Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) scanning is a specialized retinal and anterior segment scan that is vital in determining the presence of macular degeneration and can pick up glaucoma before vision loss can be detected. This is recommended especially if there is a family history of macular degeneration or glaucoma. It may also be necessary if the comprehensive examination indicated further testing/investigation. OCT pre-testing for surgery can also reduce risk of complications post-operatively.
Visual fields (VF) testing is used to show vision loss or reduction in vision sensitivity. It is often a test for glaucoma, it may also show evidence of compressive disorders in the brain such as brain tumors. Although OCT can initially diagnose glaucoma earlier, VF is tested in conjunction and is very sensitive in progression especially in the later stages of glaucoma.
Corneal topography (CT) is used to map the curvature pattern of the front of the eye. This test is necessary for prescribing some of the tailored specialty contact lenses. It is also used to diagnose corneal pathologies such as keratoconus. It is also necessary to show progression in some corneal pathologies, which is required to determine referral for surgical intervention.
Digital retinal imaging and slit-lamp imaging is often common practice for better recording of retinal conditions or to keep a record to show clear unremarkable retinal fundus. It is often a component in the testing of diabetic retinopathy. Images are often sent to GP’s and endocrinologists to indicate areas of complication to better manage treatment of diabetes.
Refraction is the testing that is done to determine the optical error of the eye. Then spectacles or contact lenses are then prescribed (if required) usually with some adjustments to correct that error. Sometimes this cannot be done simply due to opacities or certain diseases/injuries of the eye that affect the clarity of the eye or the curvature of the cornea.
Comprehensive Ocular Health Testing
Eye testing is not limited to the determination of optical error, or the prescription of spectacles and contact lenses but also requires confirmation that the eye is healthy. An inspection of the retina to confirm no complications with the macula or the optic nerve head is required. This is especially important if there are unusual symptoms or there exists a family history of eye disease. Some eye disease may not have any symptoms and require specialised testing to determine if they exist before they affect vision; this part of the examination can determine if further testing is required.
Contact Lens Fitting
Depending on the type of contact lenses required and the complexity of the prescription, different measurements and corneal topographic results may be needed. For some lenses the prescription can be based on measured parameters only. For more complex lenses, diagnostic lenses may be required as part of the testing to attain a final prescription.
Lenses vary from more basic daily disposable to the custom tailored rigid lenses.
Speciality Contact Lens Fitting
Specialty contact lenses are usually prescribed for individuals with more complex optical requirements. Some complexities are due to higher optical powers or high astigmatism. Sometimes specialty lenses are required to meet greater demands and there are simply no standard lenses made to suite all the requirements. Some diseases of the eyes or eyes that have been optically affected by surgical procedures may also require custom contact lenses to achieve clear vision.
Diabetic Retinopathy Screening
Diabetes can be very harmful to the eyes and can result in visual impairment or blindness if poorly managed. Yearly testing is usually required if diabetes is adequately managed. The testing usually requires dilation of the pupils to allow a clear and wide view of the retina. An inspection of the retina is required to rule out diabetic retinopathy which is associated with some retinal swelling, bleeding and other indications of damaged nerves. Most of these complications have no pain or vision symptoms but do result in loss of vision. That is why it is pivotal to diagnose diabetic retinopathy before it affects vision.
Like many eye diseases there are few if any symptoms. Testing will pick up the existence of the disease before you notice impairment or loss of vision. There may be some predisposing factors or risks where a disease function would need to be ruled out. Most of the testing surrounds the health of the optic nerve and sensitivity to vision. Glaucoma is not necessarily a disease of old age and may be present in an infant, although risk of developing the disease increases with age. If there is a family history of the disease, or there are suspect anatomical factors of the optic nerve testing should be done. Sometimes medication or a history of injury to the eye such as a “black-eye” many years ago will predispose you to developing glaucoma. If no predisposing factors testing for glaucoma is recommended at 40yrs of age then at regular intervals.
Macula Degeneration Testing
Usually, macular degeneration (MD) is a disease of age. There are many factors involved in its development. Sometimes risk can be mitigated especially if beginnings are picked up early.
Medicare covers some examinations completely, partially or not at all. As a general overview, Medicare now covers a comprehensive examination by an optometrist of your choice once every 36 months (this previously was every 24 months).
There is an out-of-pocket cost for contact lens fitting.
If you are now 65 years or older, it will cover a comprehensive examination every 12 months. You may still be covered for subsequent (or short) examinations within this time frame or if you have symptoms requiring urgent attention.
If you are uncertain of your eligibility you may inquire with the HIC (health insurance commission) or we can find out on your behalf to ascertain if there is a gap to pay for the consultation. Short/subsequent consultations are limited to 15 minutes and range of testing. Medicare may be billed no more than once per day.
Health Funds - Health Insurance
- We claim from ALL health funds.
- We will claim on your behalf the entitlements from your health insurance policy.
- We will claim the maximum entitlement on your policy.
- The amount claimed will be deducted from your account.
- The claim amount is dependent on your policy with the health insurer.
- Different health insurers may pay differently towards your claim.
- You may be eligible for no gap spectacles or contact lenses depending on your policy.