A routine general eye examination in our office takes approximately 30 minutes.
This period of time is needed to perform all the tests necessary to thoroughly asses your eyes and visual efficiency.
During your examination a health history will be taken. It is important for you to provide all information, regardless of how insignificant you might think it is.
Tests related to the following are all part of a complete examination:
- Eye health
- General physical health
- Clarity of vision and eye structure (Myopia, Hyperopia, Astigmatism)
- Colour vision
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Eye muscle flexibility
- Amblyopia (lazy eye)
- Macula degeneration
and other areas as appropriate for each individual.
Following the examination, we will carefully explain the results of your testing and discuss our recommendations regarding any needed preventive or remedial care.
There have been recent significant advances in the successful long term treatment of people who suffer from chronic dry eye.
Currently 30 % of the population suffers from frustrating dry eye, and a proportion of these people live with chronic dry eye. The major cause of chronic dry eye is a poor tear surfacing of the cornea due to blockage and wasting away of the of eye lid Meibomian glands. These eyelid changes result in reduced or no Meibomian oil secretion into the tear layer, leading to tear evaporation and dry eye.
The standard treatment options to date have been lubricating eye drops, Omega 3 fish oil and hot towel compress. Unfortunately they only provide temporary relief.
We have new technology that now gives people with dry eye the chance of a long term positive outcome. This new technology has resulted in significant increase in successful long term treatment of dry eye.
This new technology includes:
This is an eyelid warming goggle unit that incorporates a heating device chamber that uses localised latent heat up to temperatures high enough to melt solidified Meiboman gland oils and obstructions, resulting in the re establishment of a protective tear film.
IPL ( Intense Pulsed Light ) This device uses the latent heat energy of the intense light pulses to both stimulate the nerves of the Meibomean glands to return them to their normal function, and to melt solidified oils and so creating a thicker protective tear film. This is currently the most effective and successful treatment for dry eye, resulting in up to 86 % success rate
Although the majority of dry eye is associated with Meibomean gland dysfunction, not all can be treated with the above technology. In some people the Meibomean gland dysfunction and wasting has progressed to the point where they are no longer able to secrete oils.
Before any treatment taking place at our practice we conduct a through Dry Eye Assessment to ensure that people who undertake either of the above two treatments have a high likelihood of success.
Diabetic Retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by complications of diabetes mellitus, and can often lead to blindness. It often has no early warning signs, so early detection is very important.
Small blood vessels – such as those in the eye – are especially vulnerable to poor blood sugar (blood glucose) control. An over-accumulation of glucose and/or fructose damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina. During the initial stage, called non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), most people do not notice any change in their vision.
Some people develop a condition called macular edema. It occurs when the damaged blood vessels leak fluid and lipids onto the macula, the part of the retina that lets us see detail. The fluid makes the macula swell, which blurs vision.
As the disease progresses, the lack of oxygen in the retina causes fragile new blood vessels to grow along the retina and in the clear, gel-like vitreous humour that fills the inside of the eye. Without timely treatment, these new blood vessels can bleed, cloud vision, and destroy the retina.
Macular Degeneration (MD) is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys central vision. Central vision occurs at the macula on the retina, at the back of the eye. Because it is the central part of vision, it is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common everyday tasks such as reading and driving.
In some cases, MD advances so slowly that people fail to notice the gradual deterioration of their vision. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a permanent loss of central vision.
While there is presently no cure for Macular Degeneration, there are steps that you can take to prevent or slow the progress of the disease.
MD is present in 15% of people between the ages of 70-75 and is now the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australia.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
- The first signs of MD involve distortion of vision where straight lines appear wavy or bent, rather than loss of sight.
- Difficulty reading.
- Difficulty distinguishing faces.
- Need for increased illumination.
- Sensitivity to glare.
- Decreased night vision.
- Reduced colour sensitivity.
- In many cases, MD progresses so slowly that people don’t notice changes until their vision has already been significantly compromised.
Risks for developing MD:
- Ageing is the greatest risk factor. The prevalence trebles with each decade over 40 years.
- Smokers have a 3 times greater risk of developing MD. They also develop the disease approximately 10 years earlier than non-smokers.
- Women have slightly higher risk than men.
- Family history is a risk factor. Genes have been identified and linked with MD. There is a 50% chance of developing MD if there is a family history of the disease.
Defense against MD:
- Early detection of MD is crucial as some forms of the disease may be arrested with early treatment.
- Regular eye examinations are the key to early detection before vision loss occurs.
- Eat a healthy diet. (See more details below).
- Consider taking a zinc and anti-oxidant supplement.
- Eye protection against UV damage. This is especially important before MD develops.
- Maintain a healthy weight and get some regular exercise (minimum of a 30 minute walk, three times a week).
- Don’t smoke.
