Damon helps to launch a new Optometry Course in WA!

Did you know that over twelve million Australians suffer from long term eye conditions?

However, over 90% of these are preventable or treatable.

Two nights ago, Tania and I were proud to attend a special launch at The University of Western Australia.

UWA launched the very first Doctor of Optometry degree in WA.

The new course will produce optometrists with a focus on early detection, diagnosis, treatment and management of eye diseases.

But where does Ezekiel Eyes fit into this?

Damon is ideally placed to teach Doctor of Optometry students, and offer real world experience at Ezekiel Eyes.

Students will get the opportunity to learn about a variety of soft and rigid contact lenses from Damon.

UWA course coordinator Prof Garry Fitzpatrick and myself:

Damon & Gary Fitzpatrick 2.jpeg

Got a minute to watch a video? Here’s more from UWA about the course.​

Together, we can feel proud of the ongoing work of UWA and the Lions Eye Institute.

At Ezekiel Eyes, we look forward to helping more people to see and improve their quality of life. You can trust our professional optometrists in Perth for an eye visit for you or your family! Book an appointment now!

We love traveling again!

I trust you are all keeping well and safe. I have been fortunate to have recently returned from trekking the Larapinta Trek out of Alice Springs.

My wife Tania and I travelled with two other like-minded couples, included in a group of sixteen.

The amazing freedom of being able to travel out of WA was so liberating.

It was quite exciting to travel on a plane after my last trip in November 2019. When was your last flight?​

If you have not had the opportunity to travel to the big red centre of our magnificent country, I urge you to. The beauty of our country is so amazing.

Our trek was fabulous. To be on top of Mount Sonder at 1,350metres high on a stunning blue-sky day and have lunch looking across the MacDonnell Ranges, was just breathtaking.

The ability to be out of Perth enjoying amazing views, terrific company and exercising, is something I would recommend to you all.

In our world of Covid and less travel, I have noticed a lot of our Ezekiel Eyes patients are on a treadmill with little or no travel excursions planned.

I encourage you all to have a break away from your routine/work/home/play and get away. A break for you will recharge your body/brain and your eyes, from all those digital devices.


Make sure you encourage your loved ones to also take regular breaks and downtime.

The Covid lockdown/slowdown is out of the way for the time being, so let’s get back to some kind of better balance of life.

Our Toast to Maureen

Ezekiel Eyes as a Team would like to thank Maureen for the most amazing and sterling achievement.

After 25 years she has decided it is time to retire and spend some time on herself.

We believe that some of these quotes sum up the most amazing dedication that Maureen has given to both the staff and patients of Ezekiel Eyes.

Maureen & Tracey with their gifts from Elisa
Thank You Gifts for Maureen and Tracey from Elisa (a patient)!

(The photos above are of gifts sent in today from a patient…

One is a box for Maureen on a well-deserved retirement from Ezekiel Eyes.

The other is a box for Tracey to welcome her to Ezekiel Eyes.

The incredible aspect of Ezekiel Eyes that our environment is like a large family. Thank you, Elisa, for the beautiful gifts and thoughts!)

From our Ezekiel Eyes Team:

“When you’ve worked alongside someone for over 17 years, not only do you get to know them as a colleague, but you also get to know them on a personal level.

As a work colleague, Maureen’s dedication and work ethic is unsurpassed. It has been an absolute pleasure working alongside Maureen and she will be missed.

On a personal level, family is everything to Maureen. From her children through to her grandchildren her face always lights up when she talks about them.

I wish Maureen a long and happy retirement!”

“I’ve enjoyed working with Maureen and she is as a loyal and dedicated employee, which is a rare quality these days.

She is such a trooper, being the first person to arrive at work and hardly takes a decent break during working hours.

I wish her a happy and enjoyable retirement.”

Do you have a story about how Maureen has gone above and beyond for you?

Maureeen….now it is time to spend a little time on you. Thank you so much for your dedication and loyalty for so many years.

I know all the team at Ezekiel Eyes will miss you as will our many patients.

All the best for a safe, healthy, and wonderful retirement.

Felix shares why he loves learning!

Do you enjoy learning? Every day, I’m learning new ways to help people at Ezekiel Eyes!

You might not know that I have been doing postgraduate study in specialty areas of eyecare.

Keep reading to learn more about how it’s making a difference every day…

Previously at a large corporate optometry business, I recall trying to help people like:

· A lady who wore rigid contact lenses but struggled to get the lens to fit properly in one eye

· A person who had early keratoconus and difficulty putting his lenses in and out. One lens went missing and we found it stuck under one upper eyelid.

· A girl with a turned eye and her mother wanted to know how to improve her eye


In my previous role, I had to refer these people to find care with more specialized eye doctors.

When I started working at Ezekiel Eyes, Damon Ezekiel shared how he focuses on improving people’s quality of life.

