Refusing to Wear Your Glasses? – In denial?

The old stigma around wearing glasses no longer exists and glasses and the variety of styles available are becoming more popular than ever. So – Why are glasses still not being worn by people who need them?. Whatever the reason is, not wearing glasses can result in serious short term and long term effects.

We all know glasses help to improve vision and if you don’t wear them, it may cause your vision to grow worse. Long term effects may include incomplete development of your eyes. Getting a very clear image to your retina helps your eyes to grow properly, so when eyesight isn’t very clear, it keeps your eyes from growing as they should be.  735fc967eb117c1264a988150418227d

For near-sighted individuals—those who struggle to see faraway objects but can focus well on objects that are up close—not wearing your glasses could lead to a lazy eye. Those who are farsighted and can see objects in the distance with clarity are putting a lot of strain on their eyes if they are struggling to see things that are closer.

Wearers of glasses who want to protect their current eyesight should be committing to using them as needed to prevent eye strain. Glasses with the correct prescription provide the most comfortable vision to reduce eye strain and over-focusing. Not wearing glasses can put eyes through unnecessary stress and lead to the development of headaches and eye fatigue. Although this does not damage your vision permanently, yet it can be extremely uncomfortable. Also spending several hours in front of the television, or working in poor light without wearing glasses can tire your eyes.

When you can’t see as well and you need to drive or get around, you are more likely to fall, cause car accidents or suffer other injuries. If your eyewear isn’t helping your vision or helping you stay alert and focused on driving, reading, etc., it’s time for a new prescription.

Having an eye check and ensuring you have the correct prescription is extremely important when it comes to optimising performance with modern day corrective lenses. Your Optometrist takes into account like the position of the eyes, the angle and position of the frame, and the distance between pupils. These make each pair of prescription glasses unique for each person.

It is extremely important to wear prescription glasses to keep your eyes strong, healthy and in a good working condition. If you have any queries ask your local independent Optometrist for more information.

Colour Vision Deteriorates with age

Have you had your eyes tested lately?


Cells in the retina that are responsible for normal colour vision decline in sensitivity as we age, causing colours to become less bright and the contrast between different colours to be less noticeable. You may not notice it as it has happened slowly over time but it might be worth getting your eyes checked. Particularly if you are over 70.

Abnormal colour vision increases significantly with aging – affecting one-half or more of people in the oldest age groups, reports a study in Optometry and Vision Science, the official journal of  American Academy of Optometry. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

While few people younger than 70 have problems with colour vision, the rate increases rapidly through later decades of life, according to research by Marilyn E. Schneck, PhD, and colleagues of The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco. They write, “We find the colour discrimination declines with age and that the majority of colour defects among the older population are of the blue-yellow type.”

The researchers administered colour vision tests to a random sample of 865 older adults — age range 58 to 102 years. The study excluded subjects with any type of congenital colour-vision defect (“colour blindness.”). The types and rates of colour vision abnormalities were assessed in different age groups.

Overall, 40 percent of the participants had abnormal results on one of the two colour vision tests used in the study. Twenty percent failed both tests.

The failure rate was markedly higher in older age groups. Although colour-vision abnormalities were uncommon in people younger than 70, they were present in about 45 percent of people in their mid-70s, up to 50 percent of those 85 and older, and nearly two-thirds of those in their mid-90s.

Nearly 80 percent of the abnormalities involved confusion of the lighter (pastel) shades of blue versus purple and yellow versus green and yellow-green. These “blue-yellow” errors are distinct from the “red-green” errors observed in people with inherited colour blindness, which affects about eight percent of males and 0.5 percent of females. Although the two tests had different failure rates, they detected similar frequencies of blue-yellow errors.

More Severe Defects May Affect Daily Functioning

The results confirm previous studies showing that colour vision “deteriorates measurably” with aging. Most subtle aging-related colour vision abnormalities are likely to go unnoticed, the researchers suggest.

