June 3, 2020
‘Zoom fatigue’ and digital eye strain
Digital eye strain has been an emerging public health concern over the last 10 years with studies showing that over 85% of digital device users experience either ocular or non-ocular symptoms of digital eye strain. This condition is characterized by visual disturbance and/or ocular discomfort related to the use of digital devices such as smartphones, iPads, computers and laptops. Ocular symptoms of digital eye strain include tearing, tired eyes, blurred vision, general fatigue, burning sensation, redness and double vision. Non-ocular symptoms include stiff neck, general fatigue, headache and backache.
May 13, 2020
Our overseas externship student, Holly MacPhee
Earlier this year we had the pleasure of hosting Holly MacPhee, a final year optometry student from the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences at the University of Waterloo in Canada, for an 8 week student residency at our practice. Holly is from Prince Edward Island – yes, the setting for Anne of Green Gables – in Canada
April 30, 2020
Further information regarding Contact Lens Wear & COVID-19
A new peer-reviewed paper on safe contact lens wear specific to COVID-19 – authored by five of the world’s most prominent experts in the field of contact lens practice – has been published in the journal Contact Lens & Anterior Eye. The paper titled “The COVID-19 Pandemic: Important Considerations for Contact Lens Practitioners” concludes that no evidence exists for asymptomatic wearers to cease their use of contact lenses and that no evidence exists supporting claims that spectacles protect against COVID-19, among other determinations. A copy of this paper can be accessed here - https://www.lindsayassociates.com.au/media/clnews/1588210840554803007.pdf
Additionally, new guidance was issued this past week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding contact lens wear and care amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The clear direction was posted to the CDC’s website (https://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/protect-your-eyes.html [cdc.gov]) and also supports continued contact lens wear for people who are healthy and practice safe hygiene habits.
Note that as we previously stated on an earlier posting – and consistent with guidance for other types of illness – no contact lens wearer with active COVID-19 should remain wearing their contact lenses.
Stay safe everyone! :)
April 17, 2020
COVID-19 and Contact Lens Wear
Over the past few weeks there has been some misinformation spread about contact lens wear during this pandemic caused by COVID-19. At the present time, there is no evidence to suggest an increased risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease known as COVID-19, through contact lens wear.
The Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia (CCLSA) recently issued a statement on this matter as follows:
“For decades contact lens practitioners have advised thorough, correct hand-washing and strict hygiene practices for contact lens wearers in order to decrease the risk of eye infections. There is however a history of a significant degree of non-compliance with proper hygiene techniques among contact lens wearers, and the general public at large. Now more than ever it is critically important for a contact lens wearer to pay great attention to proper hygiene and for practitioners to strongly reinforce sound practices. Contact lens wear is a safe activity with low rates of infections or other serious complications, despite poor compliance with safe practices.
Contact lenses, solutions and eye drops (where applicable) should be used, worn and replaced as prescribed by your eye care practitioner and according to manufacturer recommendations and expiry dates. Storage case hygiene and care practices should be followed for reusable lenses.
Practitioners have long advised against the wear of contact lenses if a wearer is unwell. This applies in particular to any signs or symptoms of colds and flu, respiratory tract infections, red sore eyes, discharge and so on. Basically, if someone is feeling unwell, they should terminate contact lens wear. For healthy individuals, normal contact lens wear can be maintained.”
April 3, 2020
James Muecke, 2020 Australian of the Year
A few months ago, South Australian ophthalmologist Dr James Muecke AM was named as the Australian of the Year for 2020. Dr Muecke was honoured for his decades of pioneering work in Australia and abroad where his focus remains to fight blindness. Dr Muecke said that while it was humbling to receive such a prestigious award, his work is far from over. He duly notes that there are 285 million people across the globe with vision impairment and blindness, 80% of which is avoidable, and he hopes that his award will help raise awareness of this problem and help to bring the power of sight to more communities across the world.
March 26, 2020
UPDATE ON COVID-19 & Essential Appointments
On March 22, 2020, the Victorian government announced the implement of a shutdown of all non-essential activity across the state to combat the spread of COVID-19.
At this time, Richard Lindsay and Associates will remain open in order to provide essential services to those where is it absolutely necessary. This includes patients with ocular emergencies, as well other patients – such as paediatric aphakic babies and children, and keratoconus and corneal graft patients – who are completely dependent on contact lenses for normal visual functioning. We would ask that if it is not essential for you to attend the practice, please do not schedule appointments at this time, and reschedule any upcoming appointments for a few months from now
March 18, 2020
The health and safety of our patients, staff and of the greater community has always been of the upmost importance for us at Richard Lindsay and Associates. We are closely monitoring the current COVID-19 situation and following the guidelines released by both the Department of Health and Human Services, and Optometry Australia to help prevent the spread of the virus.
The precautions we are taking:
1. In the coming weeks we will be splitting into two teams to ensure that if members of one team have to go into self-isolation due to coming into contact with COVID-19, the other team will still be able to provide ongoing eye care to all our patients.
2. We have always taken great care in ensuring our consulting and testing areas are cleaned before and after every patient examination. In recent weeks we have started ensuring that we are extra diligent with cleaning and disinfecting these areas for patient and staff safety.
3. All staff are regularly using hand sanitiser and washing their hands thoroughly throughout the day, and we encourage patients to do the same at the front desk or when they are inserting or removing their own contact lenses.
4. We may ask you some questions when you are calling to make an appointment regarding your current situation – including if you have been overseas recently or if you have had any flu-like symptoms over the past 14 days. These questions are just to ensure we can manage our appointment books and bring awareness to our staff.
February 6, 2020
Recently my good friend and colleague Rob Holloway published an excellent paper on the eye condition known as ‘Christmas Eye’, which is an acute toxic corneal inflammation that occurs during the hot, dry summer months in south eastern Australia. This condition usually occurs any time from mid-November until late February, hence the name Christmas Eye.
January 16, 2020
Steve Newman, innovator and genius
In my 35 years working in contact lens practice, I can honestly say that I have not met anyone as brilliant or amazing as my good friend Steve Newman. Originally trained and employed as a cartographer, Steve began his career in contact lenses because of a personal interest in contact lens wear. More precisely, Steve could not understand why no one could develop a toric soft contact lens that would successfully correct his high degree of astigmatism.