OPTOMETRY & EYEWEAR with Melissa Hay, Visique Milford
Our monthly OPTOMETRY & EYEWEAR column is provided by Melissa Hay, the owner of Visique Milford Optometrists. Melissa studied optometry for five years at the Auckland University School of Medicine and completed a Bachelor of Optometry (with Honours). Her qualifications also allow her to test the eyesight of pilots (CCA Accred.) and to write prescriptions (Oc.Cert.Pharm.).
Technology the key
Technology is always rapidly changing in any industry. In Optometry we now have new machines at our fingertips that allow us to monitor for eye diseases much better than before.
At Visique Milford Optometrists we have a retinal camera, which takes a photograph of your retina that we can then keep
on file. This allows us to keep a close watch on your retina for any changes.
Your retina is the film of your eye, taking in the images that you see. This information is then cabled back to your brain via your optic nerve (the white area in the photos). If the retina is damaged in anyway, it means that your brain isn’t getting the right information, which can lead to blank spots or distortion in your vision.
There are many eye diseases that can occur on your retina…and the older we all get, the more likely it is for us to have one of these diseases. One common ageing disease is Macula Degeneration, which decreases your reading ability and makes straight lines seem wiggly. There is also glaucoma that selectively damages the optic nerve on the retina.
We also look for pigment spots or naevi on your retina, while these are unlikely to be vision threatening, it is important to monitor them. The blood vessels on your retina also give us a snapshot about your general health, they can show up signs of diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
So, being able to take a photograph of this important structure allows us to monitor the health of your eyes over many years. We recommend 2 yearly eye examinations.