However, they note that nearly 20 percent of older adults failed the easier of the two tests, “designed to only detect defects sufficiently severe to affect performance in daily life.” Dr Schneck and co-authors note, “These individuals would have problems carrying out some tasks that rely on colour vision.”

The researchers discuss factors that may contribute to changes in colour vision with aging, and to blue-yellow defects in particular. These may include reduced pupil size, admitting less light into the eye; increased yellowing of the lens inside the eye; and changes in the sensitivity of the vision pathways. All of these are known changes with age to the human eye.

Increased rates of eye diseases are another potentially important contributor. Dr Schneck and co-authors add, “The most common age-related eye diseases (glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic eye disease) all produce blue-yellow colour vision anomalies, at least in the preclinical or early stages.”

While there is no treatment for this normal, age-related loss of colour perception, you should be aware of this loss if your profession requires fine colour discrimination. If you think you aren’t seeing colours as you should, head to our practitioner page to find a colour vision Optometrist near you.


Article Sources:

Materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & WilkinsNote: Content has been edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Gunilla Haegerstrom-Portnoy, Marilyn E. Schneck, Lori A. Lott, Susan E. Hewlett, John A. Brabyn. Longitudinal Increase in Anisometropia in Older AdultsOptometry and Vision Science, 2014; 91 (1): 60 DOI: 1097/OPX.0000000000000114

Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Reprint form “Colour vision problems become more common with age, study shows.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2014. <>.


Why regular vision checks are important at any age

As we all know our vision and the gift of sight is one of the most important and precious gifts we have, but sadly many people wait until they have problems before they see an optometrist. An eye exam is the first step to fix vision problems, the severity of the problem can be reduced if caught with early enough with regular eye exams.

eye-examination-28825735Eye exams have many benefits, as eyes change as we age, we need to stay on top of this to ensure our eyewear prescription is up to date. An essential part of the comprehensive eye exam is the dilated eye exam. This allows your Optometrist to view inside your eye as the drops placed in the eye widen the pupil, which enables your optometrist to see important tissues at the back of the eye, including the retina, the macula and the optic nerve. These check-ups are the best technique for early diagnosis of sight-threatening eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, plus many other conditions.

Eye exams can also check alignment in the eyes as sometimes our eyes don’t always work together like they’re supposed to. Patients can often be in pain with crossed or turned eyes with extra strain on nerves and muscles. The alignment can also evaluate the eyes to check if they are focusing at different rates, which can cause blurriness and headaches. Eye exams can also check your eye tone, which measures the muscles that allow the eyes to change focus from short to long range, which may over time diminish due to weak and aging muscles. Corrective lenses can help relieve stress on the muscles and relieve symptoms like blurriness and headaches.

Retina exams are necessary because the blood vessels of the retina are excellent indicators for diabetes and high blood pressure, both life-threatening conditions. Though painless, glaucoma can lead to severe degenerative vision issues that can lead to blindness. Glaucoma generally has no symptoms at early onset, and a routine eye exam can catch the disease before it progresses into a bigger problem.

Diabetic patients need annual exams as they are more susceptible to depleted eye site due to their condition. Diabetes is the number one cause of blindness in adults. If you have diabetes, it is essential to have regular eye exams as your eyesight can change rapidly, especially as you get older. For everyone else, once every two years is the average for a check-up, though if you are over 60 good to be checked out every year as this age group has a higher chance of glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration.

Visit your local Independent Optometrist today for a complete eye exam.

New mandatory Sunglass Standard to apply July 2019


Published in 2017, the Consumer Goods (Sunglasses and Fashion Spectacles) Safety Standard 2017 sets out the mandatory requirements for sunglasses and fashion spectacles. The mandatory standard is based on sections of the voluntary Australian/New Zealand standard AS?NZS 1067.1:2016 Eye and face protection – sunglasses and fashion spectacles (available from SAI Global) A transitional period allows compliance with the previous or current legislation until the 30th of June 2019.

