Read the latest News Stories and Blog Posts that concern us and our patients at the Wellington Eye Clinic
DR DYLAN JOSEPH
Consultant Cataract and Refractive Surgeon, Wellington Eye Clinic and BeaconHospital
Today was a very special one for me… I had a person in theatre today, standing over my shoulder watching what I love doing. I had a person standing beside me who planted the medical seed in my brain more than 20 years ago. I had here today, the person who instilled in me the art and beauty of helping someone through surgery. I had the person in my theatre today, who I admire and respect deeply for his compassion and skill as a person, a doctor, and a surgeon. Today, I had my father watch me live my passion for vision correction. What a proud day it was…
While under the laser, you are asked to look at a green, flashing light. Some people are concerned that they will not be able to fix on this light well enough and that it will impact their outcome. Watch this video to see why you need not worry about this any longer. The eye-trackers are so good that they will follow every movement you make, no matter how unsteady you may be.
It’s funny even though I had chatted so much to the Wellington Eye Clinic staff before going in for my consultation I was still a little nervous, I was afraid that years of surfing and swimming in the sea coupled with a stint last year of wearing very cheap contact lenses (please people NEVER NEVER do that to your eyes, I was very lucky not to suffer serious damage) that my eyes would be fit for laser eye surgery. This is something that I think it is important to be aware of, but if you let the clinic know in advance that you suffer from dry eyes or anything like that they can let you know what to do in advance to have healthier eyes by the time you come in. Since I had been following this advice then nerves were mostly drowned out with excitement. This was actually happening!
Before my consultation I did a course of omega 3 oil supplements and warm compresses on my eyes any evening I could remember. There’s a link to these videos here and here, I used a rice eye bag that I had from yoga and just popped it in the microwave when I had a chance.
On the morning of the consultation, I knew I would be in for up to two hours as various different nurses, optometrists and also Dr Cummings all ran various tests on my eyes. This was to assess my sight, the health of my eyes but also things that would affect what type of surgery I could have. The thickness of my cornea, if I had a stigmatism etc.
Everything went very smoothly and the only bit of discomfort was the dilation drops which sting a little as they go in, but it passes quickly. My eyesight was a little blurry for a few hours after so my mom came with me to drive me home.
I think many people put off the initial consultation for laser because they’re afraid of pain, worried about the cost, but for me I was afraid my eyes would be rejected and then the dream would be shattered. For anyone sharing my fear I say get tested as soon as you can, the science of the procedure advances so fast it is amazing the cases that can easily be looked after.
I was delighted to find out that I was eligible for LASIK, which is a super fast healing treatment. All of my consultation and procedure were filmed so its possible to see my absolute joy at hearing the procedure could go ahead. I’ll have a link to this in the coming months. I was booked in for the next morning and off I went home to have a good rest.
Seeing is Believing – My Laser Eye Surgery with the Wellington Eye Clinic
I was one of those lucky little ducks who for all my young life (till age 16) had perfect eyesight. Want to know what that bird is out to sea? Ask Finn. Need to know what number bus is at the end of the road in the dark? I got you!
And just towards the end of secondary school (I’m looking at you leaving cert) everything started to get a little fuzzy. Damn genetics. Like my mother, grandmother and basically everyone else in my family, I needed glasses.
Now don’t shoot me here. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with glasses. Some people wear them and they look just effortlessly cool, more intelligent, maybe even a little French. I just look uncomfortable. Read on to find out about my laser eye surgery journey here.
Wearing glasses has never suited me. When I’m rushing around, when I’m nervous/giving a presentation they just fog up and I feel like an absolute ejit. When I work at sea on research vessels they are a complete hindrance.
First of all you have to prove you’re bringing two pairs, in case one pair falls overboard. Then you have to do an eye test before you leave. When it gets to actual work you have to stuff your glasses under your science goggles and then eventually get a headache from the pressure on the sides of your head. Outside there is constantly sea spray getting on the glasses or on a nice day you’re switching between regular glasses and prescription shades all the while trying not to lose either or get them crushed in any of the machinery. Come back in from the cold at night and they fog up.
Now that I do a lot of catering work, the main battle is glasses steaming up opening ovens and looking over pots, taking glasses off to read recipes and then forgetting where the glasses are.
And thats just professionally. I love to be outdoors, ever since I was little I’ve rambled and scrambled around the country side with my parents, hiking, swimming and later in my teens surfing. Needing glasses has impaired me in the water massively. I can’t see the bigger waves out the back on their way to me, I can’t see important features on land that tell me how I’m moving with the current and I can’t see other people so well (are they friendly, are they in my way/am I in theirs etc).
