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Our surgeons are regularly consulted for their expert opinion on eye-related matters and developments across the industry. Here you can read about their work which has featured in the National Press as well as on television.
Madeline Spencer details her ICL Implant Surgery which was performed by OCL Vision’s senior consultant ophthalmic surgeon Dr Ali Mearza. “ICL stands for ‘Implantable Collamer Lens’, sometimes also referred to as an implantable contact lens. Essentially, it’s a thin biocompatible lens…” explained Dr Mearza.
Dr Chien Wong, the consultant retinal surgeon at OCL Vision, explained that retinal detachment occurs when the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye – the retina – comes away from the wall of the eye, a bit like wallpaper peeling off. “This process is a fundamental part of being able to see, so retinal detachment is a serious condition which should be treated urgently.”
OCL Vision eye clinic has revealed the surging demand for private eye surgery as NHS waiting lists break new records.
Since launching four years ago, OCL Vision surgeons have treated over 11,000 private patients at its clinics in central London and Hertfordshire. This year, they have seen 4,115 new patients.
Dr Romesh Angunawela, founding partner at OCL Vision, told Sky News it was especially critical to consider the impact long play sessions can have on their eyes. “Get them to follow the 20:20:20 rule,” he advised.
Also mentioned in: Beyond Games
“Identifying and understanding the links between what we put into our bodies and our health is a constant quest for researchers,” said Dr Rabia Bourkiza, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at OCL Vision. The specialist also shared her thoughts on a related study and suggested some benefits of drinking fruit juice for the eyes.
Also mentioned in: Samachar Central
“Mercury in high levels can cause optic neuropathy, which manifests initially by disturbance in colour vision.” said Dr Rabia Bourkiza, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at OCL Vision. The expert also explained that this depends on how much and what types of fish you eat.
“Dry eye can worsen in the winter months, when we are exposed to lower humidity, colder temperatures, wind and indoor central heating,” says Dr Masara Laginaf, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at OCL Vision in London. The expert also describes symptoms that could warrant attention.
“It often surprises people just how much diet can affect eyesight,” said Dr Rabia Bourkiza, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at OCL Vision. The expert also warned that some popular food choices might not be so kind to the eyes.
HBI chats with Paresh Patel, the new CEO of UK-based world class eye surgery OCL Vision.
London-based eye clinic OCL Vision has appointed Paresh Patel as chief executive. OCL Vision’s clinic on London’s New Cavendish Street recently become the first in the UK to offer a new form of keyhole laser eye surgery, following its acquisition of an advanced laser, the Schwind ATOS.
Also mentioned in: Laing Buisson
Each month, Harley Street BID spend five minutes with one of the impressive professionals that call Harley Street home. This month we’re meeting Sofia Carbognin, Business Manager at OCL Vision.
Spear’s has ranked opticians, ophthalmologists and laser eye surgery specialists for high-net-worth individuals in the UK in 2022. The list features the top recommended practitioners including 3 OCL Vision surgeons.
A new form of keyhole laser eye surgery has come to the UK. The SmartSIGHT procedure uses an advanced laser, the Schwind ATOS, to make a tiny incision in the eye’s surface and remove a small disc of the cornea.
Allon Barsam, ophthalmic surgeon and co-founder of OCL Vision, which has acquired the device, said: “Laser eye surgery technology is advancing in leaps and bounds, and the sophistication – and sheer range – of the procedures now available enable specialist surgeons to offer every patient a treatment perfectly tailored to their needs”
Also mentioned in: Laing Buisson & Optician
A virtual roundtable showcasing surgeons’ preferred treatments and patient selection for pharmacologic agents, premium IOL technologies, and refractive procedures.
Presbyopia is an expanding market, and the number of patients who come to our practices seeking relief of their symptoms is steadily increasing.
EYESIGHT diminishes with age but blindness is a rarer phenomenon. According to eyesight health body OCL Vision, overdoing a drink loved by the nation can lead to “blindness”.
According to eye health body OCL Vision, “drinking too much alcohol can lead to sight loss”. As OCL Vision explains, “alcohol-related blindness is known as toxic amblyopia”.
Opticians have urged parents to book an eye appointment for their child before the new school year kicks in.
Ali Mearza, ophthalmic consultant and co-founder of OCL Vision, added: “More often than not, your child may just need a pair of glasses to help them see clearer and reduce eye strain.
Also mentioned in: Liverpool Echo and VN Explorer
Ministers have admitted a key NHS pledge to ensure that everyone who has been waiting at least two years for hospital care would be treated by last month has not been met.
OCL Vision, a private specialist eyecare provider in London, said it had performed 22% more cataract removals in the last year than the year before after long waits prompted people to “give up on NHS waiting lists”.
Also mentioned in: Optician.
Our vision inevitably changes over time so how can we protect it as we age? An expert share her tips for every decade.
Director and founding partner of OCL Vision, Allon Barsam, emphasised the positive impact of refractive surgery on the daily lives of patients at 100% Optical.
He encouraged optometrists and refractive surgery providers to work together in the interests of patients. “We are on the same team. We are trying to give patients a better quality of life,” he said.
Eye care clinic group OCL Vision has set its sights on further UK expansion as demand soars from patients seeking the likes of cataract, laser vision correction and lens replacement treatments.
Like for so many, lockdown was a blow, but demand, both domestic and from patients coming from overseas, is rising again. Consultations are up over 92 per cent and procedures by 84 per cent as inquiries hit 3,000 a month in March.
One of the most common early warning signs that cholesterol has started to build up in your blood vessels is xanthelasma,” said Dr Susan Sarangapani, consultant surgeon at OCL Vision. From the location to the colour of this sign, the expert detailed how to spot it in the comfort of your home.
