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The best news about eyes & Birmingham

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BSRS 2015 350Mark writes: "I was honoured to be invited to speak at the British Society of Refractive Surgery Conference which was attended by opinion leaders in the UK and Europe. Interesting new developments, insights and opinions on existing technologies and techniques were hotly debated. Congratulations to the organisers for a good conference."

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Ruth Langsford at Hampton Manor, Hampton in Arden

Ruth Langsford Solihull

Ruth Langsford loves life with her lens implants and without her glasses. Ruth explained to patients how frustrated she was trying to see the autoprompt and her notes as a presenter on ITV's "This morning". At a great Optegra evening dinner with Ruth & my consultant colleagues she explained how much of a difference her Clarivu procedure at Optegra has made to both her professional and personal life. You can hear her yourself on Youtube or come to the next Optegra open evening and she may be there. 

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Skiing & web design after lens surgery

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Where are those specs Jonny? 

"I know, I know, they made me look intelligent and handsome - but for the sports I enjoy they were a bit of a handicap (golf when it rains and skiing, all the time). So, in October 2014 I decided to have lens replacement. After extensive research and several visits to different surgeons I selected Mr Mark Wevill from Optegra in Birmingham. I am pleased to say that all went really well. I now read without specs and can also do all my sports now without any extra help. Fantastic."

Click here to see Jonny's web creations or here to read more about the difference treatment has made to him.


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The blue black gold white dress

So what is the buzz about this dress & why has the story gone viral in the media and online?

75% of the buzzfeed respondents said they saw a black/blue dress including Justin Bieber & the rest saw gold/white including Kim Kardashian. The answer is ... it was made in Birmingham by Roman originals is actually blue/black!

But why the fuss? Is it because we actually all see colours differently? Or could it just be an optical illusion?

Have a look at the middle green squares & the green colours all look different. But they are actually the same! Our eyes see colours but the visual system of our brains interprets and gives us our perception of colour . Our interpretation and perception of a colour is affected by the colours that surround them, which can create an optical illusion.

So, is the white background of the image causing an optical illusion with the dress colours? Or do different people see colours differently? Neuroscientists have been trying to understand this for a while. Could it be chromatic adaptation / white balance? Despite the complex science, the implications for your next choice of shoes, car and wall paint are huge. What will your partner, family and friends think of it? Does it matter!

Well at least we can be certain of one thing. Roman originals & Birmingham have the world's attention, briefly.

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Atmospheric optics and our eyes 350Another beautiful early morning flight and spectacular views over the peak district. But why is the snow on the peaks pink? It is because of atmospheric optics and is caused by scattering of light in the atmosphere.

White sunlight is a combination of all the colours of the rainbow and each colour has its own wavelength. When the sun is low at sunset & sunrise the sunlight passes through MORE atmosphere as it strikes the edge of the earth tangentially. The longer wavelength colours are absorbed more than the shorter. Red has the longest wavelength and is scattered the least.

So red is the colour that manages to penetrate the greater distance of the atmosphere at dawn and dusk, and was reflected beautifully off the snow covered peaks and clouds this morning. Pollution, dust and other particles in the atmosphere also cause the spectacular atmospheric optics we have become accustomed to. Read more about our beautiful world and atmospheric optics on Wikipedia.

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Google cardboard, virtual reality & eye travel

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In 2011, Palmer Luckey, an 18-year old virtual reality (VR) gaming enthusiast hacked together a better VR headset in his parents’ garage… and three years later Facebook paid US$2 billion to purchase the company he formed called Oculus VR. But what does this have to do with eye surgery? One of the most significant advances in ophthalmology has been the dramatic improvements in how we image the eye; especially with optical coherence tomography (OCT). OCT is used to take 3D images of the retina but we only ever view the images on a computer screen in two dimensions. However the 3D data, combined with a VR headset now opens up a world of possibilities of exploring the internal structures of the eye and much, much more. How much does a VR unit cost? Launch models of the oculus VR will cost about $200. But you can slip your phone into a Google cardboard unit which you can make for free or order now for less than £10! The future is 3D and soon you will be able to have your eye tests at home. This video gives a mini-submarine's view of travelling through an inflamed retina which is less than 0.5mm thick.
Thanks to the Ophthalmologist & Carl Glittenberg 

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Sunrise over the Isle of Wight

b2ap3_thumbnail_To-Jersey-Vision-1.jpgThe Channel yesterday morning on my way to do lasers @ Jersey Vision Correction. So there are some benefits to early morning flights!

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Christmas holiday wishes

b2ap3_thumbnail_Optegra-Christmas.jpg   Wishing you a happy holidays and best wishes for the New Year from us at Optegra!

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How does the eye focus? All about pinholes & lenses from "Minute Physics"

Minute physics how to see without glasses 600Watch a quick & quirky explanation of how pinholes & lenses focus what we see from the "Minute Physics" people.
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Thank you, Cindy


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I wish to thank the organisers of the South African Ophthalmological Society conference for inviting me to tell them about the benefits of femtosecond lasers. The setting in the Drakensberg (Dragon mountains) was magnificent & the presentations demonstrated once again the high standard of Ophthalmology in South Africa. One of the outstanding presentations was by Professor David Meyer of Tygerberg Hospital & the University of Stellenbosch who has cured recurrent eyelid basal cell cancers in adults and sight threatening capillary haemangiomas in children with Bleomycin injections. Thank you for your life changing work David.


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Leamington Observer Article

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mark-Wevill-Leamington-300.jpgLEAMINGTON OBSERVER, 30 January 2014

Mark Wevill may be one the world’s leading eye surgeons but he still finds time to help some of the poorest people on the planet to see.

