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  • Australian Thread

    Hi Guys,

    I'm a newbie here but have noted a number of Aussie posters here already. The one thing I've noticed is how hard it is to find useful information specific to Australia around the forums specifically (usually it merges in with other threads with tidbits here and there).

    I thought it might be a good idea to have a central thread where we can share ideas, information and what not.

    The first bit of info I'll put in here is for Marketown Optical in Newcastle, I've just switched to them and I'm still weighing up on how good the optometrists there are (too early to give a glowing recommendation yet), however I will give them props as the only place in Newcastle and surronds that I'm aware of that have imaging (including video and images of Microscope Slit Lamps). I've found this to be super useful for myself at the very least for doing comparison of dry eye between visits (eg. In my two visits thus far, I've found that the dry spots on my eye have actually been in different spots between visits, with the original spots now being healthily wet on the second visit, but new spots as well).

    Obviously we are a bit different to the rest of the world in terms of supplements and products available, so I'd love to get some feedback on what people are using drops wise and with Fish Oil and other supplements.

    Personally I was on Genteal Gel for over 12 months, this left me with no real symptoms or flareups for the first year I had dry eye.

    Having changed optometrist I've been switched to Systane Balance as I've now been made aware that I have MGD, so Genteal Gel was only comforting and not addressing the actual cause (Lipid Layer), at this point I'm undecided if this is working for me (thus far it hasn't really worked as well as Genteal, but I'm unsure if this is due to inflammation).

    Anyway, I'm hoping all of us Aussies can work together to try and collate the most useful info for our neck of the woods, and that some of our information may provide ideas and inspiration to our friends overseas.

  • #2
    Hi Iceman, its nice to see another aussie join the forum here. It seems you're really at the start of the journey with dry eyes. Have you seen an ophthalmologist rather than an optometrist? Have you had a schirmer's test done? You're correct about Genteal gel only providing symptomatic relief. It will do nothing for MGD, the gel will simply "evaporate" from your eye before you realize you need more gel. I've not had much relief from Systane Balance, not a good product in my opinion and I've tried them all. You may wish to try a new OTC product called Hylo-Forte.
    I'm in Victoria, but off to see Dr. Colin Chan in Sydney tomorrow for my second visit. He has the only known clinic specifically for dry eye in the country. The diagnosis phase is far beyond slit lamps and far radical than what an optometrist can offer. His treatments are also more specific than other ophthalmologists will offer you. I've been to many of them, and they just don't understand dry eye and seem non caring about our condition. Here is an open letter I'll be sending to most ophthalmologists in Australia very soon: - You may have to venture out of Newcastle for treatment that will really work for you. A colleague on this forum whom lives in Melbourne travelled to the USA for treatment of his dry eyes. They discovered the cause of his problem, whilst the many eye doctors in Aussie land couldn't.


    • #3
      Just a thought...

      What if we made some geographical archives, i.e. where we could have an Australia folder. (The archive folders on DEZ are where all Open Forum threads eventually get filed to to make it easier to browse by topic.) Would that be helpful?
      Rebecca Petris
      The Dry Eye Foundation


      • #4
        Yes that would be great Rebecca. Since it's so restricted here here, us aussies need to start communicating our discoveries and knowledge together. For eg: I've been using "3% Testosterone eyelid cream" for two weeks and probably the first person in Australia using it. Several ophthalmologists refused to prescribe it because it's unknown here and off-label. But "where there is a will there is a way". And so, I found it. We do have some very caring doctors here who will go out of there way to assist, but finding them is the tricky bit. This is the information we could be sharing


        • #5
          I agree, that would be great.

          I just thought a thread would be a great way to collate info and talk (we don't really warrant our own sub forum like Europe).

          As an update, I went back for a checkup today, and got some good news, at this stage the dry spots have improved dramatically. At this stage I am only seeing an optometrist, but she is more than willing to refer me on should I request it (she works with one each week, and is following the normal things he would do first). She seems pretty knowlegable, and very willing to stick with me until she finds a cause and a treatment that works.

          The Slit lamp camera is absolutely fantastic, it allows you as the patient to see exactly what the optometrist is seeing and do your own comparisons between visits. My optometrist stores this, and it's allowed me to see the week by week progress that has occurred.


          • #6
            Following on the idea of an "Australian folder"... perhaps everyone can include their location on their profile. That way it shows on their posts.

