UV protection

UV protection

Optometrists recommend eye protection for kids

Most Australian parents are well aware of the need to slop sunscreen and pop a hat on their child before going outdoors in summer, but not everyone knows the urgent need to stick a pair of sunnies on too.

UV radiation from the sun can cause significant damage to a child’s eyes and lead to serious eye conditions later in life, making the need for protection from an early age essential.

Dr Damon Ezekiel owner of Ezekiel Eyes warns that the risk to children’s eyes from sun exposure is significantly greater than for adults.

“Kids should definitely be wearing sunglasses anytime they are outdoors for a significant amount of time. Children are more sensitive to damage as the tissue in their eyes is more fragile, so wearing a hat simply isn’t enough,” he said.

“There are many conditions affecting the eyes that are related to UV exposure such as cataract, macular degeneration, pterygium (a fleshy growth over the front of the eye) and even eye cancers, so putting sunglasses on your kids should be part of your everyday sun protection routine.”

Dr Damon Ezekiel offers the following tips for parents:

  • While don’t have to spend a fortune buying sunglasses for your children, do make sure you choose a pair with 100% UV protection.
  • Novelty or toy sunglasses with coloured lenses don’t provide enough protection and so should be avoided.
  • It’s never too early for children to wear sunglasses so get them in the habit of doing so while they’re young.
  • It can often be difficult for children to keep them on their faces, so consider buying sunglasses with an elasticated band around the back. This also reduces the risk of them getting lost.
  • If older children are having trouble wearing sunglasses then the next best thing is a broad brimmed hat that provides some shade for the eyes – do however note that hats only stop around 50 per cent of UV rays.
  • For young babies, a cover over their pram will help protect their skin and eyes from the sun’s rays.
  • If in doubt, visit your optometrist for expert advice on caring for your children’s eyes.

“Getting kids in the habit of wearing sunglasses early can make a massive difference to their vision and eye health over the course of their lifetime,” he said.

For further information please contact Ezekiel Eyes or Book an appointment today.

How Do I Get Started?

Call (08) 9386 3620 or book online

World sight day

World sight day

A simple eye test can save your sight

Optometrist, Damon Ezekiel, is urging the Nedlands community to save their sight by having an eye test while supporting World Sight Day (14 October).

Currently, vision loss affects almost 575,000 Australians, yet 75 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable.

“The best way to save your sight is to have your eyes tested regularly to detect potential problems, especially if you have diabetes or a family history of eye disease.

“The likelihood of developing blindness or vision loss increases significantly with each decade of age. Australians over 40 should be especially vigilant and access support services as soon as they may notice changes to their vision and eyes,” said Damon.

A 2010 Access Economics report into the impact of vision loss in Australia, Clear Focus, found that over 400,000 Australians with vision loss could have their sight restored[2]. The report estimates that the number of Australians with vision loss is projected to rise to around 801,000 by 2020 if these conditions are not addressed. The total economic cost of vision loss in Australia was estimated to be $16.6 billion in 2009.

Damon said that while blindness and vision impairment may not be life threatening, the effects can be debilitating.

“People with vision loss are twice as likely to fall and be socially dependent, three times more likely to suffer from depression, and are admitted to nursing homes up to three years earlier than the rest of the population,” Damon said.

“Australians have access to some of the best technology and eye health care in the world. If you are over 40 I urge you to make an appointment to get your eyes checked and not wait until it’s too late” said Damon.

The facts

More than 80 per cent of vision loss in Australia is caused by five conditions:

  • Macular Degeneration (MD) – the leading cause of blindness in Australia, affecting central vision.
  • Cataract – the eye condition responsible for the largest single direct health cost with cataract removal the most common of all elective surgery procedures.
  • Diabetic Eye Disease – almost all vision loss caused by this condition can be prevented by timely treatment.
  • Glaucoma – early diagnosis and treatment are important to control glaucoma and protect sight.  Half of those with glaucoma are undiagnosed and untreated.
  • Refractive Error – over half of the people who present with vision impairment could have their vision improved with the correct glasses.

For further information please contact Ezekiel Eyes or Book an appointment today.

How Do I Get Started?

Call (08) 9386 3620 or book online

Good vision for life 3

Good vision for life 3

Vision checks critical to preventing falls among older Australians

Visual impairment could double the risk of falls in older Australians, a leading cause for hospital admissions among the older population. However Nedlands optometrist Damon Ezekiel said fall-related injuries can be avoided through early detection of eye disease and undertaking regular eye examinations.

According to a UK study, 75 per cent of older people who suffer a fall as a result of poor vision had a visual impairment that was easily correctable.

“Regular eye examinations provide the best chance of maintaining your well-being and independence longer,” Damon said.

“Many older Australians are suffering simply because they do not wear spectacles, or use spectacles with prescriptions that are out of date.

“Changes to eye health can be gradual, and serious conditions can progress without any obvious symptoms. With early detection, many eye diseases are treatable or preventable.”

Even the slightest change in vision can seriously impact on the quality of people’s lives and their safety. Increased rates of eye diseases among older Australians can cause key vision problems that may contribute to falls, injuries and fractures. Problems include reduced visual clarity, narrower visual field, reduced sensitivity to contrast and poor perception of depth, which can affect our ability to spot hazards in our path or to judge the position of steps.

