The standard eye exam takes half an hour, and includes:
- Refraction: check your prescription, and how your eye muscles co-ordinate
- Ophthalmoscopy: viewing your retina for eye disease/conditions
- Slit lamp biomicroscopy: inspection of the front of the eye for disease and degeneration
- Tonometry: We use a puff tonometer to painlessly check the intra-ocular pressure
Most exams are bulk-billed through Medicare where possible, notable exceptions are some contact lens fittings and employer ordered examinations. This means for most exams we direct bill Medicare and there is no gap payable by you. Medicare covers the cost for your full test every two years, unless clinical signs are present that warrant repeat investigations. In between these tests we are pleased to check your prescription to ensure your best vision through new glasses.
We also have a visual field analyzer which assists in diagnosing glaucoma and an auto-refractor which helps us to accurately determine your prescription.
Digital retinal photography is also now available.
Nigel is also therapeutically qualified and can prescribe eye medications such as anti-biotics and anti-inflammatories for eye conditions. Many of these scripts are under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). He can also provide dilated fundus examinations for diabetic retinopathy screenings.
Contact lens wearers need yearly assessment to ensure their eyes remain healthy.
Common Eye Diseases:
- CataractOpen or Close
Behind the iris of the eye there is a lens. A cataract describes clouding of this lens. Occasionally people are born with cataract, but in the overwhelming majority of cases it develops with age. It is most common as people get into their 70’s and 80’s. It depends on which part of the lens clouds as to how quickly the vision is reduced. Some cataract will take a decade from when the first cloudy spots are noted to when surgery is needed.
The good news is that cataract can be treated by surgery successfully in most cases. When to operate on the cataract depends on the individual, in that it depends when the poor vision resulting from the cataract interferes too much with their daily activities.
A comprehensive examination will include assessment of the lens in the eye.
- GlaucomaOpen or Close
Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve in the eye. Optic nerve tissue is lost as the disease progresses causing a loss of peripheral or side vision. The disease process is usually slow but cannot be reversed. Importantly glaucoma is usually symptom free until the disease is well advanced.
Checking for glaucoma is part of a comprehensive examination and is recommended every 2 years. If there is suspicion of glaucoma more frequent exams will be recommended or we would refer you to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist).
Treatment of glaucoma is usually via eye drops although laser can be used. There are also surgeries to treat glaucoma that has not responded to drops and laser.
- Macula DegenerationOpen or Close
The retina lines the inner surface of your eyeball, and contains the cells that receive light from what you see. The macula is the part of the retina with the greatest density of these cells, and is responsible for your sharpest vision. Macula degeneration describes changes in appearance to the macula area and loss of vision.
Unfortunately commonly the macula will degenerate with age. The majority of the degeneration will be termed as dry which there is no active treatment for. There are also wet changes where there is fluid introduced into the macula and this can be treated with injections to help reduce the fluid build-up. If fluid is suspected referral to an ophthalmologist who does the injections is organised.
The macula is examined as part of every comprehensive examination. For a small fee, digital retinal photography is now available, which allows us to track changes over time.