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Visique News

Donation Boosts Charity

From The Hutt News, October 15th 2013

Save Our Sight Campaign

Sailability members (from left) Alexander O'Connor, Don Manning and Michael Jones inspect the programme's first Access 303 boat, Hot'N Cold, earlier this year.

Donation boosts charity

By SHANNON SWEETMAN

Disabled sailors will get more opportunity to sail, thanks to a donation from optometrists Visique.

Sailability Wellington member Don Manning received a Local Hero award from Visique, for his work with the trust encouraging the disabled to try sailing.

Although Mr Manning was one of more than 200 people nominated nationwide, Visique optometrist Nick Burbery said his was an outstanding nomination.

"Mr Manning and the work of Sailability Wellington stood out, so we wanted to go one step further and offer the charity a donation of $2300 to continue its fantastic work."

Sailability Wellington has been operating from the Seaview Marina on a once-a-week trial, but planned to operate full-time from November, Mr Manning said.

"We started off out here as an experiment. "Now we're about to get three more yachts, and start a second day of sailing out at Seaview."

The donation from Visique will be a huge help.

"It came at a time when we really needed it. It sort of blew me away actually - I hadn't expected it."

Being considered a hero for the work he does surprised him.

"I've been sailing since I was nine, and I've been working amongst people with disabilities since the late 1970s. The opportunity to put those two things together was just ideal."

The trust is presently looking for more volunteers to help meet the overwhelming demand for their services.

To find out more go to sailabiltywellington.org.nz.

No Optical Illusion

September 2013

Save Our Sight Campaign

Visique on High Street, one of Wellington’s leading optometry practices, is hoping to improve the vision of those living in the area using an innovative treatment called orthokeratology. Also known as Ortho-K, the cutting-edge procedure has already had a major impact on the life of one local resident.

For personal trainer Claudia Disney, standard contact lenses were a real headache – literally. As an avid kick-boxer, she often found that her contact lenses were knocked out when she was kicked in the head while engaging in the sport.

“It just wasn’t practical to be wearing glasses, or even contact lenses, while kick-boxing. When I found out there was an alternative that would allow me to be free of contact lenses, I was desperate to give it a go,” says Ms Disney.

Ortho-K is a non-surgical procedure that allows the patient to have accurate vision without having to wear glasses or contact lenses during the day. It works by gently remolding the cornea, the front surface of the eye, using a specially designed lens worn at night, while sleeping.

Ms Disney, who was fitted with Ortho-K lenses more than two years ago, was originally told her eyesight was too weak for her to be treated with the procedure. Traditionally the treatment hasn’t been available to people with severe short-sightedness, or myopia, but Visique on High Street optometrist Nick Burbery was able to customise lenses for Ms Disney.

“It doesn’t say much for my technique that I was being whacked in the head all the time while kick-boxing, but the reality is that you do get knocked around and it’s not helpful to have your contact lenses fall out. Ortho-K has given me a new lease on life – I no longer need to worry about this,” says Ms Disney.

Mr Burbery says Ortho-K offers patients a safe and surgery-free option for improving their eyesight, which removes the need to wear glasses.

“Many patients dislike having to wear corrective eyewear, but when laser surgery has been one of the few alternatives available to them, they have put up with it, considering it the ‘lesser evil’. But as with most things, technology and research has over time presented a much better solution, and that’s Ortho-K.”

Ms Disney also says that Ortho-K offers another benefit to Wellingtonians subjected to the cities harsh weather. “Contact lenses tend to dry out in the Wellington wind, so not having to wear glasses during the day has been a big plus for me.”

Read more about Ortho-K.

Wellington Woman ‘Dodges Bullet’

September 2013

Save Our Sight Campaign

The statistics are so startling they could cause even those with 20/20 vision to squint. More than 70,000 New Zealanders suffer from vision loss; of these, 11,500 are seriously affected, either by complete blindness or low vision. This September marks a month-long campaign, Save Our Sight, which aims to enlighten Kiwis about an even more startling fact: their sight can be preserved simply through a comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist.

One person who knows this only too well is Fran Benton, who credits her visit to Visique on High Optometrists in Lower Hutt, in July, with saving sight in her left eye.

Ms Benton first visited an optometrist after noticing her sight was disrupted with ‘floaters’ and that she was bumping into objects. She was told that the floaters were likely a consequence of getting older, but she could arrange for a check-up if she was concerned. She however, decided not to book at that time due to a busy work schedule.

However, the symptoms worsened, and at her husband’s urging Ms Benton decided visiting a different optometrist for a second opinion was a matter of urgency. She phoned Visique on High Optometrists and made an appointment.

