About our people - Dr Ann Webber

Dr Ann Webber PhD MS FAAO 
BAppSc(Optom)(Hons) 
Grad Cert Oc Ther   
Optometrist



Areas of special interest

Paediatric Optometry
Contact Lens Fitting
Ann has almost 30 years of clinical practice experience and has recently completed a PhD that has explored the effect of amblyopia (lazy eye) in children. She has presented her work at international vision and ophthalmology meetings as well has presenting to optometry conferences in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
Ann studied Optometry in Brisbane and completed her degree at QUT in 1984, graduating with BAppSc(Optom)(Hons) and pursued post-graduate studies at UHCO in Houston, USA, completing a Master of Science in Physiological Optics in 1988. The period in Houston, which provided clinical and research opportunities, proved valuable experience in developing Ann's interest in children's vision and vision research. Ann has recently been awarded a Phd through QLD University of Technology for her research that addressed the impact of lazy eye in children. Ann has also gained fellowship of the American Academy of Optometry.

Ann has had an active role in the Optometrists Association of Australia, serving as both councillor and President, and is currently a member of Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Before this she served as Deputy Chair on the Optometrists Registration Board of Queensland.

Qualifications

PhD Paediatric Amblyopia - Queensland University of Technology
Master of Science Physiological Optics - University of Houston College of Optometry
Bachelor of Applied Science (Optom) (Hon) - Queensland Institute of Technology
Graduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics - Queensland Institute of Technology




Orthokeratology Just what is it?

This week we would like to look at a new area of interest at Clarity Optometrists. 

Orthokeratology (also known as OrthoK, OK, corneal reshaping, corneal refractive therapy (CRT), or vision shaping treatment (VST)) involves gently reshaping the cornea to temporarily modify or eliminate refractive error. OrthoK is an innovative way of wearing contact lenses – custom lenses are worn overnight, temporarily altering the shape of the cornea enough to produce clear, lasting vision after removal and throughout the day.We will post more information on this subject in the next couple of days.

Orthokeratology Society of Oceania 2009.


Why it is important to have your child's vision checked.

CHILDREN’S VISION

Many adults think they have perfect vision and do not know otherwise until they have their eyes examined.  They then discover how much they have been missing out on.  Children have an even more difficult time assessing their own vision.  They lack the benefit of experience and assume that everyone else sees things the same as they do.  If the black board seems a blur they think every one sees it that way. 

Good vision skills can provide a solid foundation for learning.  Research shows that up to 80% of learning information comes via vision.  Reading, spelling, writing, blackboard and computers are among the classroom tasks that require good vision skills.

Most children will have a vision “screening” by the school nurse when they are in grade one.  This check screens for major eye problems but does not replace a comprehensive eye test that may detect difficulty with changing focus, eye co-ordination, reading eye movements and visual information processing or perception skills.

Check list of signs that may indicate a vision problem:

  • An eye seems to turn in or out
  • Frequent blinking
  • Eyes water or sensitive to light
  • Tends to “squint” when trying to concentrate on task
  • Holds reading very close
  • Loses place when reading
  • Poor concentration>
  • Odd head posture
  • Tends to rub eyes>
  • Likes to sit close to TV
  • Headaches
  • Covers one eye when reading
  • Complains of double vision
  • Complains of blurry vision
  • Eyes often red or itchy

When should children have their eyes tested?

Infants can have their first check at 6 months of age.  This eye test is to look for any major eye or vision problem that could interfere with the normal development of the visual system.  A check at this early age is especially important if there is a family history of turned eye or lazy eye.

We next like to check the child during the year they turn 4.  At this age the child is usually starting kindergarten or preschool activities when they are beginning to rely more on their visual skills and hand-eye co-ordination.  Again we are very interested in screening for problems that may contribute to a lazy eye.

At the start of school is the next important milestone period at which to have a child’s eyes checked.  During grades 1 and 2 the child will be starting to learn to read.  Good visual information processing skills are important for this.  As the child progresses through school they need to use efficient reading as a tool for learning.  Eye teaming skills, reading eye movements and accurate focusing are important for sustained, comfortable reading.  We like to review children about every two years while they are at school to check the efficiency of these vision skills.

If a child has a learning difficulty a thorough eye examination is recommended to rule out the possibility of a contributing vision disorder.