Clinical Specialties

Mortimer Hirst has gained a solid reputation for providing expert clinical care and advice

Mortimer Hirst has therapeutically qualified optometrists capable of prescribing for and managing infections and inflammatory conditions of the eye.

The clinical team continue Mortimer Hirst’s specialised contact lens business whilst expanding their own areas of interest and expertise in complex contact lens fitting and management. They are often involved with premarket evaluations and clinical trials for leading lens manufacturers including Rose K and lecture globally. Their expertise is highly regarded by colleagues within the industry.

Mortimer Hirst is equipped with advanced imaging technology including topographical corneal mapping to help perfect contact lens designs, enabling vision enhancement without compromising corneal integrity.

Specialist areas of expertise include OrthoK (OrthoK.co.nz), also known as Orthokeratology and Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT), Keratoconus, Dry Eye IPL, post-graft care, custom contact lens design, rigid gas permeable lens (RGP) fitting, polishing and adjusting, cosmetic contact lenses for irregular or post traumatic injuries, multifocal contact lenses, Hybrid soft and hard contact lenses and lenses for astigmatism.

For further information on areas of expertise please click on the links listed below:

OrthoK (OrthoK.co.nz) also known as Orthokeratology and Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)

OrthoK (OrthoK.co.nz) is the use of rigid gas permeable contact lenses, normally worn only at night, to improve vision through the reshaping of the cornea. This method can be used as an alternative to eyeglasses, refractive surgery, or for those who prefer not to wear contact lenses during the day. The latter may be due to discomfort from working in air-conditioned or dusty environments, from extended computer usage which reduces blink rates and tear film production or from displacement or loss during sports activities. The latest research has proven the role OrthoK (OrthoK.co.nz) can play in limiting the progression of juvenile onset myopia.

Visit the Mortimer Hirst dedicated OrthoK web site (OrthoK.co.nz)

Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a degenerative disorder of the eye in which structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than its normal gradual curve. Keratoconus can cause substantial distortion of vision, with multiple images, streaking and sensitivity to light. It is typically diagnosed in the patient's adolescent years and attains its most severe state between the ages of 20 and 40. If afflicting both eyes, the deterioration in vision can affect the patient's ability to drive a car or read normal print. In most cases, corrective lenses fitted by a contact lens specialist are effective enough to allow the patient to continue to drive legally and likewise function normally. Further progression of the disease may require surgery, for which several options are available, including intrastromal corneal ring segments, cross-linking, mini asymmetric radial keratotomy and in 25% of cases, corneal transplantation.

Dry Eye IPL

Mortimer Hirst has invested in state of the art IPL equipment to treat Dry Eye Syndrome. Dry Eye Syndrome is a common eye condition affecting more than 20% of the Australian and New Zealand adult population. Dry Eye Syndrome is generally due to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction also called Blepharitis. This results in the important oil layer of our tears being unstable and thinner than it should normally be. This leads to dryness, irritation, redness and blurred vision. The IPL equipment generates an Intense Pulsed Light by producing perfectly calibrated and homogeneously sequenced light pulses. The sculpted pulses are delivered for a time period which is set precisely to stimulate the Meibomian glands in order for them to return to their normal ability to secrete oil. The IPL treatment is medically certified and has scientifically proven efficiency. The results are evident within a couple of hours after the treatment and the effect is cumulative.

Post-Surgical Co-Management with Ophthalmologists

Post Corneal Graft fittings, Post Cataract care and Post-Lasik care. Optometrists play a key role in assessing the suitability of potential patients and follow up of those who have undergone refractive surgery. These roles include patient education, clinical knowledge of suitability for correction, a contemporary understanding of types of intervention, an appropriate mode of referral, as well as clear, ethical, and appropriately structured guidelines for shared or co-management. It is essential that all eye care practitioners are up-to-date with the latest data in regard to increasingly sophisticated techniques.

Topography Assisted Contact Lens design

Each cornea (the clear tissue where a contact lens sits) has its own distinct shape and texture, hence we utilise state of the art equipment to digitally map the cornea. Our Optometrists/contact lens specialist’s use the digital map of the cornea to create individually designed custom contact lenses. Topography assisted contact lens design is utilized for contact lens patients requiring correction of near or distance vision, astigmatism, combined reading and distance vision, Keratoconus, Post-Surgical corrections as well as Orthokeratology lenses. Topography assisted custom contact lenses differ greatly from mass produced lenses. The unique mapping data allows our clinical team to specify the lens diameter and thickness for comfort and adjust the position of the optics for best visual performance. The numerous measurements offer infinite design possibilities ensuring the best possible fit, comfort and vision for each individual’s visual and lifestyle requirements.