This motivated me to enroll in an Advanced Certificates in Contact Lenses and Children’s Vision via the Australian College of Optometry.

I’m enjoying the challenge of extra study so far. Damon is fully supportive of me taking up extra study.

Recently I undertook clinical placements with a local paediatric ophthalmologist and two behavioural optometrists. The latter specialise in children’s vision and vision problems affecting education and learning difficulties.

It was great to see tests performed on real patients. Each of these three professionals shared their tips with me.

From my placement and study, I feel confident working with:

· Custom contact lenses

· Dry eye treatment

· Assessing children with learning difficulties and information processing skills

· Vision therapy

· Colour vision assessments for dyslexia

My study has also made me aware of the role of other professionals, such as paediatricians, teachers, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and audiologists in supporting children’s development.

I look forward to collaborating with these professions in the future.

My study and new skills have helped me to grow in confidence, and expand my ability to help meet my patients needs.

Improving people’s quality of life is something that is important for me.

I look forward to seeing you and helping you with any future eye problems. Book an appointment with me here

Say Hello To Tracey

We’re excited to introduce you to Tracey

Next time you call or visit us for an appointment, you will likely meet or chat to her.​

Tracey Bowes
Tracey Bowes

Tracey Bowes:

Tracey joined Ezekiel Eyes as Practice Manager in May 2021.

Tracey started out in the insurance industry and moved from a junior position into supervisory roles.

Tracey has over fifteen years office experience and nine years management experience.

She has previously owned her own businesses in Hospitality and Travel.​

A proud Yorkshire woman, Tracey and her family moved from York, England to Perth in 2012.

Tracey sees herself as a very positive person and enjoys spending time with her four children.

She has a good sense of humour, loves a good Dad joke, enjoys motorcycles and regular walks.

.You may also see Tracey on the dance floor around the city on a Friday or Saturday night.

What is IPL for Dry Eyes?

Ever notice that you have itchy or watery eyes?

Ever feel like they’re worse sometimes your eyes are okay, and sometimes they’re worse?

Are they smeary or filmy at times?

You may have symptoms of Dry Eyes. Other common symptoms of dry eyes include:

  • A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
  • Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness
  • A sensation of having something in your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Difficulty with nighttime driving
  • Watery eyes, which is the body’s response to the irritation of dry eyes
  • Blurred vision or eye fatigue

Sometimes eye drops help and sometimes they don’t.

Have you heard of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) for Dry Eyes?

Optometrist Felix Sugiarto recorded a new video with questions/answers about IPL for Dry Eyes.

You’ll hear:

  • What is IPL for Dry Eyes?
  • How different is IPL to Laser?
  • What is Rosacea?
  • What does IPL for Dry Eyes feel like?
  • How do I feel after IPL?
  • Is IPL covered by Private Health Insurance?
  • When will I start to notice a difference?
  • How long does an IPL appointment take?
  • Will I still need to use eye drops?

Tap this Youtube Link to learn more about IPL and how it helps Dry Eyes

Congratulations Felix!

We are excited to share some news- but we’ll let Felix share it…

We are happy to welcome our second son, Liam into our family!

My wife, Devi, and baby Liam are both at home and doing well.

(Levi, Felix, Liam and Devi Sugiarto)

We are grateful for our medical care- Osborne Park Hospital is great.

Back at home, our first son, Levi, took a while to warm up to baby Liam. Now he gently strokes Liam’s head, gives him kisses, and places toy cars on baby Liam’s blanket.

My older sister is in America and my younger sister is in Indonesia. My parents have both passed away.

Due to COVID restrictions, my wife’s parents cannot visit Perth. We’ve been able to video chat with them often.

Once the border is open, my wife’s parents are looking forward to meeting our two sons.

We’re excited to watch the boys grow and seeing their characters and interests develop.”

Congratulations Felix- we wish you all the best!

Congratulations to these Inspiring Women!

Love finding out about breakthroughs in medicine?

It can be exciting to see stories of real people getting the care they deserve and finding hope again.

Whether you have a friend or loved one who struggles due to illness, or you enjoy hearing about innovations in medicine, a lot of work has taken place before it makes the news.

This month, we’re celebrating International Day of Girls and Women in Science.​

We spoke to Felix Sugiarto and Damon Ezekiel about women who inspire them.


​​Anne Sullivan inspires me:

I admire Anne Sullivan, an American teacher for Helen Keller. Anne was widely recognized for her achievement in educating to a high level a person without sight, hearing, or normal speech.

She patiently taught Helen Keller a manual alphabet and painstakingly spelled out the lectures to Hellen Keller for hours.

A local Woman in Science:

In late 2021, I met a person at Vision Australia who has a vision disability.

Despite her condition, and with the help of Vision Australia, she was able to obtain a university degree. She now works part-time as an assessor at the university.