Also mentioned in Verve Times.
It might sound like an unusual way to discover that you’re suffering from high cholesterol, but some of the tell-tale signs of this common issue can be spotted in the eyes,” Dr Ali Mearza, consultant ophthalmic surgeon, told Express.co.uk. As high cholesterol doesn’t generally cause many symptoms, the most reliable way for finding out your levels remains getting tested.
Five eye surgeons are bringing their skill and expertise – together with some of the most advanced diagnostic equipment anywhere in the UK – to Elstree with the opening of a new clinic.
The OCL Vision clinic, which features four treatment and consultation rooms, is the latest addition to the fast-growing healthcare cluster in Centennial Park.
Dr Rabia Bourkiza, consultant surgeon and vitreoretinal specialist, has joined independent ophthalmology clinic OCL Vision as its tenth consultant. She will join a team of three retinal specialists providing emergency services for retinal detachment patients.
Bourkiza also serves as a consultant surgeon at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, and previously worked for seven years at the specialist Moorfields Eye Hospital. A Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, she has published 16 peer-reviewed articles in international journals and regularly presents at national and international meetings. She is also a member of the British and Eire Association of Vitreoretinal Surgeons (BEAVRS).
Also mentioned in: Optician Online, Healthcare Newsdesk
Demand for vision correction has boomed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr Ali Mearza, consultant ophthalmic surgeon and co-founder of OCL Vision, looks at the opportunities for independent ophthalmology providers emerging in both the private and public sectors.
Read more below on pages 24 & 25.
Anthea Turner has urged fans to get any eye injuries checked out straight away after she was ‘moments away from going blind’ following an accident at a hotel.
The television presenter, 61, was left with a wounded eye when she accidentally hit it with a curtain cord and, after putting off seeking medical treatment, was warned she could have lost her vision if she’d left it any longer.
‘If you sustain ANY injury to your eye go and get it checked out immediately, I did after a week then was literally rushed into an operating room and due to the expertise of vitreoretinal surgeon Chien Wong at @ocl_vision I live to fight another day.
Also mentioned in: Express, StokeSentinel, MyLondon News, Mirror, OK UK
Talking exclusively to Express.co.uk about the dangers of contact lenses and inflamed cornea, doctor Romesh Angunawela, consultant eye surgeon and founding partner at OCL Vision said: “Contact lens related eye problems are a common reason for people to attend eye casualty and Kate Garraway has experienced this first-hand.
Overwearing contact lenses can lead to inflammation of the surface of the cornea, called keratitis. The cornea is the clear window of the eye on which a contact lens rests. This can cause pain, redness, light sensitivity, a foreign body sensation and excessive tearing. People should not persist with contact lens wear if any of these symptoms occur”.
One of the UK’s top consultants in corneal transplant, cataract, lens and laser eye surgery, Ms Laura de Benito, has become the latest eminent surgeon to join the fast-growing independent eye clinic, OCL Vision.
Ms de Benito has served as a consultant surgeon at a series of international centres of excellence in eye health for more than a decade and a half. After graduating top of her year at medical school in Valencia, Spain, she gained a PhD with honours for her thesis on corneal wound healing.
Also mentioned in: LaingBuisson News
Dr Allon Barsam, Consultant ophthalmic surgeon at OCL Vision comments:
“There’s a growing fear that lockdown life – in which millions of adults and children spent hours focusing on a small screen at home – took a toll on many people’s eyesight.
“Prolonged use of computer screens, tablets and smartphones has long been regarded as a risk factor for myopia. But this new analysis shows just how high the risk is, and as the use of such devices mushrooms, makes some stark predictions for the long-term impact on people’s eyesight around the world.
NHS hospitals in England have reported increased wait times for cataract surgery procedures, with an 84% increase from 2019 to 2021, according to a press release from OCL Vision.
On average, patients at the reporting hospitals waited more than 9 months from the time of their referral until surgery. The longest reported wait time was 94 weeks at King’s College Hospital, while the shortest wait time was 10 weeks at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.
Also mentioned in: Optician Online, Optometry Today
Researchers are still coming up with new approaches to detect dementia years before it is diagnosed. A “simple and inexpensive” eye exam, according to Doctor Shahram Kashani, consultant eye surgeon at the OCL Vision clinic, may detect the onset of dementia.
An independent eye clinic in London, OCL Vision, is using technology to help patients with the important aftercare following surgery. The smartphone app called ‘DropAdrop’ has been launched by OCL Vision to help people remember to take essential eye drops, either as part of surgery aftercare or to treat various eye conditions.
The launch is part of a wider trend we are seeing where the healthcare industry is harnessing the power of technology to help patients with more simple tasks that are often overlooked.
In the United Kingdom, most health care and all formalized residency and fellowship training occurs in the National Health Service (NHS). This system, funded by the UK government, is the seventh largest employer in the world with a workforce of around 1.4 million people. All medical care in the NHS is free to patients, and it is not possible to supplement NHS care with private add-ons. For this reason, almost all refractive surgery, including cataract surgery with premium IOLs, occurs outside of the NHS in the private sector. – Mr Allon Barsam
The Eye Studio is working in partnership with eye surgeon Ali Mearza, who carries out laser surgery at his Harley St practice and meets patients for follow-up appointments in his Chiswick office.
Ali Mearza is a consultant opthalmic surgeon who specialises in laser eye surgery – cataract surgery, corneal surgery and vision correction. While his main clinic, OCL Vision, is in New Cavendish St, in the Harley St enclave of medical specialists, he keeps an office in Chiswick because it’s much more convenient for patients from west London to come there for follow up appointments.