So why don’t you just wear contacts you ask? With science (and science at sea) I can’t wear them working with chemicals and working split shifts and sleeping 4 hours twice a day would mean two sets of contacts a day (expensive). Contacts aren’t great cooking as I can feel the heat dries my eyes. But the biggest most annoying no no is I can’t wear them in the sea surfing or swimming. Wearing contacts causes tiny cuts (more details on this) on the surface of the eye and while this can be ok for someone who works at a computer or mostly indoors this is not good when you’re in the ocean. Not only is the salt in the environment massively drying (I’ve had contacts shrink on to my eye making it difficult to get them out in the very salty seas of the Canary Islands), but there is a big chance for bacteria from the water to get into you eyes. With that in mind I just don’t wear contacts anymore for the health of my eyes.
So I’m wandering around half blind.
Sorry if I never wave at you on the street.
I promise I always wear my glasses when I’m driving.
So it was a few years back that the idea of laser eye surgery first came into periphery.
A fitness Youtuber that I’ve been following for years – Nikki Blackketter – did a video on why she wanted laser eye surgery and why it would be so beneficial for her career in the fitness industry. I could relate to everything. Seeing how happy it made her, as well as how quick her recovery was and generally how it was just way less scary than I had imagined it would be.
Then suddenly a friend I baked with got it and I saw what a massive difference it made for her in the kitchen. I couldn’t believe it, she was even in work the next day. Then a good friend I surf with got it and I constantly plagued her in the water asking about how her “new eyeballs” were. As her only other friend with glasses she was delighted about it, since no one else had been asking about her miracle of sight.
Then things started to fall together. I began researching laser eye clinics and seeing that there were clinics all over Ireland. I was wary of all these “two for one” type offers. After all, it’s my sight. I wanted to be sure I was in the safest hands possible.
Then in wonderful randomness of the world, when I was getting a lift home from a business course the wonderful lady who was driving me (Caca Willis is her business, look her up her cakes are some of the most beautiful creations I have ever seen) saw me fumbling with my glasses to see something out the window.
The chats began, had I ever considered laser eye surgery? I told her my story. It turns out Michelle had already had the surgery herself. What did she think of it? She said it was the best investment she had made in her life. In. Her. Life. She has a successful business, a beautiful car (this is all I’ve seen so far). But this investment she’d made in herself and her own health was priceless.
The Wellington Eye Clinic
She told me all about her surgery and I told her my trepidations about getting the surgery. The answer she said was the Wellington Eye Clinic in Dublin. One of the longest running clinics in Ireland, with top spec equipment and amazing surgeons. But what I think made her remember it all so fondly was the staff, she raved about the clinic and the surgeons and how safe she felt and how amazing the aftercare was.
It took me two months to work up the courage (I was still a little scared!) but I got in touch and right away I saw exactly what she meant, every member of staff I was in touch with was so friendly and helpful. We chatted about which type of surgery would be best suited, talked me through how it would work and sent me on loads of information about what to expect and how to have my eyes in tip top shape for the surgery. We chatted about my surfing, cooking and life working at sea and how much of a phenomenal difference it was going to make to my quality of life.
We partnered up as the clinic had decided it was time to make a new video for their patients to see before they came in for surgery. I was delighted to do this since it was exactly that video of Nikki who had put me at ease and made me realise I could do it! With that in mind I filmed a little of my last trip to sea wearing glasses and plan to film my pre and post op. So you can be with me for the whole experience and for anyone thinking of laser eye surgery they will know exactly what to expect. This will include the initial consultation to assess my vision, pre-op, the surgery itself and then post op and then some surfing and adventuring testing out the new vision!
For more information on the Wellington Eye Clinic check them out online at www.wellingtoneyeclinic.ie and also check out their youtube videos. The videos have been a massive help for me as I have quite dry eyes these last few years from surfing and spending a lot of time working on a computer so these videos gave me great info on what I could do for myself at home even before my consultation!
Pictured at the launch of the #BeaconEyeClinicRapidAccess at the Beacon Consultants Clinic this morning were the Minister for Health, Simon Harris and Dr Arthur Cummings, who in addition to being Medical Director at the Wellington Eye Clinic, also has the same role at the new service.
The Beacon Eye Clinic Rapid Access is designed to complement existing urgent services for patients with eye problems. The Clinic offers a priority appointment with a Consultant Specialist Ophthalmologist for patients within 1-2 days, and targets a waiting time of less than 30 minutes for patients when they arrive at the Clinic.