Her passion to succeed and the number of people and guide dogs who have helped in her journey were amazing.

Damon shares how Prof Stephanie Watson inspires him:

Professor Stephanie Watson (Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney)

Prof Watson is an amazing lady who is very successful in a male-dominated environment.

She has risen to the top of the ophthalmology field, and in 2021, was awarded a place in the Global Top 100 Women in Ophthalmology.

She is not just an amazing surgeon but also an incredible researcher.

I think the adversity she would have been up against as a female in a male dominated profession would have been enough for some people to give up, however she was determined to excel.

We celebrate these women for their contribution to the lives of many people.

Who inspires you?

‘So, how do you update your knowledge or skills?’

Ever wondered how Damon and Felix update their knowledge or skills?

They love keeping their skills up to date!

Recently, they attended their first face-to-face conference in three years – the WA State Optometry Conference in Fremantle.

We spoke to them about their experience:

How does it feel to be face to face again at a conference?

Felix shared “It felt great, and I really enjoyed meeting people and suppliers and participating in competitions.​

I saw people from my age group who recently opened their own practices.​

I met a Geraldton optometrist who drives a van once a fortnight, performing eye examinations in nearby towns like Dongara, Jurien Bay and Kalbarri.

They have been serving these areas for over 20 years!”

Damon agreed “It was so good to be back at an in-person conference.

The presentations were great and the networking at morning tea/lunch was terrific. Bring back in-person learning.”​

What is one thing that you learned that surprised you?

Felix: “Our practice has been set up with great technology and we can continue to explore the features of our equipment in more detail and help patients in more ways.”

Damon: “How much I missed in-person learning and mixing with my colleagues and industry representatives.”


How has the conference changed the way you practice?

Felix: “I learned how to problem-solve specialised contact lens designs (e.g. sleep-in lenses that mould your eyes overnight, or OrthoK).

This framework helps me to tweak the lenses better if they do not work as planned.”

Damon: “We have already changed the way we test for our visual fields. We use an alternative test to the one we have been using regularly.

This test gives us a better way to measure our patient’s central visual field. That is, the part that we see straight ahead, rather than the side.”

Tell us about a new technology you saw in action or any new equipment that caught your eye. What impressed you about this?

Felix: “I saw one machine that allows us to get several high-tech measurements all in one machine.

These measurements allow us to custom-design a pair of lenses.”

Damon: “One microscope (Heidelberg Slit Lamp) provides amazing, in-depth imaging.

Due to the detail and costs associated with this instrument, it is more for an ophthalmologist or researcher to utilise than an optometrist.

However, it was great to see it in action and know what is available for patients.”

What do you enjoy about visiting Fremantle?

Felix: “My family and I stayed for three nights, in the same hotel as the Conference. We enjoy walking everywhere in Fremantle.

The restaurants, markets, hotel, park, museum and beach are all within walking distance.”

Damon: “Fremantle is a great funky town that offers so much for everyone -from cafes, restaurants, art galleries, movies, the famous Fremantle Markets, and the general bohemian vibe.”

Any other comments about your Conference?

Felix: “It was great to win a small gift card from one of our suppliers, OPTOS.

The OPTOS instrument allows us to take a larger/wider photo of our retina (back of the eye).

Many of our patients have experienced the photos and have enjoyed the extra benefits the OPTOS instruments adds to care of their eyes.”

Damon: “I am very keen to attend my next presentation or conference in person.

It is such a great vibe and I loved seeing what I have missed over the past two years by learning through the virtual world.”

Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Felix and Damon. You can see that they enjoy staying up to date with their knowledge and skills, right?

Need an eye test? Tap here to request an appointment or call 9386 3620

3 Key Symptoms That Connect Vision and Learning

Ever wondered how well your child can focus? Or what things you should look for that may suggest a vision problem?

Optometrist Felix Sugiarto recently completed his Advanced Certificate in Children’s Vision.

He shares how this extra study has enabled him to look deeper into how good eyesight helps learning:

Tap here to watch on Youtube

In this video, you’ll learn Felix’s top three symptoms that connect vision and learning.

If your child lacks confidence when reading, or they need an eye test, tap here to book an appointment. We are certified optometrists in Perth, and we have been providing optical services for three generations now, and we care about your vision.

We hope that your family has a great start to Term 2!

Your inspiring stories about contact lenses

Every day we love hearing inspiring stories from you!

We get to hear how contact lenses give you newfound freedom, choice and comfort.​

Contact lenses have changed millions of people’s lives for the better.

They are simple, convenient to use and many wearers feel they offer better and more natural all-round vision than spectacles.

They can even help people to achieve life-long dreams, such as becoming professional athletes or musical stars!

If they are looked after properly and good hygiene practice is followed, contact lenses are safe.​

This week is Love Your Lenses Week and we are delighted to be backing the campaign.


