Eyecare Plus Springvale offers full scope optometric family eyecare and can therapeutically treat eye diseases.  Here is a summary of just some of the conditions we treat for our patients.

Amblyopia, or Lazy Eye, is a reduced vision, generally in only one eye. The condition usually results from poor eye co-ordination, from having a turned eye, or after having one eye which requires a far greater lens power.

The reduced vision occurs because, for one or more of the above reasons, one eye is being used less than the other. When detected early enough, patching, vision training and lenses may help to reverse or prevent permanent damage to the vision.

Interested to know more? Book an appointment online or call us on (03) 9558 4499.  

cataract is an opacity or clouding of the lens inside the eye, then distorting the light as it enters. Cataracts are often confused with pterygium but cataracts cannot be seen on the surface of the eye.

Symptoms of cataract may include a gradual painless decrease in clear vision, hazy vision, increased sensitivity to glare, and even double vision.

Special tints or filters can often improve vision and UV protection can help to slow development of this condition.

The eventual “cure” is surgical removal of the lens with cataract and replacement with an artificial lens (intra-ocular lens implant).

Interested to know more? Book an appointment online or call us on (03) 9558 4499.  

Dry eye disease is caused by a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye.

Dry eye can cause a scratchy sensation or the feeling that something is in the eye, with people often complaining of irritated, itchy, watery eyes.

Dry eye disease is fairly common affecting about 20 per cent of the population and is more prevalent in an older population and in particular with females.

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the leading cause of dry eye disease where the glands are not secreting enough oil or when the oil they secrete is of poor quality. Meibomian glands are located inside the bottom eyelids and are responsible for the creation of a tear film that keeps eyes moisturised.

Your optometrist can detect dry eye and provide a range of effective treatments.

What are the Symptoms and Causes of Dry Eye Disease?

Some of the symptoms of dry eye disease include some or all of the following:

  • Scratchy sensation or a feeling that something is in the eye

  • Stinging or burning

  • Episodes of excess tearing that follow periods of dryness, discharge, pain and redness in the eye

  • Itchiness

  • Dryness

  • Eye fatigue

  • Feeling that the eyelids are heavy

  • Experiencing blurred vision.

Dry eye can occur when basal tear production decreases, tear evaporation increases, or tear composition is imbalanced.

Factors that can contribute to dry eye include:

  • A range of medications including antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy to relieve symptoms of menopause, medications for anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, and high blood pressure have been associated with dry eye disease.

  • Ageing is a risk factor for the decline in tear production. Dry eye is more common in people aged 50 years or older.

  • Rosacea (an inflammatory skin disease) and blepharitis (an inflammatory eyelid disease) can disrupt the function of the meibomian glands.

  • Autoimmune disorders such as Sjögren’s Disease, lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis and other disorders such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and Vitamin A deficiency are associated with dry eye.

  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy and after menopause have been linked with dry eye. Women also have an increased risk for autoimmune disorders.

  • Windy, smoky or dry environments increase tear evaporation.

  • Seasonal allergies can contribute to dry eyes.

  • Prolonged periods of digital screen time encourage insufficient blinking which can be a contributing factor.

  • Laser eye surgery may cause temporary dry eye symptoms.

Eyes that have poor lubrication are more susceptible to scratches or infection. Tears keep the eye surface smooth and protected. A lack of lubrication can lead to excessive rubbing of the eyes when they are itchy which can exacerbate the irritation.

Your vision can be affected as tears on the eye’s surface can play an important role in focusing light. In some cases, deeper injuries to the surface of the eye can lead to corneal scarring, resulting in a hazy cornea and impaired vision.

Dry Eye Treatment

A range of dry eye treatments are available including:

  • Artificial eye drops often provide short-term relief along with the application of a warm compress to help loosen any blockages in the oil glands.

  • Blephasteam is an eyelid warming device using moisture and heat to treat Meibomian gland dysfunction. The treatment sessions are short and work well for most people with Meibomian gland dysfunction.

  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) can provide long-term relief. It is a non-invasive treatment utilising pulsed loght to stimulate the secretion and the contraction of the Meibomian glands. It is quick, gentle and can offer long-lasting relief.

Interested to know more? Book an appointment online or call us on (03) 9558 4499.  

Glaucoma is a disease where the pressure within the eye is typically increased (although not always). This can damage parts of the eye, and if left untreated may result in blindness.

Many times the symptoms are not noticeable until damage to the eye has already occurred. Diagnosis consists of having regular eye examinations which include a pressure measurement (usually every 2 years for patients over 40), to enable early detection of possible problems.

Lower your risk of Glaucoma

  • A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a nutritious diet benefits overall physical and mental well-being, as well as the eyes. Eat a varied and healthy diet. There is no scientific evidence suggesting that certain vitamins and minerals prevent glaucoma or delay its progress. However, carotenoids (especially lutein and zeaxanthin), antioxidants (vitamins C and E), vitamins A and D, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids may all contribute to better vision.

  • Carotenoids are found in dark green, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, including spinach, broccoli, green beans, papaya, oranges, mango, sweet potato, corn, peaches and apricots.

  • Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, leafy greens, sweet and white potato, broccoli and capsicum.

  • Vitamin A is found in liver, carrots, sweet potato, mangoes, milk and egg yolks.

  • The main dietary sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, ‘oily’ fish, fortified milk and cereal and egg yolks.

  • Zinc can be found in oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, wholegrains and dairy products.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are found in salmon, sardines, walnuts and flaxseed oil.

Interested to know more? Book an appointment online or call us on (03) 9558 4499.  

Macular Degeneration (MD) is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys central vision. Central vision occurs at the macula on the retina, at the back of the eye. Because it is the central part of vision, it is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common everyday tasks such as reading and driving.