Diet and MD
Diet can help with good eye health and there is a recommended eating program that can lower the risk of Macular Degeneration. Scientific studies have shown that MD responds to anti-oxidants and other nutrients. This is not an unpleasant diet, but simply emphasizes the benefits of vegetables, fruit and fish.
- Anti-oxidants benefit our health by neutralisng “free radicals” in the body. The most important anti-oxidants are:
- Lutein – Found in especially high levels in leafy dark green vegetables (eg spinach)
- Vitamin C – Found in citrus fruits, papaya and rockmelon. Or vegetables like capsicum, peas and broccoli.
- Vitamin E – Found in nuts (almonds, pine nuts, brazil nuts), whole grains, leafy green vegetables, broccoli and carrots.
- Zinc – Found in meat, seafood (especially oysters), nuts (cashews, pine nuts, brazil nuts, pecans, almonds) and whole grains.
Eat a healthy well-balanced diet. Include fish at least two times a week and include dark green leafy vegetables. Eat fresh fruit every day, a handful of nuts each week and avoid fatty foods.
Glaucoma is a disease where the pressure within the eye is typically increased (although not always). This can damage parts of the eye, and if left untreated may result in blindness.
Many times the symptoms are not noticeable until damage to the eye has already occurred. Diagnosis consists of having regular eye examinations which include a pressure measurement and visual field assessment (usually every 2 years for patients over 40), to enable early detection of possible problems.
Consultation Fees and Medicare rebates:
- General Optometry examinations receive a medicare rebate, leaving a small gap payment. The rebate will be determined by the date of your last eye examination and the type of eye examination conducted.
- Bring to your appointment your Medicare card, Health fund insurance card and eftpos card ( with cheque or savings account ) so your rebate can be processed on the spot.
Consultation Fees – please call our reception for more information.
- The vast majority of optometric consultations will receive a Medicare rebate
- Some consultations do not have a Medicare rebate, including visual processing assessment, vision therapy and some contact lens consultations.
Spectacles, Sunglasses and Contact Lenses
- We charge only the recommended retail (or less) for all spectacles and contact lenses.
- Concessions are available for Pensioners.
- We offer special rates of 50% off second pairs of Spectacles and prescription sunglasses
- Our buddy system allows a complimentary pair of hard coated single vision spectacles from a selected range of frames, when a first pair of glasses costs over $250.
Health Fund Rebates
Private health funds (MBF, HCF, etc.) provide rebates for spectacles and contact lenses. These are for set amounts in the different tables of coverage. It is also possible to select lenses and frames which are fully covered by these rebates, (no gap glasses).
Not all Health Funds and coverage tables provide the same level of rebate:
- Single Vision Spectacles – $80 to $225*
- Bifocal Spectacles – $110 to $250*
- Progressive Spectacles – $130 to $300*
- Soft Contact Lenses – $110 to $250*
We are able to claim directly for some funds, thus avoiding the need for patients to pay and claim. Our staff will advise whether your fund and level of coverage is included in these arrangements.
Spectacles and contact lenses are provided under the Veterans Affairs scheme to all holders of a valid and appropriate Veterans Affairs card. Our staff will be pleased to advise you on your entitlement.
Our optometrists are able to provide s vision screenings from Kinder to grade 2. These screenings are able to take place at the kindergarten or school. Please contact us for more information on 9398 1344.
Why should children have a vision screening?
- Children are often unaware that there is something different with their vision or that they have a problem. They may think that what they see is normal, or be unable to describe accurately what is happening. Some children will avoid tasks that they find visually uncomfortable, or find ways to adapt around their problem.
- Research has shown that vision is the sense responsible for 80% of learning in the normal sighted population. Subtle difficulties with vision can go unnoticed and have a significant impact on how a child learns.
The vision screening assesses:
- Distance vision –how well does the child see in the distance.
- Near vision – how well does the child see at near.
- Focus ability – is the child able to focus well and with sustained tasks and are they able to change focus from far distance to near tasks easily.
- Eye co-ordination – are the 2 eyes able to work well together and point together easily at the same object in space.
- Eye movement control – can the child moves their eyes smoothly (pursuit eye movements such as those used to catch a ball), and can they accurately control their jumping eye movements (saccadic eye movements such as those used when reading).
- Colour vision – this is useful information to have in a classroom, especially if a child has difficulty distinguishing some colours.
- Depth perception – this skill is used to judge depth accurately and develops well if there is accurate eye movements, focusing and eye co-ordination.
What happens after the screening?
- A report will be organised for each child participating in the screening with an explanation of findings.
- If you suspect a child has a vision problem they should be seen for a comprehensive vision test at our practice. The vision screening is to evaluate which children may need further testing. Full diagnosis of a visual condition is not possible without comprehensive assessment.