The South-African born consultant ophthalmologist - who heads the ophthalmic unit at a Leamington-based Space Healthcare - has carried out more than 20,000 laser eye procedures ... yet he still finds time in his busy schedule to carry out voluntary work in Uganda, read more...

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Birmingham Christmas market

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Have you visited the market yet? The sights, smells & sounds are a Birmingham Christmas tradition. Sizzling bratwurst, happy children on the carousel, furry and knitted things to wear on your head, big bunches of helium balloons, mime artists, buskers, chocolate coated fruits and those massive, sticky marsh mellow  things. A great way to brighten up a grey day! Here's a video from the weekend, hope it brings back memories or tempts you to take a stroll through. Enjoy.

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There is an epidemic of shortsightedness (myopia) which is increasing. 50% of adolescents in the UK are myopic and 97% of South Koreans, and the numbers are increasing! There are probably 200 million myopic people in the world today and in 2020 there will be about 900 million.

Why? The answer is complex, but the more time children spend outdoors, the less likely they are to develop myopia. Outdoor light exposure & less time watching TV, looking at computers, mobile phones and reading may be protective against myopia. Only 12% of Australian adolescents are myopic. But our genes are also important and we pass myopia on to our children. 

How can this epidemic be stopped? In South East Asia (especially China, South Korea & Singapore) this has become a pressing issue because there are increased risks of premature cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and macular degeneration with myopia. Ian Flitcroft for Mater Hospital in Dublin said "three diopters of myopia is worse for your eyes than 20 cigarettes a day is for your heart." Hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars are spent every year correcting myopia optically (In the USA it is costing about $70 billion a year).  Most of the 50 million people who have had laser eye treatment over the last 20 years were myopic, but treating the condition with lasers isn't the solution, we need to be able to prevent the condition.

How can this epidemic be stopped? Eight years ago Singapore initiated a program of making outdoor activities an essential part of children's days and the rates of myopia have stabilised unlike the trends in neighbouring countries and internationally. But there is no simple solution to this multifactorial problem. Hopefully innovations will result in a preventable solution and in so doing reduce the financial and health burdens of this epidemic. Read more in the Ophthalmologist.

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Yes, Bourbon Street was as tacky, noisy & festive as ever! The American Academy accepted my poster presentation. And I was also invited do present the case for the Raindrop inlay to a "Judge, Jury, defending & opposing counsel and a courtroom" of a few hundred surgeon colleagues. It was science with humour. George Waring, the judge, wore a wig of white flowing locks purchased from a novelty store nearby and called the assembly to order frequently. The final verdict was that the technology shows great promise!

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So where have I been? The clue is in the title; its the biggest conference for Eye Surgeons in the world. All will be revealed in the next few days! I heard great reports about the Visian ICL with Centraflow. Professional cyclist Tom Danielson is very happy with his. A great option for people who are scared of laser eye surgery.

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Floaters can be really annoying. They are visible bits of the vitreous jelly at the back of the eye. Most of us have small ones which are most visible when looking at the sky or a painted wall i.e. a blank background. But some have them so severely they can appear like a cobweb which blurs vision or a dense ring, wiggly line or an fly near your eye. They aren’t usually significant, but if they are accompanied by flashing lights in peripheral vision it is worth having a retinal membrane check. The floaters may just go away. They can sometimes be treated with a YAG laser but this isn’t always possible or effective. A vitrectomy operation is a more invasive option for which the risks and benefits must be carefully considered.


But wouldn’t it be great if there was an eyedrop which dissolved the floaters? There is some evidence that Microplasmin injections do dissolve the vitreous jelly, but it hasn’t been shown to reduce floaters, nor is it available as an eyedrop ... yet! So at the moment all we can do is cross our fingers & hope they go away, or have a YAG laser or vitrectomy treatment.

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i-Optics Cassini, like stars in your eyes.


Another beautiful new instrument on display at the ESCRS conference in Amsterdam was the Cassini i-Optics. It images the cornea using red, green and yellow LEDs which give GPS like coordinates or ‘triangulation’ points on the cornea. This data is used to map corneal elevations and depressions. Other well known methods include placido disc & Scheimflug imaging systems, but Cassini claims theirs maps astigmatism best especially in highly irregular and dry eyes. The corneal light projections looked spectacular, like stars in the night sky.

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At the world's most progressive eye care conference, the ESCRS in Amsterdam, I tried out a great treatment for gritty eyes. Lipiflow treats dry, scratchy, burning eyes. It looks a bit strange, but it consists of a warming pad which gently massaged my eyes for 12 minutes. It didn't hurt and my eyes feel more comfortable now. And the effect is reported to last 6 to 12 months. 

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London Triathlon success after eye surgery

b2ap3_thumbnail_Keith-W-triathlete-Wevill-px.jpgKeith Whitehead (pictured in glasses before his surgery!) recently completed the olympic distance London Triathlon in just under 3 hours! Keith says: "the main purpose of my eye surgery was to enhance my outdoor life ... it has been a great success. Before the surgery, I completed my first triathlon with an open water swim and this was not a great success because I could see almost nothing. One of my post-surgery targets was to complete another triathlon ... and I did this at the London Triathlon (the biggest in the world) ... the Olympic distance. I was very happy with my time (just under 3 hours) at my age but just as pleased with the fundraising I carried out for sightsavers ... the total is £967.50. Thank you for changing my life and the lives of those that will be helped by Sightsavers."

Well done on an excellent result Keith and for raising money for a good cause! Read more about it.

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