Click here to read more – Eyetalk JAN 19_edu_v6

Frames and Lenses to be removed from TGA register

Last month ODMA and three other like-minded associations – The Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA), the Australian Medical Manufacturers and Distributors Association (AMMDA) and the Assistive Technology Suppliers Australasia (ASTA) combined to form The Medical Devices Small Business Coalition, whose mission is to ensure that the needs of small business in the medical devices sector are recognised and supported in government policymaking.  All Members pledge to cooperate in a spirit of mutual understanding and to develop a closer relationship of goodwill and cooperation to support small businesses in the medical devices sector.

ODMA Chairman Robert Sparkes and CEO Finola Carey with Greg Hunt, Minister for Health

ODMA Chairman Robert Sparkes and CEO Finola Carey with Greg Hunt, Minister for Health

The coalition was launched at an event at Parliament House in Canberra and attended by the Minister for Health, the Honourable Greg Hunt, who officiated.

ODMA CEO, Finola Carey raised a number of issues with The Minister including the anomalous situation of GST being charged on medical frames whilst classified a medical device for TGA purposes.

They also discussed Health Funds controlling the issue of Provider Numbers to independent dispensers opening new outlets when they are essentially in competition, plus the classification of frames and lenses as Class 1 Medical devices necessitating paid registrations with the TGA.

The good news is, that following this launch ODMA represented by Chairman Robert Sparkes and Richard Grills participated in several meetings with TGA with the TGA agreeing to remove BOTH optical frames and optical lenses from the ARTG as Class 1 Medical Devices.  The date of removal has yet to be advised but will be in the next few months.


Do’s and Don’ts to improve your eyesight


Following are some do’s and don’ts’ you need to follow for a healthy vision.

  1. DO eat foods that are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and Lutein as they help to repair the eyes, such as cod liver oil, sweet potatoes, papaya, butter, grapes, blueberries, and apricot.
  2. DON’T say no to greens, kids! Snack on kale, collard greens, spinach, zucchini, and brussel sprouts.
  3. DO get sufficient rest, since sleep lets overworked eye muscles to relax completely.
  4. DON’T stay involved in one activity for long. Take regular breaks in every visual activity just for 5-10 minutes to rest your eyes.
  5. DO increase your water intake, if your eyes are often blurry, dry, or tired.
  6. DON’T just rinse your face. Every time you have a few extra minutes, fill your mouth with water and then splash water with eyes wide open. This will make you feel fresh and relaxed.
  7. DO relaxation exercises. Place your hands together palm to palm and rub them together efficiently, creating heat. Place them over your eyes; it also helps your eyes to relax.
  8. DON’T let the light directly in whenever you’re exercising your eyes. These exercises will help your eyes to not get tired when you are sitting in front of a computer for hours.
  9. DO eat carrots and other foods rich in beta-carotene which gives food their respective orange hue. It helps promote eye health and corrects vision.
  10. DON’T forget Omega 3 found in cold-fish and nuts. These fatty acids help to stop age-related eyesight deterioration and keep your retinas healthy.
  11. DOavoid sugary foods as they have bad effects on your eyes. The more the sugar you eat, the worst will your eyesight grow.
  12. DON’T It has been connected to a bigger risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, optic nerve damage, and cataract.
  13. DO focus on an object that is at least 20 feet away, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes. You’ll be astonished at how better your eyes feel.
  14. DON’T stare at gadgets for too long. The brightness level of your computer screen and the phone should be at the lower level as it reduces strain.
  15. DO eat bilberry as it is filled with antioxidants and will play a defensive role and increases blood circulation in your eyes.
  16. DON’T depend on your glasses totally. Take off your glasses as often as possible, to promote natural unassisted vision.



Craft Challenge

Make a Glasses case from an old tie.