A handy smartphone app called ‘DropAdrop’ has been launched by the independent eye clinic, OCL Vision, to help people remember to take essential eye drops, either as part of surgery aftercare or to treat various eye conditions.
DropAdrop works by sending users detailed reminders via smartphone notifications that give instructions on what eye drops are required, as well as the correct dosage.
The app was initially designed to complement OCL Vision’s aftercare of patients undergoing ophthalmic surgery, such as laser eye surgery, lens and cataract surgery; but it has now been updated to benefit any patient as a drop reminder app.
Also mentioned in: Threat.Technology, Neuroptometry
“If you spot any problems with your child’s eyes or vision, then you should visit an optician or GP to deal with the matter promptly before the condition exacerbates. The optician or GP will then refer you to a specialist paediatric ophthalmologist for further management as needed.”
– Ali Mearza, Ophthalmic Consultant and Co-founder of OCL Vision commented
“The ageing process seldom spares your eyesight. As you age, it’s normal for your vision to suffer, although to what extent and in what way varies between individuals. Presbyopia – when the eyes struggle to focus on things that are close up – is very common and typically starts once you reach your 40s or 50s. If you find yourself holding a restaurant menu at arm’s length so you can read it, this may be the case. Once you are in your 50s, you may also start to suffer with floaters”.
– Dr Lorenzo Motta, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at OCL Vision
The Chase presenter, Bradley Walsh, recently revealed he is having surgery to help treat his blepharitis. What is the condition and what are the three main signs warning of your risk?
Dr Susan Sarangapani, consultant surgeon at OCL Vision added: “The condition is caused when the meibomian glands within the eyelids become blocked or damaged and stop producing crucial oils that help your tears hydrate the eyes effectively.
“This dry eye can lead to inflamed eyelids, which in turn can cause crusting around the eyelids, followed by itching and burning.
Private ophthalmic clinic OCL Vision has expanded its staff following a 50% jump in treatment numbers since the beginning of 2021.
The company has attributed the rise in patient numbers to ‘pent-up demand’ created by ‘lengthy waits for NHS treatments’. Juliet Hicks, chief operating officer at OCL, said: ‘With the NHS still under immense pressure from the coronavirus pandemic, the private healthcare sector has stepped up to provide a vital safety valve.’
Private ophthalmic clinic OCL Vision has appointed Alby Wakeling as head of operations, as well as six additional hires across the clinic’s nursing, operations and finance teams.
These appointments are the result of surging patient demand, which saw a 50% increase in patient admissions between January and June 2021.
Wakeling has almost two decades worth of experience at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, where he was most recently general manager of ophthalmology.
If you wear glasses, you’ll know that it can get a bit frustrating and limiting at times, which is why you may be considering laser eye surgery so you can ditch the specs. But what does it actually entail? And how much will it set you back?
We spoke to Ali Mearza, consultant laser eye surgeon at OCL Vision to find out more.
The first partial solar eclipse in over six years will be visible on Thursday when the sun will be covered by a New Moon. The event will last a couple of hours and will be easily seen by anyone with solar eclipse glasses, or even something as simple as a kitchen colander. It is the first solar eclipse to be visible since 2015 and its peak will occur just after 11am BST.
However, those wishing to gaze upon the spectacle have been given an urgent warning over doing so.
According to Dr Chien Wong, a consultant retinal surgeon at OCL Vision, looking directly at a solar eclipse could cause irreversible eye damage. Dr Wong said: “Solar eclipses can be a breathtaking spectacle. But if you’re not careful, viewing them can put your eyes at serious risk”.
Young adults in the UK are typically spending £293 a year on correcting their vision with glasses and contacts, over £100 more than people over the age of 35. The research comes from OCL Vision, which has commissioned the research into the state of eye health in the country.
The findings show that around 38 million people in the UK require glasses or contact lenses to correct their vision, but attitudes towards eye care vary significantly between different age groups.
Also covered in: Optician Online
A year of working from home has enabled six million commuters to save £145 per month on average, enough to pay for life-changing surgery and be free of glasses and contact lenses. That’s according to new research by the OCL Vision eye clinics.
The research highlighted that there are around 38 million people in the UK who need glasses or contact lenses to correct their vision. Further analysis reveals contact lens wearers spend £2 billion per year on lenses, cleaning solution and an annual eye exam. Glasses wearers spend even more; £7 billion a year on frames, lenses, cleaning products and eye tests.
– Allon Barsam, MD, MA, FRCOphth, implanted the world’s first RayOne EMV IOL. In this supplement, learn from Mr. Barsam and other leading surgeons who have extensive clinical experience with Rayner’s presbyopia-correcting IOL options on how to achieve excellent long-term visual outcomes.
– Tear Film Therapy Is Integral to Pre-and Postoperative Patient Care, says Purvi Thomson, Lead Optometrist at OCL Vision.
One of the UK’s leading independent eye clinics, Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL), has launched a comprehensive new vitreoretinal service that makes use of the latest surgical technology to help deliver sight-saving treatments. The treatments offered by the new service includes emergency, same-day surgical treatment for patients suffering retinal detachment.
Ophthalmic surgeon and director of eye care clinic OCL Vision Allon Barsam says in the past year laser vision correction treatments at the clinic have increased by 20 per cent. “Lots of my patients have come to me because they have found it challenging going about their day-to-day business while wearing a mask with glasses,” he says.