Why Rebecca loves her lenses

One of the Ezekiel Eyes family, Rebecca H, shares “there was a lot going on that I was missing”. Then she got contact lenses.

Watch Rebecca share her story (2 min video via Youtube):​

How contact lenses help save the ocean

We know how important the environment and sustainability is to you.

Felix shares how your contact lenses can help save the ocean from plastics (2 min video):​

Please keep sharing your stories with us about how contact lenses make a difference to your day.

Why Ken Jeong gets dry eyes

Do you ever get tired or blurry eyes?

You’re not alone! Increasingly people are finding that life is too busy, and it’s hard to keep all the balls in the air and find time to stop and smell the roses.

Surviving one day can feel like a miracle.​

Did you know that a recent survey of Australians found that the most common symptoms of dry eyes were actually….tired or blurry eyes.

Around 77% of Australians have suffered symptoms of dry eyes. Since Covid, this number has risen to 85% of Australians.

You may have heard of Ken Jeong (American actor, comedian, and doctor). Ken said that his dry eye symptoms were due to “long days on set” or “extended use of contact lenses”.

July is Dry Eye Awareness Month. So we’re excited to share our new technology for diagnosing dry eyes.

Have a look at our new infrared camera for diagnosing dry eyes. Listen as Felix shows how it works:

If you get tired, blurry eyes, we recommend that you make an appointment to see Felix or Damon for a check-up.

Why do allergies happen?

sWhy do allergies happen?

Allergies are very common, with around 1 in 5 people in Australia experiencing an allergy during their lives.

The severity of allergies varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis.

When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular substance as harmful, even though it isn’t.

These are usually everyday items such as:

  • Peanuts
  • Animal hair
  • Pollen
  • Fish
  • Mould
  • Dust mites
  • Medications

When you come in contact with the substance, your immune system’s reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system, typical of an allergic reaction.

When do allergies feel like a cold?

A cold is an infection caused by a virus. Allergies are your immune system’s reaction to a substance like pollen.

Because the two conditions cause similar symptoms, like sniffles and stuffiness, many people get them mixed up.

The only ache you may feel with allergies is a headache from all that congestion.

Allergies can cause sore throat if there’s enough irritation from post-nasal drip and coughing, but if you’re experiencing a sore throat or mild body aches, they’re more likely a sign of a bad cold.

Here’s a breakdown of common symptoms of a cold vs allergy:

Are allergies genetic?

Not exactly. The tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary, which means it can pass down through genes from parents to their kids.

It could be eczema, hayfever or asthma, or all three of these conditions.

But just because a parent has allergies doesn’t mean that their kids definitely get them.

And someone usually doesn’t inherit a particular allergy, just the likelihood of having allergies.

Some kids have allergies even if no family members are allergic.

Experts think other factors come into play, like your environment, air pollution, respiratory infections – even diet and emotions.

How do allergies affect eyes?

The nose, eyes, sinuses and throat are affected by substances that are inhaled.

During an allergic reaction, these areas can become swollen, inflamed or itchy, with extra mucus produced in the nose and fluid in the eyes.

The symptoms of eye allergies can vary greatly in severity and presentation from one person to the next.

Your eyes may become increasingly red and itchy.

Most people will present with at least some degree of irritation or foreign-body sensation and clear, watery discharge.

What happens if I rub my eyes?

Rubbing your eyes may seem like a relatively harmless thing to do.

Most of us do it regularly, whether we’re suffering from hayfever or a common cold, or are just feeling tired and groggy.

Rubbing stimulates tears to flow, lubricating dry eyes and removing dust and other irritants. Rubbing your eyes can also be therapeutic.

Pressing down on your eyeball can stimulate the vagus nerve, which slows down your heart rate, relieving stress.

However, if you rub your eyes too often or too hard, you can cause damage in a number of ways…

  • Rubbing your eyes may cause tiny blood vessels to break, resulting in bloodshot eyes or dark undereye circles.
  • When you rub your eye, germs are easily transferred from your hands, which can result in infections like conjunctivitis. Read more about conjunctivitis.
  • Sometimes people get a foreign body stuck in their eye and the natural instinct is to rub it to try and remove the object. However, rubbing against the object can very easily scratch and damage the cornea.
  • Rubbing is most dangerous in people with certain pre-existing eye conditions. People with progressive myopia (a type of short-sightedness caused by a lengthened eyeball) may find that rubbing worsens their eyesight. Similarly, those with glaucoma may find that the spike in eye pressure caused by rubbing the eyes can disrupt blood flow to the back of the eye and lead to nerve damage and, ultimately, permanent loss of vision.

Studies have shown that continuous eye rubbing in susceptible individuals can also lead to thinning of the cornea, which is weakened and pushes forward to become more conical. We write about various topics that might affect your sight and vision. As certified optometrists in Perth who have been serving for three generations, we care about your health. Check our website to learn more!

