Clinical Optometrist Jane Scott, and Dr Andrew Apel at the Alcon Focus Multifocal Symposium

Dr Andrew Apel is no stranger to the podium, regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences and seminars.  On 6th and 7th of April, Alcon held a symposium dedicated to ‘mastering the art and science of refractive surgery’.  Dr Apel was asked to present on multifocal intraocular lenses and patient selection, and Jane Scott, one of The Eye Health Centre’s brilliant clinical optometrists, sat on a panel discussing her experience with multifocal IOLs from both a patient and clinician’s perspective.

Jane had refractive surgery with the multifocal intraocular lens implants in 2015, and knows firsthand the incredible experience of becoming glasses free for distance, intermediate and near vision.  She is available to answer any patient queries on this surgical approach.

Dr Andrew Apel at the Niseko SONS Conference

Dr Andrew Apel was again invited to speak at the SONS (Society of Neuromuscular Sciences) Niseko conference in Japan in early January 2019. He gave presentations on ‘Advances in Ophthalmology’ to his medical colleagues over the course of the week.  Dr Apel believes in the importance of maintaining his skills and expertise at the frontlines of ophthalmic medical advances, which ensures he can provide the very best service and clinical outcomes for his patients.  He also believes in the importance of sharing his wealth of knowledge with his colleagues, to better equip other physicians in their patient management.   Of course, Dr Apel made sure to get in some quality time on the slopes. Dr Apel has been an avid skier since he was 27 years old, making the switch from the ski’s to the board when his son took up snowboarding and informed him that boarding much cooler!

Congratulations Jason Holland – Winner of QLD Optometrist of the Year Award

We are proud to announce our very own clinical Optometrist Jason Holland was awarded Hon. Bill Hayden AC Queensland Optometrist of the Year Award at the OQNT Visionaries Awards Night. The event is held annually and recognises the contributions of selected optometrists to the Optometry Profession and celebrates both the graduating class of Optometrists and reunion members.

Jason is an accomplished and renowned clinical optometrist, specialising in dry eye management, glaucoma management, advanced contact lens fitting, pre and post op surgical support, and general optometric care. He has been working both independently at The Eye Health Centre, and in support of Dr Andrew Apel for 17 years. He is a valued member of our team and are we are thrilled his hard work and dedication to his profession has been recognised through this prestigious award.

Ophthalmologist education and development

Dr Andrew Apel is committed to the education and development of both trainee ophthalmologists and his colleagues in the general medical profession. As Chair of the Qualification and Education Committee, Dr Apel is responsible for training and teaching registrar ophthalmologists. Due to Dr Apel’s surgical expertise and exceptional clinical outcomes, he is also regularly invited to speak to other Ophthalmologists to share insights and tips into advancing clinical care and surgical approaches.

Over the weekend, Dr Andrew Apel was invited to speak at a GP Education Conference on ‘Assessing and Managing Visual Impairment Caused by Cataract’. Many patients find themselves having their first discussion regarding reduced vision caused by cataract with their General Practitioner.

By aiding GP’s in preliminary assessment and management of these patients, we can better streamline the referral pathway for patients, maximising time and cost benefits to the patient. This also ensures the best clinical outcome possible is achieved for all patients.

Radio Segment – Dry Eye Syndrome

Did you miss Dr Andrew Apel discussing Dry Eye Syndrome on Logan 101FM’s Morning Show with TJ Blacker on Friday 20th July? Here’s a recap, and be sure to catch Dr Apel next month when he discusses the options available for over 50’s for vision correction through refractive surgery.

Dry Eye Syndrome is a condition where the surface of the eye lacks sufficient moisture or lubrication. Our eye should always be covered in a thick, stable layer of fluid, which we call the tear film. Dry eye can result from our glands not secreting enough fluid, the existing fluid evaporating too quickly or simply not blinking regularly enough.

The symptoms of dry eye include burning, itching, aching, heavy or fatigued sensations in the eyes, red eyes, blurred vision and even watery eyes. In severe cases, ongoing damage to the front of the eye can result in inflammation and scarring, which can also result in vision loss.

Dry eyes can affect everyone of every age. It can be caused by environmental conditions, menopause, systemic conditions (such as diabetes, thyroid conditions, rheumatoid arthritis), medications, smoking, contact lens wear, and more recently a link has been found between dry eyes and excessive computer use.

At The Eye Health Centre, we can diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome with a series of clinical tests that measure the volume of tears on the eye, the amount of tear fluid a person secretes, how fast the tear fluid evaporates, and how functional the glands that secrete tear fluid are. These tests help us accurately identify the type and severity of dry eye so we can customise a treatment plan for individual patients. The Eye Health Centre provides the most up to date, clinically proven treatment options for Dry Eye Syndrome in our Dry Eye Clinic, which may include Artificial Tears, Blephasteam, BlephEx, Meibography, IPL, Serum Tears and Punctal Plugs.

