We offer the following kinds of consultations to give you the most comprehensive and thorough examinations & advice possible.
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A routine vision examination in our practice takes approximatley 20 minutes. This period of time is needed to perform the tests necessary to thoroughly assess your eyes and visual efficiency. Depending on the findings, further tests may be advised and these may require additional appointments. If this is the case, it will be discussed with you at your appointment.
Generally, your examination will include:
– Visual history – a discussion of any sight problems you may have noted or currently wear spectacles for.
– Eye health history – any history of specific eye complaints, infections, surgery or injury. Your family’s eye health history is also important.
– General health history – Medications, general health problems
– Visual Status Check – a measure of whether you are short sighted, long sighted, presbyopic or have astigmatism
– Eye Health Assessment
- Pupillary/Eye muscle assessment
- Slit Lamp Examination – a specifically designed microscope is used to assess the external features of your eyes
- Ophthalmoscopy – usually conducted with the microscope in conjunction with additional lenses to allow us to see inside your eye to check your lens, vitreous, macula, optic nerve and retina. Depending on the individual, eyedrops will sometimes be used to allow us the most comprehensive assessment of your eyes.
- Intra Ocular Pressure measured usually with a hand held tonometer
- Depending on the outcome of the above tests we may recommend other tests in our practice, such as Visual Field Testing or referral to a specialised practitioner.
At the end of your examination, we will discuss with you the results of all of the above testing, and any action that may be required.
Common vision problems in children
The most common problems with children’s vision are those affecting their ability to see clearly and sharply.
- Myopia – shortsightedness- causes difficulty seeing distant objects clearly.
- Hyperopia –longsightedness- causes difficulties when focusing at near.
- Astigmatism causes objects to appear distorted and not sharply in focus.
Once recognized these are usually easy to correct.
Other common problems are those affecting visual performance, not paying attention in class, slow to learn to read, being withdrawn, and poor sporting ability may be signs that a child is experiencing visual problems.
- Poor eye coordination – if the eyes don’t work together the child will subconsciously have to work harder to force them to act as one. In severe cases double vision occurs and the brain eventually shuts off the message it receives from one eye, if this happens the child will develop amblyopia –a lazy eye.
- Turned eye- both eyes need to look at the same object to achieve normal vision, when they point in different directions the brain takes less notice of the message it receives from one eye, vision therefore does not develop properly in the eye which is not being used as much. Eye exercises or glasses will usually correct the problem, only in extreme cases surgery may be necessary.
- Eye movement defects- children need to have efficient eye movements to see normally, if for example such movements are slow or unsteady, children will find reading more difficult, they will miss words or lose their place on the page.
- Poor hand eye coordination- hand eye coordination is necessary for easy handling of objects within arms reach. Crooked writing, poor spacing between letters and words, and difficulty staying on the lines may indicate that a child’s hands and eyes are not working together.
- Difficulties with focusing control – when it is difficult to focus objects may appear blurry and considerable effort is exerted to keep them in focus, or for some it may be difficult to move focus quickly from distance to near making copying from the black board difficult.
There are many clues to children’s vision problems, blinking, rubbing the eyes, holding a book very close and closing one eye to read are just some of these clues. Ideally all children should be examined before they are 3 years old, and again before starting school. During the school years vision may rapidly change, we will advise you how often your child’s eyes should be examined, and any concerns you may have can be discussed with us.
Vision Development in Babies
Babies are born with an undeveloped visual system this will develop rapidly in the first few years of life. At birth the eyes will be checked for signs of major problems, this is important as the earlier a problem is detected, the better the chance of effective treatment.
- At birth babies can see patterns of light and dark, during the first 4 months a baby will begin to follow slow moving objects and be able to recognize facial expressions, a mobile will provide visual stimulation for focus and eye movement development, a variety of safe objects within baby’s focus distance will encourage hand eye coordination as baby reaches to touch.
- 4 – 6 – months control of eye movement develops further as the baby learns to turn from side to side. Occasionally one eye may be turned in towards the nose or to the outside, this may happen first with one eye then the other, this is normal in the first six months and is part of the development of binocularity, which is the use of two eyes together,
- 6 – 8 – months both eyes are focusing equally, if the eyes are crossed, they are not working together and prompt examination is required, this is not a problem a child will outgrow.
- 8 – 12- months babies are more mobile, crawling helps to develop hand eye coordination, and as depth perception is still developing tumbles and falls are common.