This is known as Keratoconus, and is a serious condition that can lead to distorted vision and possibly the future need for a corneal graft. Read more here

Do your eyes feel itchy or watery sometimes?

Request an appointment now with Felix Sugiarto or Damon Ezekiel

Best Polarised Sunglasses for Glare

Do you ever suffer from glare?

If you’re like most people, glare can happen anywhere.

Glare can affect you when you:

Drive, watch kids sport, go to the beach or just step outside.

If you forget you sunglasses, you can struggle to function. You get tiredness, eyestrain or fatigue.

Glare can get in the way of normal life, right?

What can you do about glare?

You may have heard of polarised sunglasses.

These give the best glare protection for your eyes. Maui Jim are one of our favourite brands of polarised sunglasses.​

What are Maui Jim Sunglasses?

First of all, if you have never worn a pair of Maui Jim Sunglasses, you don’t know what you’re missing.

They are the lightest, most comfortable and superbly optically correct sunglasses you will ever find anywhere.​

The glare reduction through their amazing polarization process is without equal. You truly do get what you pay for.

Watch Damon’s interview with Jade from Maui Jim

Check out the moments in this video:

  • 1:06- Watch a cool demo of how polarisation instantly gives more detail
  • 2:16- check out Damon’s blue mirrored lenses
  • 5:26- can you get prescription lenses in these?
  • 6:12- can you get distance or multifocal lenses?


If you struggle with glare, or want to protect your eyes thoroughly, come and try on a pair of Maui Jim Sunglasses today!

Felix Giving back to the community

People who are homeless or live on welfare can struggle with self-confidence. They may find it hard to get important things done.

Eyesight is important for all people. Felix recently spent time at St Patrick’s Community Support Centre (St Pat’s) in Fremantle.

St Pat’s is a not-for-profit organization providing community housing and specialist services for people facing homelessness or living in a vulnerable situation.

Felix volunteered at the St Pat’s Optometry Clinic. Felix was given the chance to do eye examinations for people of all ages.

If they required glasses, they could go back to collect them the next time the St Pat’s Optometry Clinic was open.

We love seeing people feeling more confident!

Bob’s shares how his eyesight Improved:

“For the last ten to twelve years since the second Pterygium (skin growth on the coloured part of the eye) removal to my right eye and afterwards laser treatment to the eye, scar tissue has stopped me seeing clearly in fact my sight was not unlike looking through a frosted glass window, with more serious consequences with driving at night where each light source included a smudge to the right.

Damon Ezekiel was brilliant in sorting the problem, scanning the topography of my eye, fitting that eye with a correctly curved lens with appropriate sighted correction enabling me to improve the eye sight chart by seven lines, incredible !!!

The other improvement was the removal of the “flare” effect so nighttime driving eye sight is now perfect, now that’s brilliant.

The other point of interest for me was how clear the full moon is and all the perfect pin pricks of light from the stars, what have I been missing for all these years.

So thank you Damon for the life change it’s made for me.”

Thank you for sharing your comments, Bob!

Let’s all work to protect our eyes from sun and damage.

February News: Can I get Contact Lenses for Astigmatism?

Happy January and we hope you had a great festive season!

Did you get away on a break? Tap reply and let us know.

Visiting Malaysia

My family and I were fortunate enough to visit our favourite place in the world, Malaysian Borneo.

This is the place where we as a family can unwind and relax – read a book, splash in the pool, play tennis, eat wonderful food and hang out as a family.

Here are some photos from our visit:


What is Astigmatism?​

Astigmatism makes it harder to see street signs, read sport scores or recognise faces far away. It also increases glare when you drive at night.

Astigmatism is a common eye condition that affects the shape of the cornea, the lens of the eye or the overall shape of your eye (it is like an egg shape).​

I’ve been told that I have an Astigmatism and due to this I was informed that I cannot wear contact lenses. Is this correct?’

We hear this all the time at Ezekiel Eyes. Yes, you can get contact lenses that correct for astigmatisms….

Most patients with an astigmatism can wear contact lenses.

These are called toric contact lenses and they are designed to correct astigmatism by having different powers in different areas of the lens.

They can be made in both soft and rigid gas permeable materials.

You can get contact lenses for astigmatism so you can:

  • Play sports like golf, tennis, water sports and more
  • Attend a special occasion such as a wedding or special night out
  • Wear in everyday use
  • Wear normal off-the-shelf sunglasses

Contact lenses could be a viable option for you.

So how do you get them?

It is best to have an appointment with Felix or Damon.

They will determine the best type of astigmatism-correcting contact lens for your specific needs.

All contact lenses require a fitting and a follow-up appointment.

This ensures that the contact lenses are providing a proper fit, comfort and optimal clarity.