  1. Lay the necktie flat with the back side facing up.
  2. First of all measure and mark 43cm in from the tip, then cut the tie width-wise.
  3. Discard the narrow end of the tie. Then use a seam ripper to open the seam along the back of the tie 15-18cm to create a pouch.
  4. Measure 20cm in from the cut end and mark. Fold the tie at the mark toward the pointed tip and tuck under 1.3cm of cut edge and pin.
  5. Using small whip stitches along the top and sides, hand-sew the folded-over portion of tie to only the top layer of fabric beneath it.
  6. Hand-stitch along the top and sides, securing the folded-over portion of tie to the top layer of fabric beneath it.
  7. Fold the tip of the tie over to make a flap.
  8. Finish by affixing a set of self-adhesive Velcro dots to keep the case closed.


What have the Romans ever done for us?


Not for Profit Association Members often ask what does my Association do for me? Particularly in the industry group sector. One answer is “provides advocacy”, but how can this be measured? Advocacy is a bit like advertising in this context. It definitely works but what part works best – no one really knows.

As the CEO of a small optical industry group with just 70 Members resources are limited and as a result, we need to choose wisely to advocate on behalf of and represent our members’ best interests.  

Recently in the space of two weeks, I attended these events to advocate for and represent the members of our Association:

1. UNSW SOVS Visiting Committee where discussion (amongst other matters) surrounded the selection of the new Head of School for the School of Optometry and Vision Science and access to optometry for underprivileged and rural communities.

2. Standards Australia’s Nominating Organisations Forum – Shaping the strategy in how Australian standards are formulated and funded into the future.

3. Macular Disease Foundation’s Australia National Action Plan Workshop – Developing plans for a united approach to assist the macular disease community. 

4. Optometry 2040 Workshop – Posing and answering the big questions ie, What might optometry and the sector look like in 2040?  

5. Australian Institute of Company Directors Annual Essential Director Update – looking at the latest challenges facing company directors and the endless compliance rules that are now applicable to our voluntary Board. Association Board Members are required to uphold the same standards as any director in a public company like BHP. 

How can our members measure the value and level of this advocacy?  

It might not pay off for 10 years and there will certainly be no change next week. Though things we have worked on over the years like removing duty on optical frames, our Start Your Own Practice models, and updating the Standard for sunglasses have benefited everyone.  

Association Membership should be a marathon, not a sprint.  So, should members be able to dip in and out when they perceive they can see results? Or when there is a big issue or cause?  Well yes, they should as membership is voluntary. However, Members that see the big picture and want to shape the future for their industry are the ones that understand the day to day value of lifelong membership. 

Without Associations voices and input at these types of meetings, who will represent an industry?, Who will see the big picture and shape that industry’s future?

These days when posed the question, What does my Association do for me? , I often just smile and think of the scene in the movie The Life of Brian from the brilliant Monty Python team – “What have the Romans ever done for us?” – before launching into my explanation.

HOYA Corporation announces a new product launch: MyoSmart with D.I.M.S. Technology to reduce myopia progression in myopic children and teenagers

ODMA Member, Hoya Lenses has announced a roll out of  “D.I.M.S. Technology”. Clinical research shows children wearing the lenses have significantly less myopia progression as compared with those wearing the single-vision lenses. WEB_HOYA_MyoSmart_Lens

 HOYA Corporation, a key player in the global market for ophthalmic lenses, is proud to announce a new product launch in the Asian Summer 2018: MyoSmart with D.I.M.S. Technology, a lens for myopia control in children and youth, developed in cooperation with their partner, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Wearing defocus spectacles daily significantly slows myopia progression and axial elongation in myopic school children aged 8 to 13, according to a two-year double-blind randomised clinical trial in which 160 Chinese myopic children in Hong
Kong participated.

