From a young age Kieran has understood the importance of vision, with both his father and siblings affected by high myopia. Observing their dependence on glasses and the effect of high myopia on their everyday lives sparked Kieran’s interest in myopia and was one of his key motivators to pursue a career in optometry.
Kieran’s appreciation for his responsibilities as an optometrist was further reinforced when his mother developed acute angle closure. This sudden-onset eye condition is characterised by extremely high pressure inside the eye; if left untreated it can result in glaucoma and total vision loss. Thankfully Kieran’s mother’s condition was promptly diagnosed by an optometrist and she received emergency surgery, however the experience highlighted to Kieran the importance of accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of eye disease, something he always considers when looking after his own patients.
In 2008 Kieran obtained a Jubilee Award from the University of Auckland to study the Bachelor of Optometry degree. The same year he also received a Studylink Step Up scholarship which aimed to encourage undergraduate students to study in the fields of human health, science, and technology.
During his studies at the University of Auckland Kieran developed a particular interest in contact lenses and was captivated by their ability to correct complex eye conditions where traditional spectacles came up short. This became one of Kieran’s highest performing areas of study and in 2011 he received the First in Course Award for ‘Contact Lens Practice’.
While progressing with his own studies, Kieran identified the opportunity to be involved with the education of his fellow peers and future optometrists. In 2012 he began teaching in the undergraduate laboratories on the subject of contact lenses as part of the Bachelor of Optometry degree at the University of Auckland.
Having experienced the turmoil of dry eye disease first hand, Kieran was determined to undertake research into this common but often overlooked chronic eye condition. As his final year research project, supervised by Associate Professor Jennifer P Craig, Kieran analysed lipid-based tear supplements and their effectiveness at treating the signs and symptoms of dry eye caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).
In 2013 Kieran graduated with First Class Honours and relocated to Newcastle, Australia. His experience working there in both an urban and regional setting gave him exposure to a wide variety of patient demographics. He built strong relationships with the local ophthalmologists and had the opportunity to sit in with them at their private clinics as they conducted eye procedures such as cataract and retinal surgery. This allowed Kieran to better understand the process his patients go through when they are referred for such operations.
In 2018 an opportunity arose for Kieran to join the team at Mortimer Hirst. Working alongside other industry leaders in contact lenses, myopia control, and ocular therapeutics was the perfect next step for Kieran.
Kieran is a current member of the New Zealand Association of Optometrists (NZAO) and the Cornea and Contact Lens Society (CCLS). Later this year he will commence study for the Certificate in Advanced Contact Lenses with the Australian College of Optometry (ACO-CACL).
BOPTOM (HONS) l CERTADVCL (ACO) l CAA CERTIFIED EXAMINER