ALMOST everyone who wears glasses can throw them away thanks to a new machine that corrects sight problems.
Edition 2FRI 23 DEC 1994, Page 019
LASERS OFFER NEW VISION
By CARTER H
The machine improves vision by using laser pulses to sculpt and re-shape the cornea or window of an eye.
One of only three in the world, it has been installed at the Epworth Eye Centre.
Director of the centre’s Laser Vision Clinic, eye surgeon Dr Mark Medownick, said it was an exciting development.
He said the improved second generation Excimer laser machine cost $1 million and was the only machine that could treat long and short-sightedness and combinations of all refractive vision errors.
“I’m incredibly excited and very happy we got it,” Dr Mark Medownick said. “There is the potential now that anyone who wants to improve their eyes can throw away their glasses.”
He has used it for short-sightedness and astigmatism and will start long-sightedness treatment early next year.
Dr Medownick, who went to Germany to learn the technique, said computers mapped the eye to show the adjustment to be made to the cornea.
The treatment shaves off minute amounts of the cornea from the front of the eye, changing its shape to give the patient more normal vision.
“Because the machine is under computerised control it can remove one/one-thousandth of a millimetre of tissue with each pulse,” Dr Medownick said.
Preparation time takes 20 minutes and the operation, done with the aid of a microscope, takes 15 to 60 seconds.
The patient has check-ups and may need adjustments, included in the bill of $2000 to $2500 per eye.
END OF STORY
Caption: DR MARK MEDOWNICK. PICTURE: MATT BOUWMEESTER.