            This can be helpful for a number of reasons.

            First, any advice I post may involve products and/or drugs that I only know the name of in Canada or the US. People in other countries may have to look up the ingredients to find the drug name in their country or research their vendors for products.

            Second and building on that, if I know from the post where the person is located (just the country is okay), then it's easier to point people in the right direction (and they can see from my post that if I mention something then I'm talking about my experiences and products/drugs in Canada).


            • #7
              Very good point thanks spmcc. I'll update my profile and include the state I'm in because "distance" is an important consideration. For example. I had to see Dr. Colin Chan in Sydney (NSW) and it's interstate. I missed a flight so went by public transport, it takes a 3 hour bus trip then a 12 hour train ride and expensive taxi fair to get there for me. On the way home, since I don't sleep on trains my eyes were really playing up. The train failed to unlock the doors at my stop at 5.26am and I NEEDED to get home, drench my eyes with Thera Tear gel and an eye mask and SLEEP. But instead their incompetent blunder put an extra 8 hours on my trip. So tracking down LOCAL doctors to avoid such drama is very important.


              • #8
                I think an Australian thread/folder would be great. I'm in Victoria and I've had a lot of frustration with ophthalmologists so the more info the better.

                DCRdryeye: I would be really interested to hear how it went with Dr Chan as I've been thinking about making an appointment to see him.


                • #9
                  i had a look but couldn't find an archive folder for Australia, so i assume it never happen?? sorry guys im new to the forum. Anyway so ill just post here.
                  My question is has anyone in Australia ordered any expression kits or tools like the mastrota paddle. I cant seem to find a supplier that will ship to Australia.


                  • #10
                    If anyone's interested I ended up finding a supplier in Australia that stocks "mastrota paddles".
                    They are call "Designs For Vision"
                    They also stock a few other dry eye products like the blephasteam goggles, hopefully they expand on this.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mike G View Post
                      I think an Australian thread/folder would be great. I'm in Victoria and I've had a lot of frustration with ophthalmologists so the more info the better.

                      DCRdryeye: I would be really interested to hear how it went with Dr Chan as I've been thinking about making an appointment to see him.
                      Hi Mike, are you in Melbourne? I'm about 3 hours from Melb and basically have seen Chan twice. He has become rather conservative and focuses on inflammation. With my first visit I was diagnosed with MGD and ATD, I walked away with preservative free steroids and Doxycycline. The second visit, I admitted those treatments hadn't worked as well as I would have hoped (but they did provide relief). So he has an off label script ready for me for AzaSite if the Testosterone Cream doesn't work. I may see him again for a partial closing of an enlarged puncta.
                      All in all, I'd say he is a specialist dry eye doctor if he used gland expression (mastrota paddles), used Lipiflow, he doesn't do Meibomian gland probing anymore (such a ashame), so apart from extensive testing - it's the same old thing that does nothing to treat the causes (steroids, Restasis, Doxy). You can find an eye doctor in Victoria who'll provide you with those treatments, simply visit a site a colleague and I put together:


                      • #12
                        Yes I am in Melbourne. That's a shame about Dr Chan but I guess it is reflective of the lack of treatments with an evidence base out there. I have checked out your website and it seems that all dry docs in Vic you have listed are optometrists?


                        • #13
                          Hi Mike, no in fact many are ophthalmologists and a few are optometrist. Dr. Mark Roth in Victoria is probably one of the top dry eye ophthalmologists in Victoria if you want to save the roller coaster of eye doctor to eye doctor. That's what our site saves you from


                          • #14
                            Last edited by hankm9; 29-Oct-2016, 22:38.


                            • #15
                              Ahhh thanks for that correction hank. I wasn't aware he was an optometrist. However, there are quiet a few ophthalmologists on our "Find a Doc" list in Sydney and Queensland.

                              I absolutely agree it makes no difference. In fact a good optometrist set up with an interest in Dry Eye can assist more than an ophthalmologist in many cases. I've been to some 'heralded' ophthalmologists with reputations as Dry Eye specialists and they were useless. They did no schirmer's test, no diagnoses of MGD, small offices with only a slit lamp. A waste of money and time, thus they are not on our list. On the other hand, an optometrist can take a closer look, and in Victoria, more of them are obtaining the mastrota paddles to do gland expression, and obtaining other equipment such as BlephEx to treat our condition more specifically, treating causes rather than effects.