The Importance of Getting Your Eyes and Eyewear ‘Sports Ready’.

Kids Sport

About 15% of all children have eye problems which may be impacting their ability to comfortably perform daily activities and to learn. While we often think of children’s eyesight problems affecting the way kids manage in the classroom, what about the impact of eye problems on sport?

As well as causing problems reading from a board at school, eye problems in children can affect how clearly a child can see the goal in netball, how accurately they can judge the speed or position of an approaching ball in soccer, or how confident they feel in the ocean for nippers.

Dr Nicholas Altuneg, specializes in checking children’s eyes and the way they use their vision. He sees many children every year who are having problems with everyday activities due to eyesight problems. “Most children with eye problems will never complain about finding it hard to see because what they are experiencing seems normal to them,“ said Dr Altuneg. Therefore, annual eye checks are the best way of detecting any eye problems that may be impacting on a child’s learning or sports performance.

Contact Us Today if you would like to book an eye exam for your child.

Your Annual Eye Exam

Eye Exam

We often get asked the question, Do I need an Annual Eye Exam if my eyesight doesn’t seem to have changed much?

The answer is a definite “Yes!”  Adults of all ages need to have a thorough eye exam once a year.  The reason is that regular exams can detect eye problems at an early stage, when they are easier to treat and less likely to damage your vision.

As we get older, our eyes change.  Frustrating, yes, but an inevitable part of the normal aging process.  We don’t see as clearly in our 40s as we did in our 20s. We may need reading glasses or stronger prescriptions.  We may need lubricant drops to keep our eyes from becoming too dry.

Virtually everyone, at some point, will develop cataracts, the condition where the lens of the eye becomes hardened and cloudy, resulting in poorer vision that is treated surgically.

Not all age-related eye conditions are routine.  At every eye exam, we are on the lookout for potentially devastating eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.  These diseases often begin “silently” and, if left untreated, can cause blindness.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people older than 60.  It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, is damaged. There are two types of age-related macular degeneration: the “wet” and the “dry” form.  Most patients with macular degeneration have the dry form, characterised by the presence of yellow deposits under the retina.

Annual Eye Exam

The wet form, which is less common and more serious, is characterised by the growth of abnormal blood vessels that leak blood and fluid into the eye.   This form of the disease tends to cause a sudden vision loss. It can progress rapidly and requires treatment as soon as possible.

While there is no permanent cure for macular degeneration, the good news is that it can be significantly slowed with proper medical treatment to help preserve eyesight.

The symptoms of macular degeneration include:

  • Increased difficulty reading or driving
  • Centre of vision becomes distorted
  • Straight lines that appear crooked
  • Changes in colour perception
  • Dark, blurry areas or a “white out” area in the centre of vision.


Glaucoma is another serious eye condition that is a treatable cause of blindness.  It is a leading cause of blindness in Australia, especially among older people. The optic nerve is progressively damaged, and glaucoma screenings, which check only intraocular pressure, are not sufficient to diagnose the disease.  The only sure way to detect glaucoma is to have a complete eye examination.

We treat Glaucoma by lowering intraocular pressure either with eye drops, laser treatments or possibly surgery.

Monitoring the condition of your eyes from year to year is crucial.  It will ensure that any potential problems such as Glaucoma or Macular Degeneration will be diagnosed early – when treatment is most effective.

Contact Us Today if you would like to book your annual eye exam.


Wearing Sunglasses To Protect Your Kids Eyes – It Starts With You

Prescription Sunglasses

Parents as a role models for their kids

An article published in the Australian Optometry Association March Newsletter has claimed that researchers have found that Australian children are four times more likely to wear sunglasses for UV protection if their parents do.

Dr Suzanne Dobbinson, lead author of the study conducted by the Australian Cancer Council and published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, has said “there is a very strong relationship between parents and children when it comes to specific sun protection behaviour.  1140 parents with Children aged up to 11 years were surveyed and it was found that generally 64% of children wore hats for sun protection, 58% used SPF 15+ sunscreen and only 11% use sunglasses.


The Australian Sun & Your Eyes

Australia is considered to have one of the most sophisticated UV protection policies in the world.  Our “Sunsmart” program is recognized as the gold standard by World Health Organization’s Collaborative Centre for UV Protection. The Cancer Council have also stated that Sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat worn together can reduce UV radiation exposure to the eyes by up to 98 per cent. What better way to protect the eyes from that harsh Australian UV Radiation.

With such high standards being recognised in Australia we should take note that sun damage to young children, particularly when encountered in the UV danger period of 10am to 3pm, can be hazardous to their health later in life.  The effects of sun damage to the eye include: pterygia (yellowish tissue growth on the white of the eyes), early cataract, sun cancers, early macular degeneration and photokeratitis.

So as the weather starts to warm up and the sky’s begin to clear, it’s time to slide on those Sunglasses and set the standard for our Children to be sun smart.

At Eyes By Design You’re Children Are Covered

Please give us a call if you have any concerns about your child’s vision and would like some more information on types, styles and brands of sunglasses.

Pop into Eyes by Design for your kid’s sunnies today!

One thing you should do these school holidays


Parents of children who struggle at school often give a big sigh of relief at school holiday time, it’s a break for everyone from the stress of school work, homework and an irritable child who finds it hard to get through the day.

In the September / October school holidays, as well as enjoying the break, do something to help the next term of school be a little more pleasant for a struggling child – organise an eye check and sort out any eyesight or vision processing problems.

Your child may have had an eye exam before

Perhaps at an optometrist, ophthalmologist or a vision screening before starting preschool.  A typical eye exam tends to focus on eyesight – your child will be asked to read letters on a vision chart to determine their ability to see an object clearly from a certain distance.

But an assessment with Dr Nicholas Altuneg, Behavioural Optometrist, at Eyes By Design is different because it includes more than just eyesight – it tests vision as a whole.  Behavioural Optometry includes how clearly you can see but it also includes visual skills such as eye movements, eye teaming, eye focusing, visual memory, and depth perception.

These types of skills are not typically included in a standard eye test – that’s how these problems can be missed in struggling students.

Behavioural Optometry 1

Why have an eye test now these holidays?

With only 1 term of the school year to go? Because we think it is better for children to finish the year feeling positive and confident, rather than to continue to play catch-up.

If a vision problem is detected your child may be prescribed glasses or recommended to start vision training. And by starting now (rather than later) they may be in a better position when they start school in January 2019!

So these school holidays have a rest and take some time out but make sure you also book your child an eye test with Dr Nicholas Altuneg, Behavioural Optometrist, at Eyes By Design.