Home' The Mirror Central Otago : September 26th 2012 Contents 26.9.12
Dr Brett Rogers
Dr Brett Rogers 56 Victoria Avenue Phone (03) 218 7778
Invercargill Eye Clinic
Southern Cross Hospital, Invercargill
Cataract is a common but easily treatable eye condition
that can cause loss of vision due to clouding of the
transparent natural lens inside the eye. Cataract is a
normal age-related change that will eventually affect
The natural lens focuses light into the eye allowing sharp
vision, but as the lens becomes hazy from cataract, light
is scattered and the vision deteriorates, often as though
one's spectacles were becoming foggy or dirty.
Common symptoms include foggy vision and glare or
dazzle in the sun, or when driving at night.
Cataract sufferers may frequently clean their spectacles,
trying to improve their vision.
Because vision loss is slow, the affected person often
forgets how sharp their vision once was, until their vision
They may think they are "just getting older", not realising
that excellent vision can be restored.
Vision tested on an eye chart may seem quite good, but
outside one can be disabled by glare and bright light.
Quality of life suffers and affected people can become a
danger on the roads and are at increased risk of falls, hip
fractures and car crashes.
In New Zealand most cataract surgery is performed on
people over the age of 50. About 10 per cent are aged in
their fifties, 20 per cent in their sixties, 35 per cent in
their seventies and 35 per cent are over the age of 80.
Almost everyone over the age of 60 is affected by cataract
to some degree. Cataract slowly worsens and virtually
everyone over the age of 80 would see significantly better
with cataract surgery.
In the early stages sunglasses may reduce glare, but
the only way to treat significant cataract is with surgery.
Symptomatic patients may be told that their cataract is "not
bad enough to treat", however there is no advantage in
waiting until cataract becomes advanced or 'mature'.
Cataract is treated when symptoms begin to interfere with
everyday activities such as driving and reading.
A Cataract Surgeon can then easily and safely remove the
cataract to restore normal, youthful vision.
In public hospitals there are limitations to receiving
appointments for both assessment and surgery. A scoring
form is completed and your 'score' determines whether
you can have public hospital surgery.
It is often assumed that insufficient 'points', means the
cataract is not bad enough to treat, but that is not the case.
The threshold 'score' is determined by funding limitations
and those with a lower score and cataract symptoms often
choose to regain vision by having their surgery performed
privately, where funding limitations and 'scoring' do not
Specialist Cataract Surgeon, Dr Brett Rogers has
performed private cataract surgery at Southern Cross
Hospital in Invercargill for many years.
He has performed about seven thousand cataract
Dr Rogers removes the cloudy cataract with microsurgery,
through a tiny incision. A clear, foldable, intraocular lens
(IOL) then replaces the cataract and restores normal
Most of Dr Rogers' cataract surgery is performed under
local anaesthesia, and the patient then goes straight
Cataracts do not grow back and the IOL lasts a lifetime.
"Refractive" cataract surgery can also eliminate the
common optical problems of short and long sightedness.
A third common optical problem called astigmatism
(caused by a slight oval shape to the surface of the eye)
can now also be corrected, using a special oval-shaped,
astigmatism-correcting "toric" IOL which, though not
normally available in public hospitals, is commonly used
during private cataract surgery. Toric IOLs can give even
better distance vision without spectacles than standard
IOLs and are used in about 40 per cent of Dr Rogers'
Following such surgery, one can expect to have excellent
distance and reading vision and to see well enough to both
drive and watch television, without spectacles, regardless
of the previous need for even strong spectacles worn
Appointments to see Dr Rogers for cataract assessment
can be made either by referral or by telephoning Dr
Rogers' rooms directly, at (03) 218-7778.
CATARACT -- An easily treatable condition
Invercargill Eye clinic
Affiliated Provider to Southern Cross Healthcare
for Cataract Surgery
Following Cataract Surgery
Getting yourself in tip-top shape
When you were a child, visiting the dentist or the doctor was a daunting experience.
Whether it was because dentists and
doctors weren't as knowledgable or
didn't have technology on their side
remains a mystery; but it wasn't a pleasant
experience none-the-less. The horrors that
you may have endured as a child may have
stopped you from keeping up to date with
doctor and dentist checks, but your health is
more important now than ever before.
It's important to make those appointments
to ensure you are in perfect health. Dentists
aren't the cheapest of places to visit but, for
the most part, your teeth are permanent
therefore you need to look after them.
Dentists often give the option of paying off
your bill but with money saved away
through many years of work, this shouldn't
be a problem.
In the early days, mercury fillings were used
by the dozen so chances are your mouth is
full of them. Making sure these fillings are
still doing their job -- and no extra cavities
are found -- could save you many hundreds
of dollars in the future.
After visiting your dentist, the next thing to
do is take a visit to the doctor. If you're a
woman, making sure you get regular pap-
smears and mammograms are essential. It's
a small price to pay for maintaining good
health and anything that could appear
through these tests will be caught early and
therefore taken care of promptly.
It may be a scary thought but it's better to
know, then to not and risk being worse off.
For the gentlemen, then the same applies
for getting tests. Make sure you get a
prostate check regularly. It's not a
comfortable experience but it could save
further discomfort in the future.
Our bodies are temples, therefore they
should be treated like them. Make sure you
look after your health by visiting health
professionals regularly. It could save your life
and even your teeth.
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