“Older Australians should not accept poor vision as a way of life. Eye examinations attract a Medicare rebate and government subsidised spectacles are sometimes available,” Damon said.

Tips to prevent falls

  • Have regular eye examinations with an optometrist, to detect or monitor any eye problems and make sure your spectacle or lens prescription is up-to-date.
  • Avoid leaving obstacles lying around the home, don’t rush and always ensure adequate lighting.
  • Maintain an active and healthy lifestyle through regular exercise, good nutrition and regular physical checkups.
  • Talk to your friends, family and local optometrist about any concerns you have with your vision or mobility.
  • If you notice any changes or reduction in your vision, consult your optometrist immediately.

For further information please contact Ezekiel Eyes or Book an appointment today.

How Do I Get Started?

Call (08) 9386 3620 or book online

Good vision for life 4

Good vision for life 4

Staying fit and focused at forty

Latest studies show that eye disease and visual impairment increase three-fold with each decade of life after 40 years of age.

“From the age of 40 onwards everyone will experience changes in their near vision,” says Nedlands optometrist, Damon Ezekiel.

“This condition, known as presbyopia, makes vision difficult at a normal reading distance and is a natural part of the ageing process.

“To focus on close objects, a muscle in the eye changes the shape of the lens. When we get older the lens loses its flexibility and is less able to change its shape, making it difficult to focus on close objects,” says Damon.

People with presbyopia may have difficulty concentrating when reading or may find that periods of close work result in sore eyes, headaches or tiredness.

Just like stiffening joints or greying hair, presbyopia cannot be prevented, but fortunately it can be easily corrected with spectacles or lenses.

“As your ability to focus weakens, you will need to have regular eye examinations every two years and may need your prescription changed every few years.

“Advances in optical technology have provided more options for patients, sometimes enabling us to help ageing patients focus almost as they did as a twenty year old,” says Damon.

For example, multifocal contact lenses, allowing patients to focus at all distances, are becoming popular with baby boomers who find this form of vision correction the best way to maintain their active lifestyle. Over the last year, multifocal contact lens fittings increased by 20 per cent in Australia.

“Regular examinations are essential for people over the age of 40 to stay fit and focused and to make sure any eye conditions are detected early, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration,” says Damon.

How to stay fit and focused at forty

  • Know your eyes; understand the warning signs of changes in your vision.
  • Have your eyes examined regularly by your optometrist. Eye examinations attract a Medicare rebate and no referral is required.
  • Discuss any visual tasks undertaken in your daily occupation with your optometrist, who may consider specially designed lenses for you.
  • Eat for your eyes; include plenty of vitamin C, vitamin E, Zinc and Beta-carotene (dark green leafy vegetables).

 For further information please contact Ezekiel Eyes or Book an appointment today.


How Do I Get Started?

Call (08) 9386 3620 or book online

Workplace Eye Safety

Workplace Eye Safety

Eye accidents change lives forever

“An alarming sixty per cent of all eye injuries happen in the workplace, most of which can be prevented. Optometrists Association Australia (OAA) recommends every workplace, regardless of industry, should have eye safety procedures in place,” says Nedlands optometrist, Damon Ezekiel.

As part of Optometrists Association’s new Workplace Eye Safety campaign, Damon, is available to conduct workplace vision screenings.

“Eye accidents can be avoided by taking simple precautions and making sure employees have appropriate eye protection. This may be in the form of prescription or non-prescription safety eyewear, suitable for the type of work they are doing,” says Damon.

“Optometrists are visiting workplaces and working with employers to conduct vision screenings which involve identification and analysis of the visual comfort and visual hazards in the specific workplace setting.

“Employers are legally required to provide a safe working environment. It’s imperative that employers and employees work together to ensure eye safety procedures are in place to prevent accidents. Optometrists can provide advice in this area to help ensure workplaces are aware of all of their responsibilities in eye safety”, says Damon.

Eye injuries in the workplace are most commonly caused by grinding and welding related activities, occurring most often within the construction, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining industries.  Another common cause is workers walking by or helping others perform tasks without wearing any, or the appropriate, eye protection.

Optometrists Association and campaign sponsor HOYA Lens Australia intend for this to be the first step in a long term campaign which aims to reduce the number of eye injuries caused by workplace hazards.

“Occupational Health & Safety awareness is growing considerably in the community and we see our alliance with Optometrists Association as a key component in ensuring our industry is well educated in the application of safety eyewear”, said Brad Bairstow, HOYA Lens Australia’s Sales and Marketing Director.

Optometrists Association has developed a brochure which provides advice on protecting and looking after the health of your eyes. Visitwww.optometrists.asn.au/eyesafety to download a free copy and for information on the campaign.

For further information please contact Ezekiel or Book an appointment today.

About optometrists:

Optometrists are experts in vision care who diagnose, manage and treat a wide range of vision problems, eye diseases and ocular conditions. By prescribing spectacles, contact lenses, vision aides and other treatments, optometrists help their patients maximise and retain good vision for life.


How Do I Get Started?

Call (08) 9386 3620 or book online