Monthly Archive for: ‘September, 2013’

AMD Awareness Week 23 to 29 September 2013

AMD Awareness Week

The 23rd to the 29th September 2013 is AMD awareness week around the world, organised by the AMDAI (Age related Macular Degeneration Alliance International) – you can see why they call themselves AMDAI!

There are going to be a few event to try to raise awareness of this increasingly common problem – the population is ageing as people are living longer.

The Irish Times are going to have their website AMD themed for the week, and there will be various press releases in print,on the TV and Radio to try to increase awareness of this condition. There is a mobile unit offering free AMD testing through the week, but the closest it will be to Cavan is Dublin on the 27th at Tallagh County Library (10am – 2pm).

Like many Optometrists across Ireland, McLeish Optometrists will be offering a free AMD test to those over 50s who might benefit, but this will not be a full eye test- we would recommend anyone with concerns contact us for sure, but regular examinations are paramount to the early detection of AMD.

Call us in Kingscourt (042) 9698841 or in Bailieborough (042) 9694456 or Contact Us here.

Blue Laser

The danger of handheld lasers

Recent reports suggest that there is an increase in the number of young people attending hospital with ocular damage caused by handheld laser pointer devices. One recent report details the treatments required on fourteen patients who had an average age of 17. Approximately 70% of the patients required surgery, half of them had haemorrhaging inside the eye, and 4 of them had full thickness macular holes (a hole in the retina at the back of the eye, in the area where best vision is usually achieved).

All patients showed an improvement in visual acuity compared to that at presentation, but the mean acuity initially was approximately 6/90 – that means that what a normal eye should see at 90 metres, they could see at 6 metres -quite poor. Average vision achieved after recovery was 6/12- the eye required things to be twice as big or half as far away as normal.

There have been reports for years about pilots and police officers being dazzled by laser pointer pens, but these new lasers are much more powerful, and are a shorter wavelength of light- laser pointers used in presentations are usually red, but these new ones are blue, with a wavelength of 450nm. This colour is better absorbed by back of the eye, resulting in more damage than a red coloured laser. There are even posted methods on YouTube on how to increase the power output of a handheld pocket laser, though some available online are hugely powerful to begin with. They may look a bit like a light sabre from StarWars, but there could be serious consequences of playing a prank with one of these devices.

Experts predict that, if left unregulated, handheld lasers purchased online could cause an epidemic of ocular injuries.

Parents be warned- don’t let your children have one of these!

Local eyecare for all the family