There is a number of technologies that ophthalmologists use on a daily basis in both the diagnosis of what is causing impaired vision and in the treatments.
This includes advanced imaging devices such as corneal topography that gives a precise image of the shape of the front of the eye as well as a laser guided imaging device that gives them microscopic detail of structures inside the eye.
“We use the latest technology to improve a patient's eyesight in cataract surgery with a machine which performs phacoemulsification, essentially a very high powered ultrasound that fits through a microscopic incision,” cataract and corneal surgeon Dr Armand Borovik from Southern Ophthalmology said.
“The lens that we then place in the eye is also remarkable, as it folds to fit through that tiny incision and then unfolds leaving no crease that would impact on vision. These lenses can now also correct for astigmatism where the eye is not perfectly round, and some lenses such as multifocals allow some independence from glasses.”
There are constant evolutions in the technology in ophthalmology – a part of what Dr Borovik likes.
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“I primarily see patients who have decreased vision from cataracts or patients with corneal problems such as infections, cloudiness or abnormality of the shape of the cornea,” he said.
“Some of these patients require corneal transplantation where a human donor cornea is used to replace the diseased tissue in their eye.
“Performing advanced lamellar (partial thickness) techniques where less tissue is transplanted affords patients the possibility of a quicker recovery and a better outcome than traditional techniques.
“I also manage patients with keratoconus with collagen cross linking and intra-corneal rings to try to prevent them from needing a corneal transplant. Plus I perform refractive surgery for patients looking to gain independence from glasses, both through corneal laser surgery as well as refractive lens surgery for patients who are not suitable from the corneal perspective.
“Pterygium surgery is another area where I have expertise and I use a special tissue glue rather than stitches - a more comfortable experience for the patient.”
For details, see southernophthalmology.com.au
What laser can do for your eyes
Laser can be used in the clinic to treat problems such as diabetic retinopathy, opacification of the very outer layer of a cataract (they aim to leave this behind during surgery) as well as to treat glaucoma. Lasers can also be used to do part of cataract surgery and corneal transplants.
Patients who wish to have laser surgery to get rid of glasses need to have a stable prescription for 12 months, a healthy eye and a normal shaped cornea with adequate thickness. You therefore need to be examined in the clinic.