Shared Care in Glaucoma

Our optometrists frequently work in a shared care role with an ophthalmologist to the benefit of a mutual patient. This is particularly useful in monitoring patients who have been diagnosed with glaucoma or have been classed as a glaucoma suspect. A series of tests and diagnostic procedures are performed routinely at a patient’s annual eye examination including tonometry (intra-ocular pressure measurement), pachymetry, gonioscopy and optic nerve analysis and photography. Automated perimetry or visual field testing is also conducted at appropriate intervals. Should evidence of medical intervention be indicated such as the use of anti-glaucoma medications or surgery, the optometrist will then make the appropriate arrangements for review with an ophthalmologist.

Cosmetic Contact Lenses for Irregular or post-traumatic eye injuries

Numerous congenital deformities or hereditary ocular disease can give rise to irregular pupil margins which can have a severe impact on both the physical appearance of the eye as well as a patient’s level of light sensitivity. Cosmetic contact lenses can be fitted to serve as a means to control entering light and provide a more regular appearance of the iris and pupil margin. Such lenses can also be utilised to re-create a regular ocular surface appearance for post traumatic scarred corneas. The lens can be customised to match the remaining iris color and pupil size thereby offering these patients the confidence that normality provides.

Multifocal contact lenses

Presbyopia or the inability to accommodate at near is an age related phenomenon that will affect all adults by the 5th decade of life. During this stage most people will require a unique prescription for seeing at close range compared with seeing in the distance. The latest innovation in soft contact lens manufacturing has allowed single contact lenses to enable this dual characteristic thus allowing contact lens wearers to continue to be free of glasses despite their changing visual requirements. Multifocal contact lenses are most commonly monthly disposables however a convenient daily disposable option is now available.

Soft Contact Lens

Soft contact lenses are made of a material that absorbs a certain amount of water making them soft and flexible. This makes the lens easy to adapt to and comfortable on the eye. Soft lenses come in a variety of materials and moisture content. The different properties of each lens are what make each soft contact lens unique in how it may fit or feel on the eye.

Disposable Soft Contact Lens

Disposable soft contact lenses are soft lenses made of varying materials having partial water content. These are designed to be replaced on a regular basis. Lens replacement schedules range from one day to two weeks to monthly. The type of lens best for you will be based on the rate your eyes produce deposits, and how the lenses are worn as well as your needs.

Hydrogel Soft Contact Lens

A hydrogel soft contact lens is a contact lens made from a plastic material that absorbs water. Once the water is absorbed, the lens becomes soft and pliable. The amount of water absorbed is dependent on the material from which the lens is manufactured.

Silicone/Hydrogel Soft Contact Lens

A silicone/hydrogel soft contact lens is a soft lens made from a material that incorporates silicone into the structure of the material. This creates a polymer that allows more oxygen to pass through the lens. This is important from the eye’s point of view! The more air diffusing through the lens creates a healthier environment for the surface of the eye. This is especially important if a contact lens is to be slept in overnight.

Contact lenses for Astigmatism

A soft contact lens that corrects astigmatism has a special design that allows the lens to orient in a stable position on the eye. This stability is important to allow an accurate correction of the astigmatism. This usually works well for small to moderate amounts of astigmatism. For higher levels of astigmatism, a rigid lens corrects more accurately.

Rigid Gas Permeable or Hard Contact Lens

Gas permeable or rigid contact lenses are made from a stiff plastic to correct the vision. This “rigidity” allows the contact lens to correct astigmatism more accurately. This ability to correct astigmatism is the greatest advantage of the rigid lens, in that it will usually provide very crisp and detailed vision. The adaption to wearing this lens may take longer due to the initial awareness it creates.

Hybrid Contact Lens

Hybrid contact lenses are made from a combination of rigid and soft materials combined together. The centre of the lens is rigid and the peripheral skirt is made of a soft hydrogel. This creates a design that has the ability to correct the vision accurately like the rigid lens but with the comfort of a soft lens.

Bifocal Contact Lens

A bifocal contact lens has both the distance correction and near correction combined together. This allows the above “age 40” lens wearer to wear contact lenses for distance and not need reading glasses. These may be available in both soft and rigid contact lens designs.

Semiscleral and Scleral Contact Lens

Scleral contact lenses are large diameter rigid contact lenses designed to fit over the cornea and to rest on the white of the eye (i.e. the sclera). This is used to enhance the fit or comfort of a contact lens. This is usually used in special conditions such as Keratoconus or corneal transplants