- 1 – 2 – year’s coordination of eyes and hands is well developed encouraging play with building blocks and puzzles will improve precision in movement and help small muscle development, climbing, rocking horses and bike riding all increase the coordination of hands, eyes and feet.
- 2 – 3 years – useful activities are reading and telling stories to improve your child’s ability to understand visual information and to prepare for learning to read, and drawing painting will further develop accurate hand movements.
- By 3 years a thorough optometric examination will reveal any problems and will check that your child is acquiring the many visual skills necessary for complete development.
Watching you child develop is one of the joys of parenthood, our professional skills linked with your own active participation will ensure that your child realizes his or her full visual potential.
Sunglasses and Children
Children are at particular risk to UV damage as they spend more time outdoors than adults, and their eyes are more sensitive too. Since UV damage is cumulative, you should begin protecting children’s eyes as soon as possible.
Digital Retinal Photography (DRP) produces a detailed photographic image of your retina. All eye examinations should screen for abnormalities or disease including a careful look at the retina, it’s blood supply, and the optic nerve. The retina and the optic nerve are located at the back of the eye and connect the eye to the brain.
All structures in the back of the eye are susceptible to damage, either through eye conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration or more systemic issues like high blood pressure and diabetes.
DRP in our practice is high resolution, the software used allows us to manipulate the image to allow better evaluation of suspicious signs. The images are also stored such that they can be used as a reference point for future examinations. This is of great benefit in diseases like diabetes and hypertension as it means we develop a timeline of any small changes that may occur in your retina.
DRP is not covered by Medicare and there is an extra charge for this procedure. In some cases a portion, or all, of this can be claimed back from your private health fund.
Visual field testing is an important part of the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases that can cause visual impairment. In computerized testing of the visual field, we analyze the light-sensitivity of the outer areas (periphery) of the retina, and of the peripheral visual field.
Abnormalities in or gradual loss of visual fields can indicate glaucoma, optic nerve disease, multiple sclerosis, brain tumours or many other diseases. While visual field testing is only part of testing for a diagnosis of glaucoma or another disease, it becomes very important for measuring the progress of a disease over time, informing its management and control.
At Dapto Optical, we use advanced computerized visual field testing to assess the extent of your visual field.
Contact lenses can correct eyesight in a similar way to spectacles, but because they sit directly on the eye they are virtually invisible.
Contact lenses can be worn for appearance and practicality reasons. They are less affected by wet weather, do not steam up, and provide a wider field of vision. They can be more suitable for a number of sporting activities than spectacles.
Certain eye conditions such as keratoconus (irregularly shaped corneas) and aniseikonia (large difference in prescriptions between the two eyes) may be corrected with contact lenses, in a way that spectacles cannot do satisfactorily or accurately enough.
Other conditions aided with contact lenses include myopia (short sightedness), hyperopia (long sightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia . Contact lens wearers usually take their contacts out every night unless wearing lenses that are designed for extended wear.
Like our spectacles, contact lenses are individually checked against your prescription and are expertly fitted on-site.
Are contact lenses right for me?
Before making a decision to wear contact lenses, you may be able to have a trial fitting, if we have diagnostic lenses available.
To fit contact lenses we give a comprehensive eye examination. Following discussion with you, we may try some diagnostic contact lenses on your eyes. You will be given instruction on the safe insertion and removal of the lenses. If they perform satisfactorily, and you have no difficulties in handling them, you may wear them for about a week.
At this stage we assess the performance of the lenses. Are you seeing well? Are the lenses comfortable? Are your eyes clear and tolerating the lenses well? If everything is satisfactory, we then go ahead and order your contact lenses.
Choosing the right product
There are more than 20 new contact lens products that hit the market every year. We take the time to review every one of these new products.
When we recommend a lens, it’s because we know it’s the best for your needs. Like our frames, we provide an extensive range of products including:
- disposable daily to monthly
- extended wear
- astigmatic (toric)
- rigid gas permeable
Problems with Contact Lenses
Conventional lenses have historically been associated with corneal neovascularisation (the excessive ingrowth of blood vessels to the cornea, caused by inadequate oxygen reception). This is no longer a problem with silicone hydrogel extended wear lenses.
Extended lens wearers may have an increased risk for corneal infections and corneal ulcers, primarily due to poor care and cleaning of the lenses, tear film instability, and bacterial stagnation. Proper care and cleaning regimes reduce this risk significantly. At Dapto Optical, we help you with all the information you need on how to avoid infections.
Our Optometrist, Darren Liver has been certified by Civil Aviation Safety authority (CASA) to perform the eye sight testing required for all Pilot and air crew to maintain their license.