Want to try contact lenses for Astigmatism?

Tap here to make an appointment with Felix or Damon

Have a fantastic 2023,

Let’s Cheer On Damon

This weekend, Damon had the privilege of teaching Optometrists at the International Cornea and Contact Lens Conference.​

In the beautiful Sydney Darling Harbour, Optometrists visited from around Australia and the World.

Doesn’t the view look amazing?!

Damon had the opportunity to sit on panels, give presentations and do hands-on workshops.

Damon was thrilled to talk about:

Watch Damon’s video message here (via Youtube):

Let’s Cheer on Damon for making a difference to other people’s lives through contact lenses

Need an appointment? Tap here to request an appointment with Damon or Felix Sugiarto

Severe Dry Eye

Today, we’re covering more about Severe Dry Eye, including symptoms, causes and treatments. Plus a special contact lens that can give significant relief from severe dry eye.

Ever had something in your eye? If so, you’ll know how sore it is.

severe dry eye

Severe dry eye can make every day uncomfortable

What are the symptoms of severe dry eye?

Severe dry eye can cause symptoms like:

  • Severe or disabling pain
  • Episodes of stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes.
  • Frequent red eyes and red-rimmed eyes
  • Constant blurred vision or eye fatigue
  • Ongoing problems and reduced quality of life

Severe dry eyes can have bad days and not-so-bad days. Your environment can play a role in how your eyes feel.

You may experience constant watery eyes in an air-conditioned room . You may have staring at a computer screen for a few hours. Dry eyes can make it difficult to perform everyday activities, such as reading, driving or watching television.

Why don’t I have enough tears?

Your tears are a complex mixture of water, fatty oils and mucus. This mixture helps make the surface of your eyes smooth and clear, and it helps protect your eye from infection.

For some people the cause of dry eyes is increased tear evaporation and an imbalance in the makeup of your tears.

For others the cause of dry eyes is decreased tear production.

The tears protect the surface of the eye from infection. They also help things to stay in focus. Without adequate tears, you may have eye inflammation, abrasion of the corneal surface and if left untreated lead to corneal ulcer and vision problems.

Are there any auto-immune connections?

Autoimmune diseases such as:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Behcet disease
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Reiter’s syndrome,
  • Diabetes type 1

These are some of the autoimmune diseases that affect the eye and contribute to severe dry eyes. They can cause symptoms like:

  • Filminess
  • Cloudiness
  • Blurriness
  • Pain
  • Dryness
  • Light sensitivity

In this article, we’ll discuss two medical conditions in more detail.

What is Stevens Johnsons Syndrome?

Steven Johnsons syndrome is a rare, serious disorder of the skin and mucous membranes triggered by medication, an infection or both.

It usually starts with fever, a sore mouth and throat, fatigue and burning eyes.

As the condition develops, it includes widespread skin pain, a red or purplish rash that spreads.

Blisters may form on your skin and mucous membrane of the mouth, nose, eyes and genitals and shedding of the skin within days after blisters form.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a medical emergency that usually requires hospitalisation.

Treatment for Stevens Johnsons Syndrome

Treatment focuses on removing the cause (i.e. ceasing the medication), caring for wounds, controlling pain and minimising complications as skin regrows. It can take weeks to months to recover.

During this stage, artificial tears or topical steroid is used to reduce inflammation of the eyes and mucous membrane.

Another autoimmune condition that affects the eyes is Sjogrens Syndrome.

What is Sjogrens Syndrome?

Sjogren syndrome is a disorder of your immune system identified by its two most common symptoms – dry eyes and a dry mouth.

The condition often accompanies other immune system disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Sjogrens Syndrome affects the mucous membranes and moisture-secreting glands of your eyes and mouth first. This causes decreased tears and saliva.

Treatment for Sjogrens Syndrome

Treatment for Sjogren syndrome depends on the parts of the body affected. Many people manage the dry eye and dry mouth of Sjogren’s syndrome by using over-the counter lubrication eyedrops and drinking water more frequently.

However, some people need prescription medications to reduce inflammation, such as:

  • Cyclosporine (anti-inflammatory drops)
  • Autologous serum

What is autologous serum?

Autologous serum is customised eyedrop made from patient’s own blood diluted in sterile saline or hyaluronic acid.

It serves as lacrimal gland substitute to provide lubrication and its composition of the serum resembles that of tears.

It’s composed of a mixture of naturally occuring things in the body like:

  • Vitamin A,
  • Lysozyme
  • Transforming growth factor B  (TGF-B)
  • Fibronectin
  • Immunoglobulin A (IgA)
  • Epithelial growth factor (EGF)
  • Vitamin C which promote healing of the ocular surface.

Autologous serum typically made in a concentration of around twenty percent. This is based on the concentration of biological factors in actual tears, although higher concentration have been used.