Two days later, Ms Benton was seen by Visique optometrist Nick Burbery for a comprehensive 9-step eye examination. The examination identified that the retina in her left eye had become detached and was in need of urgent attention.

“Although most people will see floaters at some point during their life, they can be a symptom of a serious eye complication and should always be properly investigated as soon as they occur,” says Mr Burbery.

“In Ms Benton’s case, the examination made it clear to me that the floaters were a symptom of her detached retina, which had to be treated urgently, so I phoned the on-call registrar at Wellington Hospital for an emergency appointment.”

After a consultation with the hospital’s on-call eye surgeon that same day, Ms Benton underwent emergency surgery on her left eye that evening.

“I was so impressed with the public hospital system and the wonderful team that treated me. Following my surgery, the surgeon told me how lucky I had been, having just dodged a bullet. Had the surgery been delayed for another hour I would have lost the sight in my left eye,” says Ms Benton.

Mr Burbery says Ms Benton’s experience illustrates how essential a comprehensive 9-step eye examination can be to preserving sight and preventing vision problems.

“Most people would consider sight their most precious sense, yet it seems Kiwis visit the dentist more willingly than the optometrist. You only have one pair of eyes and it is important to protect their health and longevity. The most effective way to do so is to undertake a comprehensive 9-step eye examination every two years, or any time you start to experience any unusual visual disturbances.”

Most causes of visual impairment, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts, are manageable if caught in the early stages. Once vision is lost, it is generally irreversible.

The New Zealand Association of Optometrists recommends a biannual comprehensive eye examination, which should include the patient’s medical history and cover a range of topics and tests, such as an assessment of visual functions and testing of eye muscles.

A complete eye examination can provide information to the optometrist about the patient’s general health, including the possible risk or presence of diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.

Save Our Sight campaign

September 2013

Save Our Sight Campaign

Save Our Sight is an annual month-long campaign headed by the New Zealand Association of Optometrists (NZAO). The campaign aims to improve the eye health of New Zealanders by raising the profile of eye health and reducing the number of people who go blind from preventable causes. To find out more, visit www.saveoursight.co.nz

Despite the fact that many Kiwis consider sight their most precious sense, they remain ignorant of a startling fact: their sight can be preserved simply through a comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist. The month-long campaign this September, Save Our Sight, hopes to enlighten Kiwis about the importance of a comprehensive 9-step eye examination and the risks associated with an exam that doesn’t ‘tick all the boxes’.

For Wellington local Kate McCombs, this information comes too late, and she wants to share her story in the hope that others will avoid a harrowing experience like hers.

Mrs McCombs’ travails began when she visited an optometrist at a major national chain late last year and was issued with an incorrect prescription for her glasses.

The prescription fault, Mrs McCombs believes, was the result of an inadequate and insufficiently detailed eye exam, caused terrible side-effects, including eye aches, migraines, vomiting and severe dehydration, from which Mrs McCombs lost 15 kilograms.

Mrs McCombs says she knew the prescription was incorrect as soon as she tried on the glasses, and the side effects began to appear immediately. She returned to the store to question the prescription, and was told that difficulties were normal in the first few days of adjusting to new glasses, and she should persevere.

Mrs McCombs returned to the store no fewer than 14 times in an effort to have the error rectified. Despite her insistence and worsening physical condition, she was repeatedly assured by the staff that the prescription was correct; at one point, a second optometrist at the store conducted another examination and concluded that the initial prescription was correct.

Reflecting on her ordeal, Mrs McCombs says now, “I knew instantly that the glasses weren’t right, but despite my repeated pleas, the staff failed to take my complaint seriously or acknowledge the grave mistake they had made. At that point I decided to go elsewhere.”

Mrs McCombs then visited Visique on Main Optometrists in early 2013, where experienced optometrist Nick Burbery conducted a comprehensive 9-step eye examination.

Mr Burbery says, “Mrs McCombs’ experience clearly illustrates the importance of ensuring that you visit an optometrist that offers a thorough and comprehensive eye examination. At Visique we offer a comprehensive 9-step eye examination because we know only too well the dire consequences than can arise from taking short-cuts.”

The New Zealand Association of Optometrists recommends a biannual comprehensive eye examination, which should include the patient’s medical history and cover a range of topics and tests, such as an assessment of visual functions and testing of eye muscles.

Most causes of visual impairment, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts, are manageable if caught in the early stages. Once vision is lost, it is generally irreversible.

A complete eye examination can provide information to the optometrist about the patient’s general health, including the possible risk or presence of diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.