Recently, he’s operated on fellow eye surgeons, for whom good vision is obviously imperative, intensive care doctors who have struggled with PPE and glasses, and a fire chief, who has recommended that the rest of the glasses wearers in his team get lasered too.
Ali Mearza, Ophthalmic Consultant and Co-founder of Ophthalmic Consultants of London commented: “More often than not, your child may just need a pair of glasses to help them see clearer and reduce eye strain. If they’re short sighted, then glasses will be required for clearer distance vision and if they’re long sighted, then glasses will reduce strain when doing near work. More serious problems are rare but outcomes are better if problems are picked up and managed as early as possible.”
OCL Vision has launched a vitreoretinal service that included emergency, same-day surgical treatment for patients who have a retinal detachment.
Consultant surgeons Chien Wong and Lorenzo Motta led the service, which provided elective treatments for conditions such as eye floaters, epiretinal membrane and macular hole.
One of the UK’s leading independent eye clinics, OCL Vision, has announced that their London clinic has launched a comprehensive new vitreoretinal service that includes emergency, same-day surgical treatment for patients suffering retinal detachment.
The emergency service, which aims to treat retinal detachment patients within hours, is being offered by OCL’s team of expert vitreoretinal surgeons.
Led by consultant surgeon Mr Chien Wong, the vitreoretinal clinic offers a full range of elective treatments for conditions including eye floaters, epiretinal membrane and macular hole.
Considering, stress levels for many of us have been at an all time high during the coronavirus pandemic, it makes sense that more of us could be suffering from eye twitches right now.
“Eye twitches are surprisingly common and have become more so during lockdown,” explains Dr Susan Sarangapani, eye surgeon at OCL Vision.
“The twitching sensation is caused by the involuntary spasming of the small muscles around the eye. In the most serious cases, it can be so bad that the patient can’t even open their eye.
“If you’ve ever wondered how cutting an onion makes your eyes stream so quickly, it’s because there’s a powerful chemical reaction going on,” explains Dr Lorenzo Motta, consultant eye surgeon at Ophthalmic Consultants of London.
“Onions naturally contain sulphur, and when you slice into them, enzymes in the onion’s flesh react with this sulphur to produce sulphuric acid.
“This acid is volatile, meaning it can easily vaporise and find its way into your eyes.
“Your eyes respond to the acid by producing tears, in what’s widely assumed to be your body’s effort to water down the acid.”
Dr Romesh Angunawela, award-winning eye surgeon and founding
partner at Ophthalmic Consultants of London, shares his top tips to limit the impact of screens on your little one’s eyes.
Because blue light has the shortest wavelengths and highest frequencies, it’s more prone to scatter, causing blurriness.
“Blue light adds haziness to things you’re seeing. So if you spend a lot of time on a screen, you tend to get something called screen fatigue,” says Angunawela. “Your eyes are struggling to focus, which can tire them out.”
Huge Backlog, a Rise in Demand
Ali A. Mearza, MBBS, FRCOphth
London, United Kingdom
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020, our practice was forced to close as part of the UK national lockdown. Like many other private health care organizations, ours faced an uncertain future. With ongoing business costs, it was hard to see how our practice would survive unless patients had confidence that they could visit our practice and receive treatment safely when the lockdown was lifted.
Recent research from Specsavers found 42% of people have noticed their sight deteriorate since March 2020 – when the first lockdown came into place.
Dr Allon Barsam, a laser eye surgeon at Ophthalmic Consultants of London, says it’s important you have enough light in your room. He says: ‘Make sure you work in a well-lit room. Whether you perch your laptop on the kitchen table, work from the sofa or your bed, your eyes will find it easier to focus when there is plenty of light.’
In response to the findings, Express.co.uk spoke to Dr Ali Mearza at Ophthalmic Consultants of London.
He said: “Among the lesser-known problems patients have encountered are photophobia and sore or itchy eyes.
“Photophobia is a form of light sensitivity and is often linked to headaches. Sufferers experience discomfort or pain in the eyes, especially when first turning on a light.”
As Dr Mearza reports, studies have shown having sore eyes is the most common eye symptom of coronavirus.
Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL) has recruited Chien Wong to join its team of eye surgeons.
Wong is the seventh consultant to join the surgical team at OCL and its first vitreoretinal surgeon.
He will treat patients with a range of conditions including eye floaters, epiretinal membrane, macular hole, retinal detachment and diabetic retinal disease.
Wong is a consultant ophthalmologist at three major NHS hospitals in London; Moorfields Eye Hospital, The Royal Free Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.
Diabetes patients are more at risk of developing blurred vision and changes to the eyes, according to Ophthalmic Consultants of London’s retinal surgeon, Mr Shahram Kashani.
When the condition is advanced, it can cause abnormal blood vessels to develop at the back of the eye.
These can lead to a number of complications, including floaters.
Floaters are dark spots in your vision that may appear as black or grey specks or strings.
“We perform on average 4.5 million cataract surgeries per year, and up to 97% of us use postoperative antibiotics. That comes out to several million days per year of antibiotic exposure to bugs, which can then develop resistance,” Ali Mearza, MBBS, FRCOphth, consultant ophthalmic surgeon and director of Ophthalmic Consultants of London, said.
In a campaign launched in October, Santen joined forces with ophthalmologists in the fight against antibiotic resistance to raise awareness about this global health priority and to promote actions for the sustainable and effective use of antibiotics.
Dr Ali Mearza says that the poor fitment of the ultra-bright lights can easily “blind” drivers, especially those with existing eye conditions, increasing the risk of an accident.
He believes that the law around vehicles is outdated and needs to be urgently revised to take into account the third-party LED and Xenon conversion kits widely sold online.