It is difficult to reconcile given recent events yet Syria is one of the early cradles of civilization.
Since 2011 the country has been devastated by a bitter civil war.
The death toll of the conflict stands at nearly 500,000 since the outbreak. More than 1 in 10 of the population have been killed or injured. Atrocities have included the use of chemical weapons.
The Syrian Eye Surgeons are an extraordinary and inspiring group of Doctors.
In spite of the hardships that they face, they do their best to update themselves in order to offer the best treatments possible to their patients.
Dr Arthur Cummings was invited to present a paper to their congress this week concerning the treatment of keratoconus using laser surgery. The presentation was conducted via Skype to a conference room in downtown Damascus from the operating theatres at the Beacon Hospital
The organiser of the Meeting, Dr Anas Anbari told us that this meeting is regarded as one of the most important annual continuing medical education events in Syria.
Dr Arthur Cummings, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, launched his book “Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking” at a function at the Beacon Hospital.
The book is a text which describes the range of treatments available for the management of an eye condition called Keratoconus.
Keratoconus is an eye condition in which a patient’s cornea (the clear front part of the eye) becomes progressively thinner. This can lead to blurred and / or distorted vision.
“If you have Lasik done, where a flap is created, then you can go back to things like golf, tennis, and running – those sorts of things within a day or two. If you want to do swimming you’d wait for a couple of weeks. Probably the best thing to do for contact sports – like karate or boxing or rugby, is perhaps to wait for 6 weeks. If you do Lasek or PRK which is on the surface, then there is nothing that you can’t do within a week. The moment the surface has healed you can go back to doing anything and if you do Smile – again because you don’t have the little cap – within a week you can do anything. You can go back to doing what you want to do.”
Dry Eye is a common condition.
There can be many causes for the condition.
Some of these include working for long hours on computers, the wearing of contact lenses, side-effects of some common medications, getting older and simply being female – all of these factors and more contribute to this sometimes very annoying condition.
Dry eyes can impact your vision very significantly as the light rays entering the eye actually bend on the surface of the tear layer and not the cornea as one might imagine. If the tears are unstable, then the vision is less crisp.
There are a number of possible approaches in the treatment of the condition.
The clinical staff at the Wellington Eye Clinic recently collaborated to compile a short document which explains what causes the condition, and also outlines the treatment options currently available here.
PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK TO DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY
Dry Eye Information PDF
Hear Dr. Cummings explain what a cataract is and how it forms:
“A cataract is when your natural lens starts clouding. Your natural lens is inside your eye, your natural lens is clear, is relaxed when you’re looking far, and it changes shape when you’re looking up close, and as we get older we lose this ability to change shape and that’s when people get reading glasses, but the lens continues to grow. That’s one of the reasons that this happens, but as the lens continues to grow, more and more fibres pack into the lens, so the lens becomes more dense and it becomes less clear. The best analogy is, mainly because the lens is the most protein-rich part of your body (there are more proteins in your lens than in muscle). The best way to think about this is thinking of an egg; if you’re frying an egg and you break the egg up in the pan, you can clearly see the yolk, and around the yolk you can very clearly see the bottom of the pan, and as the egg starts frying, the clear material starts becoming cloudy, it goes white eventually, and if you fry it for too long it goes black. Exactly the same with your lens. As the lens starts becoming more cloudy and the proteins are coagulating, they become less clear, and then you have a cataract. It comes from the Latin word that means “waterfall”. The first person who described this and called it a cataract, said it’s like standing in a waterfall and looking out through the waterfall. That’s how my vision feels – it’s blurred.”
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR SURGEON IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING LASER EYE SURGERY?
Making a choice about which Surgeon to carry out your laser eye procedure can be a little overwhelming.
Attached is an excellent summary from the American Academy of Ophthalmology of the questions you might consider asking.
For more details on how to help eliminate your need for glasses or contact lenses at the Wellington Eye Clinic you can visit our Laser Vision Correction page at http://wellingtoneyeclinic.ie/vision-correction-procedures/laser-eye-surgery.php
Or email [email protected]
You will always meet a Surgeon on your first visit at the Wellington Eye Clinic.
