Thank you very much for your kind your donation

It seems everywhere we shop today we are being invited to add a dollar for a charity. Big brands are very good at telling us when they are doing good things. So we thought we should shout out what we’re up to here at McDonald Adams.

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Last month we donated $394 to Glaucoma New Zealand, $2 for every eye health examination. Glaucoma New Zealand is working towards education to prevent blindness.

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We contribute to Macular Degeneration NZ, another organisation focused on raising awareness of early detection to prevent sight loss.

Locally we support people all across our community: Mahurangi College, Rodney College, Warkworth Primary School, Matakana Primary School, Snells Beach School, Leigh School, Kaipara Flats School, Ahuroa School, Wellsford School, Tapora Primary School, Pakiri School, Tomarata Primary School, Horizon School, Tauhoa School and several early child care centres.

Mahurangi East Tennis Club

Wellsford / Warkworth Hospice

Bowls Warkworth

University of Auckland Scholarship fund

Having a baseline helps

We recommend a ‘baseline’ eye scan for people over 40 years old coming to us for regular eye examinations. OCT stands for scanning technology Optical Coherence Tomography. Scanning lets us ‘see’ tissue behind the visible retina inside the eye. In the past 5 years these scans have become invaluable in monitoring your eye health.

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Most of us know the importance of regular checks to protect our future eyesight and acknowledge how precious our eyesight is. Documenting a ‘normal and healthy’ situation gives us the best chance of catching problems early. These detailed measurements of your eye form a baseline we can compare back to - a useful check.

How often should you have eye scans?

Once we have a baseline scan then repeating every 5 years is smart. If there are other concerns during your regular exam we will recommend repeating the eye scans.

We use more comprehensive scans when we are monitoring eye conditions such as Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration. In these conditions different scans help us determine if things are progressing or stable.

What is an OCT? How does it help in Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma?

OCT stands for scanning technology Optical Coherence Tomography. Scanning lets us ‘see’ tissue behind the visible retina inside the eye. In the past 5 years OCT has become invaluable in assessing eye health, particularly helpful for Macular Degeneration (MD) and Glaucoma.

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When we see signs of MD during an eye examination, we take an OCT scan which reveals what is happening in the underlying retina. In particular we want to spot the ‘wet’ form of MD which can cause rapid, devastating vision changes. With a scan we can see if there is fluid in the macula and allows us to make referral for treatment.

The detailed measurements of the nerve fibre layer in the eye are particularly helpful when we are looking for Glaucoma. If there are signs in a regular examination, OCT gives us a way to closely monitor changes over time. These changes are seen before any vision loss.

But OCT is not a stand alone magic bullet. It’s a tool and interpreting the results needs careful consideration along with all other clinical findings. At the end of the day an OCT scanner is not an optometrist.

We are committed to using all our available diagnostic tools and we strongly believe the best place to start is regular eye examinations. The simple, vital step of spending time with you, to collect relevant history, through careful listening, guides us to the best combination of diagnostic testing.

Meditation Linked to Helping Glaucoma Patients

We are always keen to hear ways our lifestyle can positively benefit our health, read on. A study by doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has found that lowering eye pressure in people with glaucoma can be achieved by meditating.

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Glaucoma, a disease which damages the optic nerve of the eye, is the leading cause of blindness in India, impacting over 12 million people.

“Lowering eye pressure is the only proven therapy for glaucoma and this is currently achieved with eye drops, laser therapy or surgery. Like all medications, eye drops have a cost and side effects, and many struggle with drops as a lifelong therapy,” said Dr. Tanuj Dada, Professor of Ophthalmology at the RP Centre, AIIMS.

90 glaucoma patients were selected and randomly divided into two groups. One group was required to perform meditation and breathing exercises, as instructed by a yoga instructor, for an hour each morning over 21 days as well as take their glaucoma medications. The second group only took glaucoma medications.

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After three weeks the results showed significant reduced eye pressure (mean pressure falling from 19 mmHg to 13 mmHg) in the meditation group. Changes to stress hormones and improved wellbeing were also recorded for this group.

Positive changes were also seen in the expression of retinal ganglion cell and optic nerve genes, which could potentially protect the eye from future damage and blindness.

“We know that glaucoma patients have high levels of anxiety and stress as they suffer from a potentially blinding disorder. We also are aware of the fact that stress leads to elevation of blood pressure but seldom think about its impact on eye pressure,” said Dr. Raj Kumar Yadav, Professor in-charge of Integral Health Clinic, Department of Physiology at AIIMS.

“This is the first study in the world which offers robust scientific evidence for lowering eye pressure with meditation, by targeting the brain and improving both the eye condition as well as general health of the patients,” he said.

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The meditation technique is simple and can be easily learnt by all glaucoma patients. It is important to remember that patients should not stop using their glaucoma medications, and regular eye checks should continue as usual.

The study was funded by the Ministry of AYUSH.