“More often than not, your child may just need a pair of glasses to help them see clearer and reduce eye strain,” says Ali Mearza, ophthalmic consultant and co-founder of Ophthalmic Consultants of London.
“If they’re short-sighted, then glasses will be required for clearer distance vision and if they’re long-sighted, then glasses will reduce strain when doing near work. More serious problems are rare but outcomes are better if problems are picked up and managed as early as possible.”
Mearza adds: “If you spot any problems with your child’s eyes or vision, then you should visit an optician or GP to deal with the matter promptly before the condition exacerbates. The optician or GP will then refer you to a specialist paediatric ophthalmologist for further management as needed.”
“Eye strain is the feeling of discomfort people can get after a protracted period of focusing on something close up,” explains Dr Allon Barsam, laser eye surgeon at Ophthalmic Consultants of London. “It tends to be felt in the eyes, but it can feel like a headache too.”
While it can be very uncomfortable, Barsam says that the good news is it’s not necessarily a sign of a medical condition, and it usually fades fairly quickly once you give your eyes a break.
Lockdown life can make us more susceptible to it too. “With lots of us working from home, and focusing on a computer screen in a room that wasn’t designed for work – such as a lounge or a kitchen – many of us are forcing our eyes to work harder than usual and this makes eye strain more likely,” says Barsam.
Delivering improved visual outcomes for patients for more than a century, Rayner is well placed to understand the challenges that can be experienced following eye surgery – including dry eye disease (DED).
Up to 75 per cent of cataract patients suffer from DED (1), a condition that alters the thickness and quality of the tear film, shifting the refractive power of the cornea by up to 2 diopters and seriously affecting visual quality (2, 3).
Rayner created the AEON tear film therapy family to help physicians treat ocular surface disease (OSD), both before and after surgery.
The number of patients being treated at the private Ophthalmic Consultants of London clinic has surged by more than a third (34.8%) compared to this time last year.
The clinic, which specialises in eye surgery, has seen demand surge after the Covid-19 pandemic forced the NHS to cancel thousands of ‘non-essential’ operations, adding a huge backlog to already long waiting lists.
A private eye clinic in London has seen its admissions increase by more than a third as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Ophthalmic Consultants of London, in Marylebone, saw 35% more patients between July and September 2020 than it did in the same period last year.
The clinic, which specialises in eye surgery, is putting its increase in patients down to the cancellation of ‘non-essential’ NHS appointments as a result of the pandemic.
Antibiotic resistance develops naturally through gene mutations. However, overuse and misuse of antibiotics have accelerated this problem. We can help to manage this issue by selecting a prophylactic therapy following cataract surgery with the minimum duration, that kills the likely known pathogens and provides appropriate prophylactic rather than therapeutic doses,” Mr. Ali Mearza, Ophthalmic Consultants of London & Imperial College NHS Trust, UK
Speaking to the Express.co.uk, Dr Shahram Kashani, retinal surgeon at Ophthalmic Consultants of London, explained: “During the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, small blood vessels in the retina, known as capillaries, become dilated and start to leak fluid which builds up in the central part of the retina, an area known as the macula.
“As fluid builds up in the macula, the healthy cells become starved of oxygen, ultimately causing vision problems.”
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Romesh Angunwela at Ophthalmic Consultants of London explains what else you can do to minimise the effects of blue light:
Using a blue filter on your smartphone, tablet, or computer will reduce the amount of evening blue light exposure. All the main electronic device manufacturers now incorporate this function into devices. The latest generation lens implants used for cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange surgery also include blue/violet wavelength filters to reduce the harmful rays emitted by devices. This does not affect the perception of blue colour.
“Ali Mearza, Director of Ophthalmic Consultants of London has supported the idea of introducing a second driving test.
He said: “Driving with poor eyesight is very dangerous – not just for yourself, but also for your passengers, other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.”
“Many of us are finding that our eyes are paying the price for us wearing a face mask every day,” says Dr Sally Ameen, consultant eye surgeon at Ophthalmic Consultants of London.
“If you wear glasses, you may find yourself seeing the world through the fog of misted up lenses – as the moisture from your exhaled breath condenses on the glass.
Using a blue filter on your smart phone, tablet, or computer will reduce the amount of evening blue light exposure. All the main electronic device manufacturers now incorporate this function into devices. The latest generation lens implants used for cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange surgery also include blue/violet wavelength filters to reduce the harmful rays emitted by devices. This does not affect the perception of blue colour.
Schools throughout England will reopen subsequent week for the primary time in months, with a wave of restrictions to allow social distancing and secure studying. Children had been studying from dwelling as lockdown measures stopped education, with solely the youngsters of key staff allowed to attend schools.
Now consultants are warning there may be one thing college students shouldn’t skip after they return to college.
Ali Mearza, Ophthalmic Consultant and Co-founder of Ophthalmic Consultants of London said: “More often than not, your child may just need a pair of glasses to help them see clearer and reduce eye strain.
“If they’re short sighted, then glasses will be required for clearer distance vision and if they’re long sighted, then glasses will reduce strain when doing near work.
“More serious problems are rare but outcomes are better if problems are picked up and managed as early as possible.”
Mr Mearza concluded: “If you spot any problems with your child’s eyes or vision, then you should visit an optician or GP to deal with the matter promptly before the condition exacerbates.
Some patients with high cholesterol may find that they have a blue/white ring appear in their eyes.
The ring, which is officially known as an arcus, indicates high triglyceride levels, according to Ophthalmic Consultants of London’s retinal surgeon, Mr Shahram Kashani.
The ring will be grey, and tends to start at the top and bottom of the iris, before forming a complete circle.