(copy and paste the links into your browser)
Listen to Dr. Cummings talk about what you should look for in a laser eye surgery clinic:
“A good laser eye surgery clinic? You’ll never get the sense that you’re being pressurized into making a decision. I think a second thing about a good laser eye surgery clinic is that they do much more than just laser eye surgery. I’m sure you’ve heard the term, if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So if you’re doing laser eye surgery or refractive surgery and the only tool you have is a laser, then anyone who comes in your door, you want to laser, even though they might not be a perfect candidate. The moment the clinic offers everything there is to offer and has a full toolbox then you can start saying when one surgery might be a better option than another for a particular prescription. That’s the first thing, the second thing is, a clinic where the surgeons have done a certain number of cases, so they’re not learning on you, they’re experienced. A third thing would be, where it’s a primary focus of the clinic. If you’re doing laser refractive surgery, you need to remember this is people who healthy, on the go, economically active and there’s no place for error. You don’t want your surgery being done by someone who’s doing this as a hobby and does two or three now and then. You want this done by someone who is doing this seriously, who wants it to be done perfectly every single time. Those are the key things for me that I’d be looking out for (in a good laser eye surgery clinic).”
Keratoconus (or KC) is a progressive disease affecting the outer-most layer of the eye (the cornea), causing permanent blurred vision and sensitivity to light at night (presence of glare or haloes). Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL) is an established surgical procedure. It was first introduced to Ireland by the Wellington Eye Clinic in January 2007 and is mainly used to treat keratoconus. The standard treatment takes one hour, although recent trials at the Wellington Eye Clinic have reduced treatment time to 40 minutes. The aim of CXL is to stop the progression of keratoconus by stiffening the corneal tissue through the use of UV-A light and riboflavin (vitamin B2). By halting the progression, a patient’s vision can be prevented from deteriorating and on occasion contact lenses can be worn in order to obtain normal vision.
The annual Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL) experts meeting, the most recent being held in Zurich Switzerland in December 2016, is no doubt my favourite conference of the year. With an average of 200 attendees, the two day congress is filled with the latest clinical and research findings on how to treat keratoconus, ectasia or corneal infection with CXL in the most efficient and painless method possible.
Epi-on or Epi-off? How much riboflavin to apply? What is the role of oxygen during the procedure? CXL with refractive surgery? Is it safe to treat children? These questions we discussed are only the tip of the iceberg of topics covered.
I have been studying CXL since 2010, and will hopefully finish my PhD in the coming months. So when I spend two days talking to the world’s leading researchers and surgeons in the field of CXL, it makes me appreciate how much the Wellington Eye Clinic contributes to research. And to be frank, we also want to improve the treatment and patient’s visual outcomes as much as everyone else in the field. Mr. Arthur Cummings, together with Dr Mazen Sinjab, recently published a book on CXL and I had the pleasure of contributing to. The book is now available and adds significant knowledge to the CXL space. (Corneal Collagen Cross Linking – Springer)
Rebecca McQuaid MSc
The Wellington Eye Clinic, Beacon Medical Campus, Dublin 18 is pleased to introduce the SMILE vision correction procedure.
The SMILE procedure (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is the latest in laser eye surgery and is often referred to as “3rd Generation Laser Eye Surgery.”
Following on from the success of surface treatments (LASEK & PRK) and flap-based treatments (LASIK), the SMILE procedure reshapes the cornea in a novel way without making a flap, and allows patients to eliminate their need for glasses and contact lenses.
A new vision correction procedure called Contoura Vision was launched on 13 November 2015 at the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting in Las Vegas. Dr Cummings participated in this launch event as an international expert on the topic of topography-guided laser vision correction.
Contoura Vision is a new procedure that has just been launched globally at the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting held in Las Vegas in November 2015.
Contoura Vision is a further refinement in the evolution towards providing the best possible vision with laser vision correction. In the multi-centre FDA study in the US this study provided the best results yet seen for a vision correction procedure.
The procedure uses the corneal topography of your eye to personalise the treatment and to extract the best possible result from your procedure. The cornea is the most powerful optical part of the human eye and having the ability to include its imperfections in the treatment planning with the aim of making the cornea as regular and smooth as possible is the key ingredient to these world-beating outcomes. If you want to read more about the FDA study, please follow this link: Myalcon Clinical Study If you are interested in finding out if you are a candidate for Contoura Vision please contact the clinic now
People that have always enjoyed good vision and then suddenly find that they cannot read the price on a garment or the ingredients on an item of food in the supermarket, realize that seeing up close is almost just as important as seeing in the distance. They’ve tried reading glasses but find they are annoying. They’d rather do without them. Well, Raindrop provides a solution to this very problem. We are now offering this procedure at the Wellington Eye Clinic and during your evaluation to help you become less dependent on reading glasses, we will determine if this is your best option. For more information see Revisionoptics