In some cases, MD advances so slowly that people fail to notice the gradual deterioration of their vision. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a permanent loss of central vision.

While there is presently no cure for Macular Degeneration, there are steps that you can take to prevent or slow the progress of the disease.

MD is present in 15% of people between the ages of 70-75 and is now the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australia.

Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

The first signs of MD involve distortion of vision where straight lines appear wavy or bent, rather than loss of sight.

  • Difficulty reading.

  • Difficulty distinguishing faces.

  • Need for increased illumination.

  • Sensitivity to glare.

  • Decreased night vision.

  • Reduced colour sensitivity.

  • In many cases, MD progresses so slowly that people don’t notice changes until their vision has already been significantly compromised.

Risks for developing MD:

  • Ageing is the greatest risk factor. The prevalence trebles with each decade over 40 years.

  • Smokers have a 3 times greater risk of developing MD. They also develop the disease approximately 10 years earlier than non-smokers.

  • Women have slightly higher risk than men.

  • Family history is a risk factor. Genes have been identified and linked with MD. There is a 50% chance of developing MD if there is a family history of the disease.

Defense against MD:

  • Early detection of MD is crucial as some forms of the disease may be arrested with early treatment.

  • Regular eye examinations are the key to early detection before vision loss occurs.

  • Eat a healthy diet. (See more details below).

  • Consider taking a zinc and anti-oxidant supplement.

  • Eye protection against UV damage. This is especially important before MD develops.

  • Maintain a healthy weight and get some regular exercise (minimum of a 30 minute walk, three times a week).

  • Don’t smoke.

Diet and MD

Diet can help with good eye health and there is a recommended eating program that can lower the risk of Macular Degeneration. Scientific studies have shown that MD responds to anti-oxidants and other nutrients. This is not an unpleasant diet, but simply emphasizes the benefits of vegetables, fruit and fish.

Anti-oxidants benefit our health by neutralisng “free radicals” in the body. The most important anti-oxidants are:

  • Lutein – Found in especially high levels in leafy dark green vegetables (eg spinach)

  • Vitamin C – Found in citrus fruits, papaya and rockmelon. Or vegetables like capsicum, peas and broccoli.

  • Vitamin E – Found in nuts (almonds, pine nuts, brazil nuts), whole grains, leafy green vegetables, broccoli and carrots.

  • Zinc – Found in meat, seafood (especially oysters), nuts (cashews, pine nuts, brazil nuts, pecans, almonds) and whole grains.

Eat a healthy well-balanced diet. Include fish at least two times a week and include dark green leafy vegetables. Eat fresh fruit every day, a handful of nuts each week and avoid fatty foods.

Interested to know more? Book an appointment online or call us on (03) 9558 4499.  

Myopia, or Short-sightedness, is a condition in which near objects are seen more clearly than objects which are far away.

The main symptom is blurred distance vision. Short-sighted people often report difficulty distinguishing details on road signs and scoreboards.

Another common symptom is “squinting” the lids together in an attempt to see clearer. This works by narrowing the aperture they are looking through and therefore reducing the size of the blur circle on the retina inside the eye.

Myopia tends to first develop during adolescence as the eye grows to full adult size. Myopia occurs either due to hereditary factors or due to environmental stress and a subsequent spasm of the eye focussing muscles.

Myopia is corrected with either contact lenses or spectacles. Since these lenses are thickest at the edge, new spectacle lens technologies have been developed to produce thinner and lighter lenses.

Interested to know more? Book an appointment online or call us on (03) 9558 4499.  

Refractive surgery describes a group of procedures where surgery is used to correct the focus of vision rather than spectacles or contact lenses.

The most modern techniques use computer controlled lasers to remove a layer of the cornea (window at the front of the eye) and to reshape it to correct vision.

Refractive surgery is best suited for patients who wear spectacles or contact lenses all the time. Most patients do not need spectacles for general wear after the surgery but it is likely that a prescription will often be needed for fine work or as focussing problems (presbyopia) develop naturally in the 40’s.

Originally, laser surgery could only correct short-sightedness. Now it also offers hope to those suffering from astigmatism (distorted vision) and long-sightedness. Laser surgery gives speedy results with minimal pain. But this procedure is not suitable for everyone. If you are under 18 years old, pregnant, or have had changes to your prescribed corrective lenses in the past year, we usually do not recommend laser surgery.

Cost is an important factor: laser surgery costs up to $3000 per eye and is not covered by Medicare or any other private health fund (though in some cases it is partially tax deductible). Most laser clinics offer finance plans or interest-free terms.

While laser techniques in refractive eye surgery have been years in the making, only in this decade has laser surgery become truly widespread. It is estimated that up to one and a half million people worldwide have had such operations, many thousands of those in Australia.

Reputable eye surgeons emphasise that not all laser patients will attain 20/20 vision. This depends on various factors, including the severity of the patient’s original vision problem. Some patients may still require glasses or contact lenses after laser surgery.

Those with presbyopia or “ageing eye” which often occurs in one’s early 40’s, cannot generally be treated by laser surgery, although in some cases monovision laser treatment may be used for one eye only.

Interested to know more? Book an appointment online or call us on (03) 9558 4499.  


Strabismus is a condition where the eyes are misaligned, in other words, one eye is turned in a different direction to the other, and is generally understood to be related to abnormalities in the muscles and nerves surrounding the eyes.

Some are born with strabismus, while others develop it later in life.  It can also occur as the result of an injury to the eye or head trauma, and can be a sign of a more serious eye disease.

As such, an early diagnosis of strabismus is essential to help prevent irreversible vision loss later in life.  

Interested to know more? Book an appointment online or call us on (03) 9558 4499.