The ring is believed to be a fatty deposit, which hints that the body is overloaded with fat – a risk factor for heart disease.
“The eyes can reveal if a person has a high level of cholesterol,” Kashani told Express Health.
People who earn above a certain amount should be expected to pay for some form of private healthcare, a leading eye surgeon has claimed.
Allon Barsam, co-owner of Ophthalmic Consultants, said the impact of COVID-19 on the NHS could be eased with greater private funding.
The health service is still working at 50% and if more people paid for elective procedures it would free up availability, he said.
Barsam told The Independent: “The government should insist that more people have private medical insurance to reduce the burden on the NHS and provide stimulus in the private healthcare sector.
“At the moment only 10% of Britons have PMI and we should aim for 20%. The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the problems in the NHS.”
Dr Allon Barsam of Ophthalmic Consultants says the Government must insist more people pay for private healthcare to help the NHS
Dr Allon Barsam, co-owner of Ophthalmic Consultants of London in the Harley Street area, said the NHS is still working at 50 per cent of capacity and that more people should pay for private services to free up availability.
“The government should insist that more people have private medical insurance to reduce the burden on the NHS and provide stimulus in the private healthcare sector. At the moment only 10 per cent of Britons have private medical insurance and we should aim for 20 per cent. The Covid-19 pandemic has accentuated the problems in the NHS.”
Mr Romesh Angunawela, Founding Partner, Ophthalmic Consultants of London, enlightens us on the role of technology in ophthalmology as part of the NHS’s efforts to tackle the COVID backlog
Ophthalmology was already the NHS’s most in-demand outpatient speciality even before COVID-19 hit. In the most recent year for which data is available, 2018-19, patients were seen by NHS ophthalmology specialists 7.8 million times in England alone.
Such huge demand meant pre-COVID ophthalmology clinics were busy affairs. In a typical NHS hospital, a team of four to five doctors would hold two clinics a day, seeing up to 100 patients between them.
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic transforms the way optometrists practise, OT is sharing the experiences of optometrists across the UK and beyond. If you, or a colleague, is interested in sharing your story please get in touch by email.
Consultant ophthalmic surgeon Susan Sarangapani on starting a new job the week before lockdown and spotting eyelid cancer by video consultation:
“I am a consultant at Luton and Dunstable Hospital and an oculoplastics and lacrimal surgeon at Ophthalmic Consultants London (OCL). I feel it is important to contribute and give back, especially in our current circumstances with COVID-19. We have all had to change our roles slightly and be flexible.
COVID-19 has affected us in so many different ways. I carry out surgery and reconstruction in patients with cancer. That needed to continue even during lockdown because it is a very time-sensitive treatment. I carry out two operating lists a week at the moment at Spire Harpenden Hospital, which is a private hospital, to make sure urgent eye cases and cancer cases can still get treatment in a timely way.”
Dementia can relate to any number of symptoms associated with brain damage. Memory loss is one of the defining features of brain decline. It usually begins with simple errors, such as forgetting where a person left their house keys.
In the later stages, memory loss can become all-consuming, causing a person to forget fundamental details, such as their relationship to loved ones.
Focusing on memory loss is important because it is one of the main warning signs, but it is not the only warning sign, as Sally Ameen, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Ophthalmic Consultants of London, told Express.co.uk. Changes in a person’s vision can also signal dementia. Ameen explained: “The eye is like a camera system that captures images, and these are then sent to the brain to be processed.”
When you’re a busy mum, it helps to wake up bright-eyed – however, too much alcohol can have the opposite effect. It makes the blood vessels in the eyes widen, allowing more blood pass through them, so they become more visible.
Susan Sarangapani, ophthalmic surgeon at Ophthalmic Consultants of London, says it can be hard to see well the next morning too.
“Too much alcohol can affect the way the muscles in the eyes work together and react to signals in the brain, leading to blurry vision,” she tells Sun Online.
Dr Ali Mearza, a consultant eye surgeon at Ophthalmic Consultants of London, told Express Online that the eyes and face are “weak spots” for Covid-19 infection – “not so much from direct contact with other people as our tendency to touch our own faces,” he said.
“Face masks can protect others if you are carrying the virus, but they cannot be a complete barrier against you catching the virus.”
A 47-year-old female teacher presents for a consultation. BCVA is 20/25 OD with a spherical equivalent refraction of +9.25 D, and 20/20 OS with a spherical equivalent refraction of +8.75 D. The patient requires a reading addition of +1.00 D for N5 near visual acuity. She currently wears contact lenses for distance and reading glasses as needed.
The patient desires independence from glasses and contact lenses. IOL powers are calculated to be 37.00 D OD and 35.00 D OS, which are not standard powers. The patient cannot afford custom multifocal IOLs. How would you proceed?
—Case prepared by Romesh Angunawela, BM, MD, FRCOphth, FRCS, Cert LRS
Oculoplastic surgeon Susan Sarangapani, who specialises in cosmetic and reconstructive eyelid work, has joined Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL).
Currently clinical director of ophthalmology at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Miss Sarangapani is the sixth consultant to join OCL, a partnership of some of the UK’s foremost eye surgeons – who between them have world-class expertise in all aspects of vision correction, cataract and corneal surgery, as well as the treatment of glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Doctor Allon Barsam, consultant eye surgeon and founder of Ophthalmic Consultants of London, calls attention to the unexplored devastation behind the NHS virus frontlines.
“It is one of the eeriest signals of impending disaster. Tsunami survivors often report that in the minutes before the destructive wave hit, the sea went out, leaving the coast weirdly, menacingly, silent.
