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Homemieditorialmivision Issue 92, July 2014

mivision Issue 92, July 2014

As the federal government negotiates its way towards three yearly Medicare covered eye examinations for people under 65, many in the eye care profession are raising concerns over the potential for missed eye diseases and therefore an increase in preventable blindness.

Understandably. It’s hard enough to encourage regular eye tests – as RANZCO points out, two out of five Australians fail to have their eyes tested on a regular basis and each year one in four Australians are at risk of losing part or all of their vision to eye disease. Remove the incentive of a free examination and watch those figures climb. Add to that the fact that a new generation of over 50s has no intention of considering themselves to have ‘ageing eyes’ at risk of eye disease, and the future could be alarming.

While Dr. Jim Kokkinakis explored the clinical aspects of managing the ageing eye in our June issue, this month we focus on helping patients navigate the emotional journey that the ageing eye takes them on once they’ve hit their fifth decade.

Those patients who do require surgery to correct vision changes have high expectations to be able to see well without glasses or contact lenses and these expectations have raised the bar for ophthalmologists. This month, guest editor Prof. Gerard Sutton reviews recent studies into refractive surgery, including the new small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) procedure which he believes will become integral to the refractive surgeon’s armamentarium.

The expectations of contact lens wearers have also increased over the years – both in terms of the vision they expect to achieve and the comfort that goes along with wearing lenses for long hours. Our education article explores issues behind contact lens drop out, emphasising education in the early stages of CL prescribing is essential to wearer success.

The theme for Essilor’s 2014 AMERA convention in Dubai was Navigate through Change, a fitting theme I thought for a profession experiencing seismic shift as a result of government policy, global competition and a still slowly recovering economy. I was fortunate to be invited to the convention where a number of international speakers presented their perspectives on managing and maximising the potential of change. I’m pleased to present a few of the highlights.

We also bring you an inspiring story from New Zealand. Ophthalmologist Tony Wells recently skippered his 12-metre yacht Blink to victory in one of the world’s most gruelling yacht races around his country’s North Island.

In business Mark Overton provides us with marketing tips while property consultant Michael Fuller discusses how we can prepare ourselves for a financially sustainable retirement. And in fashion we interview Eberhard Müller-Menrad, the man responsible for the creation of Davidoff eyewear and look at eyewear brands manufactured in Europe as well as fashion news from around the globe.

Finally, in The Last Word, I share some sage advice gleaned on my flight back from Dubai about ‘The Price
We Pay’. Puts the decisions we make into clear perspective.

Enjoy.

Mark Cushway

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