What's new at Richard Banks Optometrist

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Richard
establishing the Woollahra practice

Many patients from 1999 are still relying on us for their eye care needs. The majority of our patients are from the local eastern suburbs and inner city areas, but we also cater to many country, interstate and even overseas residents.

In spite of spirited competition, we remain truly independent, and not aligned with any large optical corporations, and Richard does not intend to change this mode of practise. This means you can rely on us for independent and impartial advice, be it about eye disease, contact lenses or spectacles. We offer a solution that is tailored and the best for you. Many thanks for the support from our loyal patients & clients, we hope to be serving you for at least another 20 years.


Myopia Control

There is a growing prevalence of myopia (short-sightedness) around the world, particularly in children, teenagers and young adults, and Australia is not immune to this epidemic. Myopes, whose far vision is blurry but close vision is clear, can usually see normally with spectacles or contact lenses. However, if it develops to high degrees, there are increased risks of sight-threatening complications such as retinal detachment, myopic macular degeneration and glaucoma. The incidence of myopia in young people has been increasing with each generation, and though there are genetic factors involved, environmental factors also play a part. Increased near work, such as reading, using computers and other electronic devices, and spending less time on outdoor activities, may increase the risk of developing myopia.

However, there are ways to help slow the progression and rate of deterioration during these crucial childhood and adolescent years. Environmental modification, soft multifocal contact lenses, and orthokeratology contact lenses, can all help slow the rate of progression. Slowing progression early can mean that when the eyes stabilise, the degree of myopia will be less that it would have been if conventional spectacles or contact lenses were used. If you are concerned at the rate of deterioration in your child’s vision, then talk to Richard about the options that may be suitable for your child.

(Source: IMI Clinical Management Guidelines Report, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Vol 60, No 3).


Prescription Eye Medicines

Did you know that many optometrists, including Richard, are qualified to prescribe eye medications? Optometrists have the equipment that most GPs don’t have to examine the eyes in detail, so that we can diagnose and treat many anterior (front of eye) diseases.

Antibiotics can be used to treat conjunctivitis and contact lens related infections, steroids for inflammatory conditions such as anterior uveitis, and anti-allergy medications may be prescribed if appropriate. Even glaucoma medications may be prescribed in collaboration with the patient’s ophthalmologist.


Digital imaging: a major advance in eye examination

We have recently invested in a non-mydriatic retinal camera. This instrument enables us to examine and record your eye health in greater detail than before.

Digital imaging is very simple and only involves a camera flash. Some patients with very small pupils may require a mild eye-drop to enlarge the pupil sufficiently for imaging.


Who benefits from digital retinal imaging?

Patients with a family history of glaucoma, diabetes or macular degeneration will benefit from our ability to record and compare the condition of their eyes over several years.

We can also use the camera to document other eye conditions such as pterygia and cataracts.