Research has shown autologous serum is more effective than over-the counter lubrication in patients with severe dry eye, This is because the serum is composed of a complex mix of growth factors, proteins, antioxidants and lipids which are not found in over-the counter lubrication eyedrops.

Some people may even need surgical procedures, to seal the tear ducts and help preserve tears on the eyes (i.e. punctal cauterisation).

Preservative vs preservative-free eye drops for severe dry eye

A variety of lubrication eyedrops are available over-the counter. Eyedrops with preservatives can be used up to four times a day. Preservatives help the eyedrop bottle to last longer.

However, preservatives drops more often can cause eye irritation in people with dry eye syndrome.

If you rely on eyedrops more than four times a day or allergic to preservatives, non-preservative drops are safer.

Lubricating eye ointments coat your eyes, providing longer lasting relief from dry eyes but are thicker than eyedrops and can cloud your vision.

What are Scleral Lenses?

Scleral Contact Lenses

Contact lenses for severe dry eyes

Scleral lenses can provide significant pain relief for people with severe dry eye.

Regular soft contact lenses sit on the cornea, which can be extremely irritating and act as sponges soaking up moisture on the surface of the eye.

Scleral contact lenses help trap moisture around the front of the eye (dark blue area)

Scleral lenses, on the other hand, sit on the sclera, the white part of the eye and vault over the cornea.

These lenses do not touch the corneal surface at all, making this a very comfortable option.

Furthermore, when inserting a scleral lens into your eye, you first apply a saline solution which fills the gap between the cornea and the lens.

This provides moisture for the irritated eye and promotes healing by ensuring consistent hydration of the eye and shielding the cornea from external irritants, such as blinking from the eyelids and environmental irritants.

Scleral lenses significantly reduce discomfort, eye redness and simultaneously provide clear, crisp vision.

Ezekiel Eyes has a keen interest in Scleral Contact Lenses. Book an appointment with us now to discuss Scleral Contact Lenses.

During our long experience as Perth optometrists, we’ve seen people like you get significant relief from severe dry eye. We look forward to meeting you!

Coronavirus: Can you still wear contact lenses?

During this time of social distancing, can you still wear contacts?

Damon Ezekiel is current President of the International Society of Contact Lens Specialists (ISCLS). He is also a member of the Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia (CCLSA).

Here’s a position statement from CCLSA about Coronavirus and Contact Lenses.

Position Statement

Contact Lens Wear & COVID-19

There’s currently 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 (CL) wear.

For decades contact lens practitioners have advised thorough, correct hand-washing and strict hygiene practices for CL 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 CL wearers, and the general public at large.

Now more than ever it is critically important for a CL wearer to pay great attention to proper hygiene and for practitioners to strongly reinforce sound practices. This can be done at the time of consultation, or via Social Media, webinars, text messages, websites, email etc.

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.

Where possible, Daily Disposable Contact Lenses are advised as they improve compliance and reduce risks of complications in lens wear.

Cease Contact Lens Wear if Sick.

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. This advice has been around since long before COVID-19 but is even more critical now.

Public health organisations and government health officials are releasing information to ensure that people receive the right advice, care and support regarding COVID-19.

There are those with severe eye conditions who cannot function without contact lenses and cannot see with spectacles or while unaided. These wearers should liaise with their practitioner if unwell and seek specific advice to reduce risk of complications.

Please follow our latest updates via our Facebook page.

Advice for Contact Lens Wear & Care

In summary current advice is:

  • Contact lens wear is safe and can be maintained by healthy individuals.
  • Contact lens wear does not appear to increase the risk of developing COVID-19, compared to spectacle lens wearers, or those with normal vision who do not need any corrective devices. To date there is no known research suggesting any such link or risk.
  • It should also be noted that contact lenses provided by leading manufactures are manufactured in sterile conditions and the lenses are safe to wear. The majority of contact lenses provided on the market are in a state ready for wear. Customised lenses should be disinfected before use.
  • Contact Lenses obtained from dubious sources, including counterfeit lenses and those offered through unlicensed premises and providers should be avoided as these may not be sterile or safe to wear. Always seek professional advice and consult with your eye care provider. In these troubled times it may be best to call ahead before making an appointment.
  • In case of emergency visit your nearest eye hospital or clinic.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, face, nose and lips as far as possible and avoid eye rubbing.
  • There are a few basic messages we can apply to contact lenses.
    • Your eyes should ‘Look Good’, ‘See Good’ and ‘Feel Good’.
    • If in doubt, take them out and seek professional assistance.

Proper Handwashing: A Cornerstone of Safe Contact Lens Wear

Thoroughly WASH HANDS before:

  • Handling Contact Lenses and CL cases.
  • Applying contact lenses, even for brand new lenses direct from the pack. The aim is to prevent spreading any nasty pathogens (bugs, bacteria, fungi, viruses etc) from hands or fingers to the lens and therefore the eye.
  • The same applies to removing contact lenses from the eye.

