DR BILL NORTJE & ASSOCIATES
Westville Hospital and the new Hillcrest Hospital
DR BILL NORTJE
M.B., Ch.B.(Rhod), F.R.C.S.Ed(Ophth), M.Med (Ophth)
In 2012, he was honoured nationally by his peers with the DJ Wood Award for his contribution to ophthalmology in South Africa.
DR CELESTE STEENBERG
M.B., Ch.B (FS), FC (Ophth) UKZN Opthalmic Surgeon
I started working with Dr Nortje at Westville and Hillcrest Hospital in July 2011.
I have a special interest in lid surgery and aesthetic facial medicine (including Botox and filler treatments).
Age Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a painless disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving.
The lens is the primary focusing mechanism of the eye. As we age, this crystal clear lens becomes cloudy and yellow and looses its elasticity, or ability to change focus. When this occurs, it is called a cataract.
Corneal Cross Linking For Keratoconus
Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory degenerative disease of the cornea characterised by progressive thinning and stretching of the cornea into a cone shape. It occurs in 1 out of 2000 patients between the ages of 10-25 years. 90% of cases are bilateral(occurring in both eyes).
The unusual changes in blood sugar levels resulting from diabetes can affect the lens inside the eye, especially when diabetes is uncontrolled. This can result in blurring of vision which comes and goes over the day, depending on your blood sugar levels.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that involves damage to the optic nerve. This nerve sends visual signals to the brain, where they are processed into what you “see”. No one knows what causes glaucoma, but pressure buildup in the eye is proven to be a major risk factor.
Lasik refers to the procedure where an eye doctor or ophthalmologist uses a laser to reshape the cornea. If you suffer from myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia(farsightedness) or astigmatism (a “rugby ball” shaped cornea resulting in blurry vision) and prefer not to wear glasses or contact lenses, one should consider Lasik eye surgery. It’s simple and effective. It’s been done globally since 1990. About 20 million procedures have been performed worldwide.
Typically, LASIK Surgery procedures are as an out patient procedure in the comfort and convenience of an excimer laser eye surgery suite. After the preparation where eye drops are instilled into your eyes so that you are comfortable, the entire treatment takes about 5 to 7 minutes per eye or approximately 15-20 minutes for both eyes.
Most spectacle and contact lens wearers who are in good health will find that they are probably good candidates for LASIK with certain considerations. Generally, if you are over 18 years of age and have healthy eyes that are free from retinal problems, corneal scars and any other eye disease it is likely that you are suitable. Some patients with thinner than average corneas, dry eyes or who are taking certain medications may not be good candidates. Along with being medically suitable, the best candidates are people with a lifestyle or occupation in which they are dissatisfied with having to wear contact lenses or glasses to see clearly all the time. The only way to definitively find out if you are a good LASIK candidate is to have a examination and consultation with a Dr Nortje so that he will be able to determine if meet all of the criteria for getting good results.
Numbing eye drops are used. Sometimes an oral medication is used to help with relaxation. Don’t worry -no needles or intravenous drugs are used.
LASIK Treatment can be performed on both eyes on the same day. This decreases the troublesome effect of being nearsighted in only one eye between the two treatments. You may elect to have one eye done at a time.
The LASIK treatment itself is painless because we put a few numbing drops in your eyes to make you even more comfortable. You will feel pressure on and around the eye during treatment. With LASIK, some patients may experience a feeling of “something in the eye” for a day or so after treatment.
You will be “awake” but very relaxed. You will not be able to see any of the details of the LASIK treatment. You will see a number of lights, but the images will be blurred.
Yes. Following an initial healing period of two to three months, the effect of the treatment is life-long. That said, you must still continue seeing an Ophthalmologist regularly for routine eye checks in order to maintain your eye health and vision through early detection of any eye problems, conditions or diseases that you may develop as part of the normal aging process or are associated with any other systemic health problems you encounter.
Most patients are usually seen the day following the treatment and then the next week and 3-4 months following the treatment. Some patients require more visits. Remember, we are available 24 hours a day when you have any questions, concerns or need attention.
Typically you can bathe the same day as the treatment but you should not shower for 2 days after the treatment. As always, avoid getting soap or water directly into your eyes. Avoid rubbing your eyes during the first month after surgery.
You should not drive the day of treatment. After that, you may drive when you feel confident that your visual acuity and eye comfort allow you to drive safely.
You may resume wearing eye makeup starting 1-2 weeks after your treatment. We strongly recommend that you purchase new eye makeup, specifically mascara, to avoid potential infection following your treatment.
Non-contact sports can be resumed as soon as you feel capable. Eye protection is always recommended for racquet sports or rough sports where there is a risk of being hit in the eye.
You should stay out of swimming pools for two weeks after your treatment, and rivers, lakes and oceans for four weeks following your treatment.
Most patients experience a feeling of burning or scratchiness. This feeling generally lasts from one to three hours following the treatment. It is not unusual to have a mild dull ache on occasion late in the day of your procedure. Most people feel fine upon awakening if they can take a nap soon after the treatment.
Each patient is different. The eye drop medications cause some blurring, but most patients notice a dramatic improvement even as they leave the office. More than 4 out of 5 patients can pass a driving test without glasses or contact lenses after the treatment.
No, but clear, protective eye shields will be placed over your treated eye(s) following the treatment, and will be removed in our office the next morning. You will continue to wear these eye shields at bedtime for 1 week for protection.
Most patients are back to work by the Monday after treatment. An additional day or two is rarely required before returning to work. If you can we, recommend that you take it easy for a couple of days.
The goal of refractive surgery is to reduce your dependence on glasses and/or contact lenses, but LASIK patients still may benefit from reading glasses or distance glasses when they desire perfect near or distance vision. A nominal percentage of patients wear a thin pair of prescription glasses for night driving.