Do I need a referral?
No, you do not need a referral to have an eye examination.
How long will my eye examination take?
We allow 45-60 minutes for a comprehensive eye examination although times can be shorter or longer depending on factors such as your age and the complexity of your problems. Follow up visits typically take 15-30 minutes, but again may vary in length.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
Please bring any spectacles, sunglasses and contact lenses that you wear. Also bring a list of any medications you are taking.
How often should I have my eyes examined?
Regular eye and vision examinations are an important part of preventative health care. Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms, so you might not know a problem exists. Most people should have their eyes examined every 2 years, depending on their clinical circumstances. More frequent examination may be required. Our optometrist will advise as to how often you will need to be reassessed at your next visit. It is important to remember that we are not only assessing your vision but also your ocular health.
If you notice sudden changes in your eyes, such as a loss of vision, flashes, dark spots, double vision – you should see an optometrist, GP or ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
Why do you want to know about my general health and medications I am taking?
It is important that we ask you about your general health both past and present as underlying health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can affect your eyes. Certain medications can have visual side effects or may cause headaches therefore it is important that you bring a list of any medications you are taking to your appointment.
What does my private health insurance cover?
If your private health insurance cover includes Extras Cover you may be able to claim some of the cost of spectacles and contact lenses. We are able to directly claim your health fund rebate via our HICAPS terminal. Simply bring in your plastic health fund card.
Common eye conditions explained:
Long sightedness (Hyperopia)
If you experience eye strain with close work or have difficulties seeing near objects you may have long sightedness. Longsighted people generally have trouble up close but can see well in the distance. This is due to the eye not having enough strength to clearly focus images on the back of the eye.
Short Sightedness (Myopia)
People with short sightedness generally can see well up close but have difficulties seeing in the distance. Short sightedness develops when the focusing system of the eye becomes too powerful.
People with astigmatism will often experience blurry vision at both distance and near. This occurs when the front of the eye (cornea) becomes oval in shape.
Reading Problems after 40 (Presbyopia)
Over time our eye naturally loses focusing ability. It starts at a very early age but generally does not become noticeable until mid 40. With time it becomes more difficult to read fine print especially when it is held close to the eye.
Digital eye strain
Digital eye strain is becoming increasingly common as digital devices have become a part of our daily lives at work and at home. Digital devices include smartphones, laptops, tablets, smart watches, desktop computers and even your tv. Digital eye strain or Computer Vision Syndrome is the physical discomfort felt after 2 or more hours in front of a digital screen.
Symptoms can include:
- Difficulty focusing
- Eye Strain
- Blurry vision
- Dry eyes
- Pain in the neck, shoulders or back
Tips to manage and prevent digital eye strain:
- Ensure you have the appropriate vision correction for you
- In response to our changing visual environment, innovative lens technology is available to alleviate digital eye strain symptoms. Referred to as your work, computer or digital pair, these lenses are designed to relax and protect your eyes by providing clear vision at typical screen viewing distance, eliminate glare, filter out blue light and prevent vision fatigue. They are available for prescription and non-prescription wearers. We can assess how your eyes are affected by digital device use and tailor a solution for your individual needs.
- Remember to blink. Blinking is important because, with every blink, your eyes spread a fresh layer of tear across the surface of your eyes to keep them moist, comfortable and healthy. When working at a computer we blink less than normal and tend to have more incomplete blinks, so the tear film is not spread across the entire cornea. This increases the risk of dry eye during computer use.
- Take regular breaks from using digital devices. Also, for every 20 minutes of computer use, look away from your computer and focus your eyes on something in the distance and blink fully and frequently. Do this for at least 20 seconds.
- Adjust your lighting – reduce the amount of overhead and surrounding light that is competing with your device’s screen.
- Position your screen around arm’s length from your eyes. Make sure your head is in a naturally comfortable position.
- Check your posture is correct.
- Use comfortable seating that supports your back and neck.
Dry eye is a chronic eye condition. Normally, a layer of tears covers the surface of the eye to keep it moist, and meibomian glands in the eyelids secrete oils to slow evaporation of these tears. Dry eye occurs if there is an insufficient supply of tears or if the tears evaporate too quickly.
Signs and symptoms of dry eye may include:
- A feeling of sand or grit in the eye
- Watery eyes or excessive tearing
- Red eyes
- Blurred vision
- An inability to wear contact lenses
A number of factors that can increase your risk of dry eyes:
- Windy, smoky or dry environments
- Lengthy periods spent in air conditioning
- Seasonal allergies
- Some medications
- Rosacea and Blepharitis
- Age – dry eye is more common in people aged 50 years or older
- Long-term contact lens wear
- Autoimmune disorders such as Sjögren’s syndrome, lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis and other disorders such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and Vitamin A deficiency are associated with dry eye.
- Women are more likely to develop dry eye – hormonal changes during pregnancy and after menopause have been linked with dry eye
- Prolonged periods of screen time
- Inflammation of eyelid glands & eyelash follicles
A combination of tests are used to diagnose dry eye. An examination of your eyes by an optometrist or ophthalmologist can reveal the presence and severity of dry eye syndrome.
Because there are so many different causes of dry eyes, your treatment will depend on your individual symptoms, and the cause of your condition. Most treatments involve either replacing tears, or reducing tear drainage. To find out more about this condition and how we can help please contact us.