Whether an optometrist, ophthalmologist, dispensing optician, assistant, technician or contact lens wearer, the importance of basic hand washing and hygiene with contact lenses is critically important and cannot be stressed enough!

There are many strong messages from numerous health organisations around the world that support our aforementioned guidance and advice urging people to properly wash their hands to help prevent infection or spread of novel coronavirus.

The US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued COVID-19 guidance stating that eyes should not be touched with unwashed hands.

Some other useful links:








Handwashing technique video:



Advice provided by the CCLSA in this communication, is current at the time of dissemination, but may not be best practice as circumstances change and the knowledge base and understanding surrounding the COVID-19 crisis develops. The CCLSA provides this information in good faith with the intent of improving safety, best practice and ultimately saving lives. Opinions expressed via links or otherwise, do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCLSA.

Please stay up to date by consulting the resources conveyed in this document, elsewhere through reliable sources, and via our CCLSA newsletter, Facebook page and communications.

Perth Health Heroes: How the Flying Doctor is responding to Coronavirus

How would you celebrate the end of the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Ms Sonia Nolan, Head of Communications and Giving at Royal Flying Doctor Service Western Australia, smiles and says:

“I think we would all probably want to give each other a really big hug”.

Ms Sonia Nolan, Head of Communications and Giving at Royal Flying Doctor Service, Western Australia
Ms Sonia Nolan, Head of Communications and Giving at Royal Flying Doctor Service Western Australia

She says that the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) in WA is a service of professionals working together in sometimes stressful and unique circumstances.

Every day, they save lives and provide emergency and community healthcare across the vast and remote regions of WA.

We cover more than 2.5 million square kilometres – the world’s largest health jurisdiction.

Ms Sonia Nolan, RFDS

They’re the mobile intensive care units of the sky with a fleet of 18 aircraft and five aeromedical bases in WA (Broome, Port Hedland, Meekatharra, Kalgoorlie and Jandakot).

RFDS aircraft
RFDS “Intensive Care Unit in the Sky”

However, coronavirus has brought unprecedented challenges. How can you contain a global virus that could threaten wide parts of WA?

Over nine weeks have elapsed since RFDS WA first transferred its first patient with COVID-19 and many more suspected and/or confirmed patients have been cared for since then.

The service has invested in being response ready to ensure protocols, equipment, aircraft and logistics are in place to ensure the safety of all patients and the doctors, nurses and pilots on board.

While the clinicians and pilots are on the frontline, the behind the scenes teams supporting the emergency response are also working tirelessly – including the communications team which Sonia leads. 

“This will be a marathon rather than a sprint,” Sonia said.

The keys to success to date have been clear for her already. They include strong leadership from her CEO, cohesive teamwork and an “amazingly supportive” family.

Like for many others across the state, the hours have been long for Sonia, both at the office and at home. She has seen her team at RFDS do what might be “two months’ worth of work in a week”.

“Everyone is just rising to the professionalism that they need to show.”

Ms Sonia Nolan, RFDS

Yet, each team member respects one another’s time. This includes checking in with one another for self-care.

As a team, they have quickly adapted to the challenges of working from home. This includes streamlining their process of setting priorities, working diligently and sharing results.

What are the most important messages for WA families? Sonia encourages people to follow reputable sources of information and all the public health messages

“It really does make a difference if we have good hand hygiene and cough etiquette, use social distancing and self-isolation.  I would stress though that we must keep in touch with one another and keep the community and friendship spirit alive.”

What will RFDS teamwork look like at the end of Coronavirus Pandemic?

“I think the world has changed significantly and the experience of COVID-19 will be with us for a while to come,” Sonia said.

“Without a doubt, technology has been an important tool. It has enabled my team to explore in-office and remote work options and I think going forward there may be a hybrid of the best of the old and the best of the new”.

The RFDS frontline teams are working with upgraded Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and stricter protocols and they are responding to the healthcare needs across WA as they always have done.

When we look to the future, we’re confident that the coronavirus pandemic will be managed and little by little we will be able to enjoy some of the simple pleasures we once took for granted.

Let’s celebrate our Perth Health Heroes!

Imagine the smiles, warm handshakes and hugs when the pandemic is over. Can you think of a better team to look after you?

Sonia is part of the Ezekiel Eyes Community in Perth. She wears contact lenses prescribed by Damon Ezekiel.

Sonia says that Damon is “genuinely interested in you as a person and he’s genuinely interested in finding the right solution for you”.

Book an appointment now with Damon Ezekiel or Felix Sugiarto at https://ezekieleyes.com/contact

Want to donate to RFDS? You can donate at https://rfds-wa.giveeasy.org/rfds