Prison helper hero

From the Upper Hutt Leader, July 2013

Visique local hero Rahia Ellis

Visique local hero Rahia Ellis

An Upper Hutt woman who volunteers at Rimutaka Prison, St Hilda's Anglican Church and Orongomai Marae has been named the city's first Visique "caring hero".

A large part of Rahia Ellis's time is spent helping with the rehabilitation of inmates at the prison.

Ms Ellis offers them pastoral care, taking time to talk with them and undertake projects such as researching their genealogy. She helps inmates integrate back into society upon their release through the social services programmes offered by Orongomai Marae.

Ms Ellis says the time she and other volunteers offer inmates is extremely important for their rehabilitation. "Relationships are one of the most important things in life."

Ms Ellis, who hails from Ngapuhi in the north and Ngati Paoa of Hauraki, moved to Upper Hutt in 1999 to help care for her grandchildren when her daughter returned to study at Massey University.

Visique will be naming 348 local heroes around New Zealand during the coming weeks.

 

Young eyes saved from sun damage

From The Hutt News, 19th Feb 2013

Cool kids: Kelson School new entrants Lucie Wright, Jessica Stock, Ava Killiner and Rion Green try their new sunglasses in the school playground. The glasses were a gift from Visique as part of a nationwide campaign to protect young eyes from UV light.

Cool kids: Kelson School new entrants Lucie Wright, Jessica Stock, Ava Killiner and Rion Green try their new sunglasses in the school playground.

Nick Burbery, optometrist and owner of Lower Hutt’s Visique on High and Visique on Main in Upper Hutt, dropped in on Kelson School on Friday to deliver free sunglasses to the youngest pupils.

His message on the importance of protecting young eyes was a timely one given the answer to his first question – ‘‘Why do we wear sunglasses?”

“To look cool,’’ one young lad answered.

“Yes, but even more importantly, to protect our eyes from UV damage,” Mr Burbery said. “Eighty per cent of UV damage to the eyes is done before people turn 20.”

Though most parents are aware of the need to protect their children’s skin from UV exposure, few insist their children wear sunglasses.

Children’s eyes can be more susceptible to damage because their pupils are usually larger and their lenses clearer, which allows more UV light through. Signs that your child might have visual problems include losing their place while reading, a tendency to rub their eyes, frequent headaches, a tendency to tilt their head to use one eye only.

Vouchers for free sunglasses for new entrants have been distributed to schools. If your 5-year-old has missed out on a voucher take them in to Visique to receive a free pair of sunglasses.

This is the ninth year Visique has offered new entrants in New Zealand free sunglasses as part of a nationwide campaign to protect young eyes from UV light.

 

Robert Fisher wins an Air NZ Mystery Break

Visique recently ran a promotion in which all customers who purchased an eye exam entered a prize draw to win an Air New Zealand Mystery Break.

There were a total of 11 lucky winners, one each week throughout the campaign, and local resident Robert Fisher was one of the lucky eleven!

Nick Burbery of Visique presents Robert Fisher with his Air New Zealand Mystery Break prize

Mr Fisher visited Visique on Main Street Optometrists for his regular eye exam and entered the prize draw.
Visique's campaign aimed to promote the importance of regular eye tests in order to maintain the highest quality vision.

Trentham School are winners in Visique’s prize draw

Record numbers of Kiwi school kids donned sunglasses to protect their eyes against harmful UV exposure as part of Visique’s popular Back to School campaign this year, and Trentham School was one of five lucky winning schools who received $1,000 of Rebel Sport vouchers with which they can purchase new sporting equipment.

Visique presents Trentham School with $1000 voucher

Kids, parents and teachers at Trentham School in Upper Hutt embraced Visique’s nationwide campaign which launched at the start of the school term in February and involved Visique handing out free sunnies to 5 year old new entrants for the eighth year in a row, in over 660 schools across the country.

“Every year the campaign is about more than giving away free sunglasses; it is about educating our youth, teachers and parents about the importance of protecting our eyes from the sun’s harsh rays, especially when we are young”, says Visique on Main Street optometrist Nick Burbery. “Children's eyes can be more susceptible to the sun as generally their pupils are larger and their lenses clearer, allowing more UV light through.”

Visique offered their local schools across the country the opportunity to enter a prize draw with the chance to win one of five Rebel Sports vouchers worth $1,000. Visique on Main Street Optometrists will present Trentham School with their voucher on Wednesday 2nd May. Principal Suzanne Su’a said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won the $1000 Rebel Sports voucher. Being a reasonably large school we need a lot of sporting gear and we are always in need of more. Basketballs are already on the list. This will definitely come in handy.”

Visique is an established New Zealand network of independent qualified optometrists. 100% Kiwi-owned, Visique has been at the heart of New Zealand communities since 2000.