. It also found the increased intake resulted in a reduction in the progression of glaucoma...

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Sunlight will make some people sneeze. It's called the 'photic sneeze reflex'.

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Recent research conducted at Brisbane's own QUT has found that pre-schoolers exposed to more light earlier in the day tend to weigh more. Cassandra Pattinson, a PhD student and her colleagues (part of the Sleep in Early Childhood Research Group) studied 48 children aged three to five from six Brisbane childcare centres over a two week period, They found moderate intensity light exposure earlier in the day was associated with increased body mass index (BMI)...

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Though there are several types of amblyopia, the end result is a reduced vision. Glasses may improve visual acuity to some extent, but usually not completely.

However, now researchers have discovered that there could be a treatment as simple as just watching movies...

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Lately there have been several articles published about the application of Manuka honey for ocular conditions such as dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction.  Featuring a low pH and high sugar content, Manuka honey is both antibacterial and hyperosmotic. It reduces bacterial flora and also reduces fluid that has accumulated in corneas suffering from corneal oedema due to conditions such as Fuchs' corneal dystrophy. The reduction in bacterial flora helps treat eyelid conditions such as dry eye secondary to blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction.

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Did you know screens and LED's are slightly Bluer and trick our eyes into believing it's similar to the blue sky of the day and keep us awake.

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Here's some useful eyelid exercises for sufferers of dry eye.  In patients with evaporative dry eye, blinking exercises can help decrease partial blinking and improve meibomian gland function and symptoms
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