Away from the NHS virus frontline, this is the current situation in many parts of the UK’s National Health Service. All non-urgent operations have been cancelled while NHS Trusts divert resources to tackle the pandemic. Outpatient units are deserted, and even Accident and Emergency departments have seen patient admissions fall sharply”.
Leading oculoplastic surgeon Susan Sarangapani has become the sixth consultant to join the Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL).
The OCL is a group of some of the UK’s premier eye surgeons that concentrates expertise in vision correction, cataract and corneal surgery and treatment of glaucoma and macular degeneration. It is the only surgeon-owned private eye care facility in London.
Sarangapani is the clinical director of ophthalmology at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and is an expert in oculoplastics, plastic surgery around eyes, and orbital and lacrimal surgery.
Sally answers eye-health related questions from readers:
1)”My elderly father has been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration. Will that mean he will eventually lose his vision?”
2)” I’ve been thinking of getting laser eye surgery. Are there any risks involved?”
Read on for Sally’s answers!
They’re not just a window into your soul – they can reveal insights into your wellbeing. Eye surgeon Romesh Angunawela reveals what your eyes tell you about your health.
Romesh Angunawela’s advice on boosting sight and keeping eyes healthy. Key advice for looking after your eyes is a healthy, well-balanced diet, not smoking and protecting from sun damage.
Sean Toman sought private treatment from Allon Barsam, co-founder and director at Ophthalmic Consultants of London, in the hope of improving his vision in time for his wedding in July last year. Allon used advanced laser eye surgery to restore his sight in one eye, removing all the cloudiness. Sean had treatment in two parts; the first eye in December 2018 and the second in March last year.
Retinal specialist at Ophthalmic consultants of London, Shah Kashani spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to discuss Libby’s condition. Shah said: “Stargardt disease affects around 1 in 8,000 – 10,000 people. Despite its rarity, it is the most common inherited childhood and adulthood macular dystrophy. Macula is part of the retina and is located at the back of our eye. It is responsible for all of our central vision and most of our colour vision despite only being slightly bigger than a pinhead.”
Romesh Angunawela, an eye surgeon at Ophthalmic Consultants of London, says it’s not just skin that can be affected by blue light. He tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Blue light carries more energy to the retina and macula – the area at the centre of the retina – which has prompted some ophthalmic scientists to suggest it could increase the risk of developing age related macular degeneration.’
“What excites me most about my involvement with new IOL technologies is not that my practice offers the latest lenses, but rather being able to say that we can improve and enhance patients’ visual experiences and outcomes. I am, therefore, selective about which new IOLs I offer to my patients, and I choose only IOLs that I feel will provide them with the best opportunity to achieve the vision that they expect after cataract surgery.” – Allon Barsam
“Consultant eye surgeon, Shahram Kashani, who specialises in medical retinal disorders and inflammatory eye disease treatment, has joined the team at Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL).
Kashani brings his skills in cataract surgery, intravitreal anti VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) injections, intravitreal steroid implants as well as anterior and posterior segment laser treatment to the clinic”.
BY ALLON BARSAM, MD, MA, FRCOphth
“My first-line method of choice for enhancing premium IOLs is LASIK, as long as the ocular surface is reasonably healthy. If the ocular surface is not optimized and we believe we can improve it, we often treat the patient’s ocular surface first, before carrying out the LASIK. If the patient had a highly hyperopic or a very highly myopic refractive correction, I would choose an alternative enhancement method, but those conditions are fairly rare”.
The journalist formerly known as Richard ‘Four Eyes’ Ferrer now has better-than 20/20 vision thanks to the latest innovations in laser eye surgery
‘I booked an appointment with Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL), a Harley Street surgery with 100 percent five-star reviews, opened in 2018 by top surgeons Romesh Angunawela, Ali Mearza and my guy, Allon Barsam. They have 55 years’ experience and 20,000 successful operations between them.’
Written by Romesh Angunawela – ‘Good eyesight is something we all take for granted, until it goes. Perhaps this is why eye health is something that is so often overlooked in the roster of health advice columns.
We regularly read about what to eat for a healthy heart or gut, there are endless features on how to protect your skin and slow the ageing process and repeated warnings about the risks posed by modern lifestyle factors such as air pollution, stress or UV rays to human health but the eyes are rarely mentioned.’
‘Common symptoms of physical damage to your eyes from phone or computer screens (or ‘screen eyes’, as it has been dubbed) can be eye strain, tired eyes, irritation and dry eyes, with the long-term effects still yet to be entirely determined.
Allon Barsam, a leading consultant eye surgeon and co-founder of Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL), explains the link: ‘The lower resolution and varying brightness of letters and images on a screen, with bright centres and blurred edges, mean the eyes have to adjust multiple times to focus properly overworking the eye muscles.’
[A] significant problem [for employees] is dry eyes, says Ali Mearza, director and founding partner at eyecare centre Ophthalmic Consultants of London.
While people naturally blink 15 to 20 times a minute, when focusing on a screen, this figure drops to between one and three times a minute, which leads to eyes becoming irritated.
Three refractive surgeons used their collective experiences to launch a new refractive surgery center.
‘We ophthalmologists operate on arguably the most precious human organ—the eye—but learning refractive surgery requires a real shift in the mindset we learned in medical school. During ophthalmology training, we were taught to operate on and treat eyes with a problem or pathology; in refractive surgery, however, we operate on healthy eyes with the aim of reducing patients’ need for corrective glasses or contact lenses. New levels of expertise, skill, and understanding are required to succeed.’
