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FAQ's

What can I expect as a new patient?

On the day of your appointment, you will need to bring your letter of referral with you, or if your referring practitioner is sending it to us directly, please ensure that we have received it prior to coming in for your appointment. Prior to your consultation with your Ophthalmologist you will be seen by an Orthoptist who will perform an initial assessment. This will assist the doctor in performing a more complete examination. All patients undergo this assessment, which is at no charge, before being seen by their doctor.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

As mentioned above, please bring your referral with you to your appointment. Please also bring your current prescription glasses as well as a list of your current medications. We suggest you also bring a pair of sunglasses with you as the sun’s glare may bother you after your appointment.

Why do I need a referral?

If you do not have a letter of referral and take the receipt into Medicare yourself, you will receive a lesser rebate.

Who can refer me?

You can be referred by your general practitioner (GP), your optometrist or by another specialist. A referral from your GP will be valid for twelve months, as will a referral from your optometrist. A referral from another specialist will be valid for three months only.

How do I settle my account?

Payment of accounts is to be made on the day of your appointment. We accept money order, cheque, EFTPOS, Bankcard, MasterCard and Visa Card. We prefer not to take cash. Please feel free to call the rooms if you have any queries regarding costs associated with your appointment.

Will I receive a rebate from Medicare?

You will receive a rebate from Medicare for your consultation fee. Medicare will also rebate most treatments received in our rooms, as well as operations. There are a few diagnostic tests that a reimbursement has not yet been established for (eg: OCT test). Private health insurance won’t cover consultation or tests only in-hospital fees.

What is an Orthoptist and what does an Orthoptist do?

Orthoptics is an allied health profession concerned with disorders of vision and eye movements. At Eye Associates, our orthoptists perform highly specialised tests of visual function to assist in the diagnosis and management of eye disease, such as glaucoma, and eye diseases associated with general diseases including diabetes. Prior to seeing the ophthalmologist, you will be assessed by an orthoptist who will ask some questions about your eyes and general health. They will check your vision and depending on your condition may perform some extra tests. These extra tests include but are not limited to; pressure testing, macular and optic nerve imaging, visual field testing, cataract assessments and ocular motility (eye muscle) testing.

What do dilating drops do and why do I need to have them?

Dilating drops are used to enlarge your pupil so the Ophthalmologist can get a better view of your retina (the back of your eye). The effects of these drops may last several hours and as a result, we recommend you do not drive after having dilating drops, it may also be difficult for you to read if you need to return to work.

I had a field test six months ago, why do I have to have another one?

Glaucoma damages the optic nerve in the back of your eye. The optic nerve is responsible for conveying vision from your eye to your brain. Damage or changes to the optic nerve can affect your visual field or side vision. That is why it is important to have a field test regularly, so that we can see if there has been any damage to the nerve, or if your eye condition is progressing. As glaucoma is a progressive disease field tests need to occur regularly to ensure there has been no change, or progression in the visual field. You are entitled to a Medicare rebate for a maximum of three visual field tests within a 12 month period. As we are testing quite a large area of vision, usually about 30 degrees around your central vision, field testing can take from between 5 to 15 minutes each eye depending on the damage that is being investigated. Sometimes more detailed testing is required so this again can take some extra time. This is vital as field testing is a major factor in deciding if treatment should be commenced, increased or tapered depending on any changes that we observe by comparing previous fields to a current field.

Can I drive after my appointment?

If you are having a retinal examination at your appointment, we suggest that you do not drive to the rooms. It is advisable to have someone drive you in or to take public transport, as your eyes will be dilated which makes it difficult to see clearly for approximately two hours. This will make driving difficult and if you are returning to work, you may not be able to read fine print. We also advise to bring a pair of sunglasses as the sun’s glare may bother you. General glaucoma patients should be fine to drive in for their subsequent appointments if they wish

How does Eye Associates use my personal information?

Eye Associates is committed to providing quality health care for its patients. As a fundamental part of this commitment, principals and staff of the practice recognise the importance of ensuring that our patients are fully informed and involved in their health care.

Eye Associates is a health provider in the private sector bound by the National Privacy Principles. These principles set the standards by which we handle personal information collected from our patients.

As part of our commitment to providing quality health care it is necessary for us to maintain files pertaining to your health. The files contain the following types of information: –

  • Personal details (your name, address, date of birth, Medicare number)
  • Your medical history
  • Notes made during the course of medical consultations
  • Referrals to other health service providers
  • Results and reports received from other health service providers

The information held about you is provided by you or arises as a consequence of information provided by you.

Your medical file is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. The file will be accessed by your medical practitioner, and when necessary, for example in the absence of your usual medical practitioner, by other medical practitioners in the practice. It may also be necessary for our staff to handle your file from time to time to address the administrative requirements of running a medical practice. Our staff are bound by strict confidentiality requirements as a condition of employment and these requirements will be observed if it is necessary for them to view your records.

As part of our commitment to preserving the confidentiality of the information contained in your medical record we advise that strict secure storage policies are observed in this practice. Your electronic records are accessible only by staff of this practice and are protected by a security password. Your paper records are kept in secure filing cabinets and accessible only by practice staff. Each member of staff is well versed in the principles and importance of doctor-patient confidentiality.

Can my general practitioner renew my script for eye drops?

General practitioners (GPs) can renew a script for any drop. However GPs are unable to measure your intra ocular pressure (IOP) and are therefore unable to determine if the drops are having any effect on your IOP. GPs and optometrists are also unable to accurately discriminate subtle changes within the structure of your eye that your Ophthalmologist is able to do with their more detailed training and use of advanced technologies described within this site. It is these subtle changes that may be causing problems with your vision.

Should I use my prescription drops on the day of my appointment?

If you have been prescribed drops by your Ophthalmologist you should continue to use them, including the day of your appointment.
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Macquarie University
  • UNSW Australia
  • The University of Sydney
  • Sydney & Sydney Eye Hospital
  • Westmead Hospital
  • Save Sight Institute