Liz Muller, optometrist at Eyecare Plus Altona, was planning a big party to celebrate her 20 years in Altona this year, but COVID-19 lockdowns put paid to that. Now, she says, they’ll have a 21st party instead.
Liz says 20/20 is the measurement used for ‘perfect’ eyesight, so it was a year optometrists were looking forward to. “Needless to say, it’s been a year to remember, but definitely not a year that we’d like to repeat, with allied health professionals restricted to seeing only emergency patients.
“During this time, I managed the care of patients who had their appointments cancelled from the Eye and Ear hospital and other clinics. These patients required review of glaucoma, sudden onset of blurred vision, eye pain and other symptoms that should be attended to immediately.”
Wearing glasses due to an eye turn from an early age herself gave Liz real insight and kicked off her special interest in children’s vision.
“The appropriate use of glasses or contact lenses, and vision therapy when required, has helped many children to reach their full potential without the added deficit of a vision problem.
“Yes,” she says, “contact lenses for kids are easier and safer than you think and can provide a lot of freedom! … my youngest patient just three months old at the time of the vision test.
“This little one had hereditary cataracts, and after surgery to remove the cataracts, and wearing glasses and now contact lenses, she is happily seeing.”
Vision therapy clinic
The clinic employs evidence-based in-office and home-based vision therapy programs for children and adults who have lazy and turned eyes, concussion and brain injuries, and eye alignment and tracking problems. Vivid Vision Virtual Reality training for eye teaming and lazy eye is also used.
More common in the younger generation these days, progressive myopia (shortsighted) increases the risk of problems such as retinal detachment. Research shows that specialised contact lenses, and new spectacle lenses incorporating peripheral myopia control zones, are more effective than traditional lenses.
Eye movements and visual processing
The Readalyzer is a great technology that monitors eye tracking when reading. Tracking and visual processing skills are checked at the clinic when children have vision difficulties that may be impacting on their reading development.
Eyecare Plus Altona, 90 Railway Street South, Altona. Opens 9am-5.30pm Monday-Friday; 9am-2pm Saturday; and Thursday night by appointment. Inquiries: 9398 1344 or visit www.visionadvantage.com.au or www.eyecareplus.com.au/altona