The number of patients with age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma is set to grow in line with an ageing population. OT speaks with Hemal Mehta and Sally Ameen for insight on the latest treatment approaches.
‘In the UK, pterygium growths are relatively uncommon because of the lack of strong sunlight, with 1 per cent of the population, or around 670,000 people, affected,’ says Ali Mearza, a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and Ophthalmic Consultants of London, a private clinic.
Three of the UK’s leading eye surgeons have teamed up to launch a new clinic in Harley Street Medical Area Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL), specialising in laser and lens vision correction surgery.
The private clinic based in New Cavendish Street has been set up by NHS consultant surgeons Ali Mearza, Allon Barsam and Romesh Angunawela – all specialists in laser eye surgery, cataract and lens replacement surgery and corneal transplantation.
With the average Britain spending seven hours plus in front of a screen each day, it’s no surprise that digital eye strain and poor eye health is on the rise. Here, consultant ophthalmic surgeon and director Allon Barsam, reveals the twelve things you should know to keep your peepers in tip-top condition.
Ophthalmic surgeon Ms Sally Ameen, who specialises in cataract surgery and glaucoma treatment, has joined Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL) as a salaried associate.
Operating also at London’s Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, she joins the three founding directors surgeons Mr Ali Mearza, Mr Allon Barsam and Mr Romesh Angunawela; all specialists in laser eye surgery, cataract and lens replacement surgery and corneal transplantation.
Consultant eye surgeon Sally Ameen has joined the team at Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL).
Ameen, who specialises in cataract surgery and glaucoma treatment at London’s Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, will work with founding directors of OCL and NHS consultant surgeons Ali Mearza, Allon Barsam and Romesh Angunawela.
Patients implanted with the RayOne Trifocal IOL – which has the same diffractive profile as the Sulcoflex lens – can also achieve a high level of spectacle independence, said Allon Barsam MA (Cantab), MBBS, FRCOphth, who is a Director and Partner at Ophthalmic Consultants of London, UK.
In a study in which Dr Barsam implanted RayOne Trifocal IOLs in 36 eyes of 18 patients, the average uncorrected binocular logMAR visual acuity was -0.07 for distance and 0.16 logMAR for near one month following surgery. In addition, 93% of patients achieved an intermediate visual acuity of N5 or better. Although all patients experienced mild night-time halos, none were disabling and all patients were happy with the lens.
‘This phenomenon is more common in Caucasian babies,’ says consultant eye surgeon Allon Barsam, of Ophthalmic Consultants of London.
‘Levels of melanin, the pigment which gives eyes their colour, increase gradually after birth, leading to baby-blue eyes turning green or hazel or brown.’
Consultant founders of a new clinic say they aim to take personalised eye care to a new level of professionalism and provide a model for collaborative working among the UK’s top eye surgeons.
The three eye surgeons have teamed up to launch a new clinic, Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL), specialising in laser and lens vision correction surgery.
“Most of us are aware of the risks air pollution poses to our heart and lungs – what is less well known is the damage that air pollution does to our eyes,” says [Allon] Barsam.
“The heightened levels of air pollution we now regularly see in London increases the risk of dry eye disease which, as well as causing major discomfort and irritation, can lead to serious long-term eye problems, particularly worrying when associated with allergy in children.
“Sunglasses are much more than just a fashion accessory – they are vital to maintaining healthy eyes, whatever the time of year”, says Ali Mearza, consultant eye surgeon and co-founder of Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL).
“The most important role of sunglasses is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultra-violet (UV) light which is invisible to humans but can wreak real damage to our eyesight as well as our skin. UV rays are emitted by the sun whatever the time of year, winter, spring or summer.
Romesh Angunawela, a consultant eye surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital and co-founder of Ophthalmic Consultants of London, agrees: ‘Blue wavelength light from digital devices carries more energy to the retina and in particular, the macula [responsible for central vision].
‘Some ophthalmic scientists have suggested that this could increase the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Long term studies are required to critically assess this proposed risk.’
Three of the UK’s leading eye surgeons have teamed up to launch a new clinic, Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL), specialising in laser and lens vision correction surgery.
The private clinic has been set up by NHS consultant surgeons Ali Mearza, Allon Barsam and Romesh Angunawela, all specialists in laser eye surgery, cataract and lens replacement surgery and corneal transplantation.
To support its eminent surgeons, the clinic has invested in the most advanced combination of laser surgery and scanning equipment found in the UK.
Three UK eye surgeons have joined forces to launch Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL) to specialise in laser and lens vision correction surgery.
NHS consultant surgeons Ali Mearza, Allon Barsam and Romesh Angunawela have set up the private clinic to offer a range of eye-related surgical procedures including cataract surgery, LASIK and LASEK laser eye surgery and refractive lens exchange surgery.
A new private eye surgery clinic has been launched in central London by three of the UK’s leading NHS surgeons. Based in New Cavendish Street, Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL) will provide a wide range of eye-related surgical procedures including cataract surgery, LASIK and LASEK laser eye surgery, refractive lens exchange and other vision correction
Three of the UK’s leading eye surgeons have teamed up to launch a new clinic, Ophthalmic Consultants of London (OCL), specialising in laser and lens vision correction surgery.
The private clinic has been set up by NHS consultant surgeons Ali Mearza, Allon Barsam and Romesh Angunawela, all specialists in laser eye surgery, cataract and lens replacement surgery and corneal transplantation.
To support its eminent surgeons, the clinic has invested in the most advanced combination of laser surgery and scanning equipment found anywhere in the UK. With unrivalled surgical expertise and a sophisticated suite of surgical tools, the clinic will offer a fully personalised service for each patient, from the initial consultation to treatment and recovery.