ASCRS Run for Sight!

Dr Apel is an avid runner, passionate about eyes, and committed to ophthalmic education and research. When the opportunity presented to support a good cause, squeeze in another morning run, and spend three days liaising with fellow leading anterior segment physicians from around the world, Dr Apel just couldn’t pass it up.

Dr Apel attended the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery’s (ASCRS) Annual Meeting in Washington DC, USA this week. The conference brings together international Cornea and Refractive Surgery specialists to discuss the latest outcomes and advances in all things cornea and anterior eye related. Dr Andrew Apel also participated in the ‘Run For Sight’ challenge, which raises money for the ASCRS Foundation and humanitarian eyecare projects in Ethiopia.

Australian Vision Convention

Over the weekend, the Australian Vision Convention was held in Brisbane.  This is a networking and continued professional development event held once a year for the Optometry Profession.  Dr Andrew Apel and one of our Clinical Optometrists, Jason Holland, were delighted to be asked to attend as speakers at the event.

Dr Andrew Apel’s seminar topic was ‘Improving the Performance of the Cornea’, in particular discussing how to optimize long term vision outcomes after Corneal Graft Surgery.  DMEK corneal transplant surgery is quickly becoming the most preferable surgical approach for endothelial diseases, due to reduced rejection rates and better refractive outcomes. Dr Andrew Apel is a leader in this field and performs high volumes of DMEK surgery every year.

Jason Holland, spoke on the recent advances in Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology.  Jason runs a Dry Eye Clinic at The Eye Health Centre, and regularly performs IPL treatments for patients suffering Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. IPL can improve Meibomian Glands morphology and increase lipid secretions, resulting in a healthier tear film and reduced dry eye symptoms.  If you would like to find out more about this dry eye treatment and whether it is suitable for you, give us a call!

Clinical Optometry Team host dinner for local Brisbane Optometrists

The Eye Health Centre’s Clinical Optometrists hosted a ‘Clinical Discussion’ dinner event for inner city Brisbane Optometrists on Tuesday evening. The dinner was held at the esteemed Malt Dining in Brisbane CBD. The night involved great food and wine, and engaging discussion on the role of our clinical optometrists, and updates on the clinical services available at The Eye Health Centre. Topics discussed included the Keratoconus Care Clinic, Dry Eye Clinic, and Pre-Op assessments and Post-Op care for Cataract Surgery, Refractive Lens Exchange, Implantable Contact Lenses, Corneal Graft Surgery and Pterygium Surgery.

Our Clinical Optometrists are highly skilled and expertly trained to support Dr Andrew Apel in complimentary care and co-management. The team are committed to fostering professional relationships within the optometry community and providing ongoing educational development for their peers. A great night was had by all!

World Glaucoma Week 11th-18th March

Today marks the start of World Glaucoma Week 2018! With as many as 50% of Australians with Glaucoma currently undiagnosed, Dr Andrew Apel and the team at The Eye Health Centre encourage you to have regular eye health checks to assess your optic nerve health, and screen for Glaucoma. The World Glaucoma Week campaign aims to raise awareness about Glaucoma.

Dr Andrew Apel is leading the way in new surgical interventions for Glaucoma, utilising both the iStent® and CyPass® Micro Stent implants. These devices are used in minimally invasive surgery and are designed to reduce intra-ocular pressure. They can minimise or eliminate the need for pressure lowering eye drops to treat Glaucoma and are a revolutionary new treatment option for Glaucoma patients.

Dr Andrew Apel Lectures at the 2018 Sydney DMEK Course

Dr Andrew Apel spent the weekend in Sydney, serving as a lecturer and instructor at the Sydney DMEK Course at Sight Foundation Clinical Skills Laboratory.

DMEK is a corneal graft technique that replaces only the posterior cornea (Descemet’s Membrane and Endothelium), and is an anatomically correct way of replacing only the diseased endothelium of the cornea. There is less risk of donor rejection, and lower residual refractive error than with traditional full thickness corneal transplant technique.

Dr Apel is a pioneer of DMEK surgery as a corneal transplant technique, having performed the procedure since 2009, and is highly regarded as a mentor and teacher for Ophthalmologists and Registrars in mastering the finer arts of DMEK surgery.

Medicare Approves Item Number for Corneal Collagen Cross Linking

Good news for patients with progressive Keratoconus and other types of Corneal Ectasia. Medicare has approved a new item number for the Corneal Collagen Crosslinking procedure as of 1st May, 2018.

This is a safe technique, using Riboflavin (vitamin B2) and UVA light (365-370um) to stiffen and strengthen the cornea, and is the only evidenced method to halt progression of these potentially sight-threatening conditions. Until now, the procedure has been an entirely out-of-pocket expense for patients, making it an inaccessible option for some people.