What do I need to take to my eye appointment?

  • All glasses (current and old glasses are used to help design the best new pair for you, even if you don’t use or like the prescription in them).
  • Current Contact Lenses
  • Medicare card
  • Health cards
  • List of Medications (including natural treatments or eye drops)
  • Relevant reports from other health professionals or teachers

Why do I need to have Retinal Photos of my eyes?

Digital Retinal Camera.  This allows a very detailed examination of the retina and with its filtering ability, small but important abnormal changes can be detected.  A small change detected with the Retinal Image can indicate Glaucoma development or Diabetes.  Recent studies showed that changes seen on Retinal photos predicted systemic blood pressure and increased risk of stroke.

What extra tests might occur at my eye appointment?

Corneal topographer – this measures the exact shape of the cornea and helps to detect small changes in vision that is otherwise not detected or for diagnosis of keratoconus.  Small problems with vision can sometimes be explained by abnormal shape of the cornea.  It is very important for measurement of astigmatism and for accurate contact lens fitting.  Extra costs may apply.

What is Behavioural Optometry and how is it different?

Behavioral Optometry is the treatment of vision and vision information processing problems. It is different from standard optometry because a behavioral optometrist believes that your visual status and the way you interpret what you see does not depend solely on how clear your eyesight is. Consideration is  given to all visual, visual motor and visual perceptual skills.

My child has already had his eyes tested by an optometrist, and there is nothing wrong with his eyes. Why has the school referred him to you?

Although there may be nothing wrong with your childs eyes, your child has been referred to a Behavioural Optometrist because there may be problems in the way your child interprets what they see.

My child has problems at school. Do you test for Dyslexia/Learning Difficulties/Reading Problems?

Vision and eye-focusing is often involved in these problems so a eye test is part of the investigation.  We do detailed testing of visual skills to check how we can help children with reading and learning problems.  Many people need help with their vision to improve their reading ability.

Many children who appear to have dyslexia, actually have a vision problem.  We do not provide a diagnosis of dyslexia.

Do you treat learning or reading difficulties?

They may be helped by making the vision better and clearer, and so it becomes easier for the child to get accurate visual information.  Treatments that can help:  part-time use of glasses, some eye exercises or a full visual perceptual training program or a combination of these.

Why does my child need a Visual Information Processing Test (Visual Perception Test)?

This test may have been asked for by an educational psychologist or teacher. It involves testing how children interpret what they see; whether they correctly discriminate between objects that are similar and correctly identify objects in the right orientation and order. We also test for speed of processing of the visual information and the maximum amount of visual information that the child can take in at one time. Control of eye-movements is also assessed compared to children of the same age. All these skills are important to be able to read, write and copy effectively at school.

My child already wears glasses. Can she do exercises instead?

Sometimes exercises can reduce the need for glasses or even eliminate the need for them. The exercise program usually involves about 20 in-office visits, one per week, plus 10 minutes of home exercises.

Can you test my child for Irlen/tinted lenses to help his reading?

We do not prescribe Irlen lenses, however correctly prescribed glasses or exercises are often all that is needed.  Prescription glasses to assist eye focusing should be considered before colour of any sort.

How are Behavioural Optometrists different from other Optometrists?

Behavioural Optometrists are fully qualified Optometrists, and they receive extra Post-Graduate Behavioural Optometry training at the University of New South Wales.  Research shows that they can help visual skills which can make reading easier for many people.  They use lenses and prism and training of the eyes in ways that can make your vision more stable.

Each year Behavioural Optometrists must also complete continuing professional education from the Australasian College of Behavioural Optometrist or from Optometric Extension Program Foundation.  This education includes: how to help eye tracking  and eye focusing problems, managing post-trauma vision syndrome and special populations.

Do I need a referral to see a Behavioural Optometrist?

No. Schools and medical professionals may refer a child to see a Behavioural Optometrist, but a referral is not necessary.