Following the trial, which began in 2014, children wearing defocus lenses had 60 per cent less myopia progression and in 21.5 per cent of the children, the myopia progression halted completely. The findings provide strong evidence that defocus lenses are effective in reducing myopia progression. In 2012, HOYA Corporation and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University launched a cooperation with the focus on developing a new myopia control lens which is capable of preventing myopia from worsening or slowing down its progression.

Following years of academic studies, product design and clinical research, HOYA Corporation and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University developed a revolutionary spectacle lens, based
on a Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments Technology or “D.I.M.S. Technology”, which just successfully won the Grand Prize, Grand Award and Gold Medal at the 46th International
Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in April 2018. WEB_HOYA_MyoSmart_KeyVisual

The lens, which has a smooth surface and looks almost identical to a regular lens was presented on the 6 March at a symposium in Shanghai which was organized by Hoya. A second successful symposium for key opinion leaders, “Symposium of Defocus Theory and Clinical Results in Myopia Control”, was held at Hong Kong Hyatt Regency Hotel on 25 April,
organized by Hoya Lens HK Ltd. and the Global Marketing team. Both events were attended by over 30 key opinion leaders and the D.I.M.S. Technology was very well received.
MyoSmart lenses will be launched in Hong Kong and China in the summer of 2018. A broader, global launch is slated to begin in 2019/2020. At this stage, we do not have a launch date for Australia and New Zealand.

About HOYA
Founded in 1941 in Tokyo, Japan, Hoya is a global technology and med-tech company, and a leading supplier of innovative high-tech and medical products. Hoya is active in the fields of
healthcare and information technology, providing eyeglasses, medical endoscopes, intraocular lenses, optical lenses, as well as key components for semiconductor devices, LCD
panels and HDDs. With over 150 offices and subsidiaries worldwide, Hoya currently employs a multinational workforce of over 34,000 people. For more information, please visit

About HOYA Vision Care
For over 60 years, HOYA Vision Care has been a global leader in the eyeglass lens business. With a presence in over 50 countries, Hoya Vision Care has a proven expertise in lens designs
and freeform surfacing technology combined with a leading position in high performance, quality AR coating. HOYA Vision Care’s solid market portfolio includes SEIKO and PENTAX
optical lenses, as well as innovative products such as Hoyalux iD MyStyle V+ progressive lenses and Yuniku, vision-centric 3D tailored eyewear. The company employs over 16,000
employees worldwide with mass production facilities in Asia & Europe and over 40 local Rx laboratories globally.

Australian Event for the industry by the industry – O-SHOW second showing confirms boutique event’s popularity!

The Australian optical industry has come out in support of the second edition of O-Show, which was held in Melbourne in July. At ODMA we believe in Australian run Events for the Australian industry = events for the industry by the industry.

Robert Sparkes Chairman of ODMA says “We have been delighted with the look and feel of the OSHOW, with excellent feedback from both visitors and exhibitors. This pop-up boutique event is what the independent optical industry asked for and is now a confirmed favourite.” He added, “this is the kind of show that could easily move to Sydney, Brisbane or other locations if there is a demand.”

If you are into stats, here are some facts and figures – OSHOW brought more than 702 industry visits over the 2 days from 640 individuals. Most of the visitors were from the host state of Victoria (77%) followed by New South Wales and QLD with 8%. There was also a small attendance of international visitors.

One thing we noticed was that 250 people who were pre-registered did not attend.  A post-show analysis of these names showed it is common for one staff member to pre-register everyone in a practice but not everyone goes. This is very disappointing, though when we cross-referenced this with attendees it showed someone from the practice usually attended. Perhaps it is something to be mindful of if you are RSVP’ing to attend events in the future to be realistic about attendees and that it is unlikely the whole practice may come.

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We look forward to seeing you at the next pop up OSHOW event – but the most important event to prepare for is O=MEGA19 on the 19th-21st of July 2019. Held at the new extension of the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. This is an exciting new collaboration between ODMA and Optometry Victoria and is the biggest ever seen in Australia. Supporting the Australian Optical industry by the Australian Optical industry!

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