FAQ

We have tried to address most of your questions on our other menu pages, but the following questions may be of further interest to you. If you have any other queries which we have not thought of, please do not hesitate to contact us, as we are very happy to answer any questions you may have.

Will I require a Referral to have my Eyes Examined?

As Optometrists are classified by the Health Department and Medicare as Primary Care Practitioners, it is not a requirement to have a referral to see us here at Prime Vision-Care Centres for an Eye Examination.

There may be occasions when another practitioner may recommend that you come to see us for the care of your eyes, and in such cases it may be that they will supply you with a referral letter. Generally this is more of a courtesy by the other practitioner. This may be from your General Practitioner, or an Ophthalmologist, Endocrinologist or another type of practitioner. We appreciate these referrals, as it helps us in our correspondence with the other practitioner, in order to provide you with the best overall professional care.

The only time you may require an official referral according to Medicare regulations, is if you are being referred by another Optometrist for another opinion or for ongoing care. This is a rare exception however, where a higher Medicare benefit may be allowable, but most people do not require any referral for a standard Comprehensive Initial Consultation.

Will I need to make an Appointment to have my Eyes Examined?

Generally it is necessary to make an appointment with us here at Prime Vision-Care Centres, as we are quite often solidly booked with existing appointments already made by other patients.

There may be times when we have a vacancy at exactly the time you may like to be seen on the spur of the moment, but this is actually a rare occurrence. So we would always advise that you contact us to make an appointment to be sure of being seen at a mutually organised time when it is convenient for you.

Usually we can find a suitable appointment time within one or two days notice. In case of any problem which you consider may be an emergency, please contact us and we will organise a special time for you to come in at short notice, however this is not the usual procedure.

How often do you recommend that I have my Eyes Examined?

The recommended time between Eye Examinations here at Prime Vision-Care Centres will vary depending on your particular case and any diagnosis that has been made.

As a general guide however, we usually recommend regular checkups every two to three years for patients under the age of 65 years. Over 65 we recommend Eye Examinations every year. This is also in line with Medicare regulations and recommendations.

We will always discuss with you when we recommend your next Examination, and we have a system of notifying you when that time comes around. This will be either by regular postage, email reminders, SMS reminders to your mobile phone, or by direct phone calls. The method of contact will depend on which of those options may be available to you, and to what is most convenient.

Will Drops be put into my eyes at my initial visit?

Drops in the eyes are often necessary to determine the true health of your eyes, although this is not usually performed at the first visit. These drops will generally leave your vision blurred and sensitive to light for at least two to three hours, and we strongly advise against driving after the Eye Examination. This will affect the results of your Eye Examination if performed on the same day as the initial visit. Additionally, it takes longer to perform these tests.

For all these reasons, here at Prime Vision-Care Centres, we usually advise performing these tests on a separate day from your Initial Comprehensive Visit. We will organise this with you separately.

In rare cases, where it is suspected that there may be a problem which requires more urgent assessments or treatment, we may elect to perform the dilation on the same day as the Initial Visit. This is rare however, and we will always discuss this with you before initiating these tests. In such a case this may be in your best interest.

Why will I be asked to fill in a Questionaire before my Eye Examination?

In order to provide you with the best possible care, here at Prime Vision-Care Centres, we will ask you to fill out a questionnaire before your Initial Comprehensive Consultation. This will involve some contact information to be able to communicate with you most effectively, some information regarding your Health Insurance and Medicare details, to offer you the best solutions for what you may be able to claim on Consultations and Optical Appliances, some information on your Optical and Medical history, and information regarding your lifestyle, including Occupation and Hobbies, so we may be able to provide you with the best advice for your individual requirements and situation.

You can be assured that all information will be kept confidential, and that we never give out any information to any third parties.

What is the difference between an Optometrist and an Ophthalmologist?

An Optometrist obtains his or her qualifications by completing a University Degree in Optometry at an approved tertiary institution, and is then registered by the appropriate authorities to be able to practice the  Profession of Optometry. According to the current regulations, this enables the Optometrist to examine all aspects of the Eyes and Vision, and to prescribe methods of treatment including Spectacles, Contact Lenses, and other Vision Therapies. Those Optometrists who obtain Therapeutic qualifications are also approved to prescribe Ophthalmic Medications including Medicated Eye Drops and Ointments as appropriate for the medical treatment of their patients’ eye conditions. An Optometrist does not require a referral for assessment or treatment.

An Ophthalmologist obtains their Medical Degree from a University first and primarily. They then go on to study the speciality of Ophthalmology, as a part of the Medical Profession. This entitles an Ophthalmologist to treat a wide range of Medical Conditions associated with the eyes, and general systemic diseases of their patients’ health. Ophthalmologists regularly perform Eye Surgery, and prescribe Ophthalmic Medications for the treatment of Eye Diseases and other Medical Conditions. An Ophthalmologist does require a referral from an Optometrist, or another Medical Practitioner for assessment and treatment.

There is quite a lot of overlap between the two Ophthalmic Professions, and many treatments may be performed by either type of practitioner. Generally however, an Optometrist will treat the more common eye conditions which are easier to treat, whereas an Ophthalmologist will treat the more serious conditions, such as more serious eye diseases and conditions requiring surgery, such as Cataracts and various types of Laser Surgery. Optometrists are qualified to diagnose Ocular conditions, and then refer the patient to an Ophthalmologist for the appropriate treatment of their Ocular or Medical condition.

Optometrists and Ophthalmologists often work together in Co-Management to offer patients the best possible care and treatment outcomes. Here at Prime Vision-Care Centres we are delighted to work with a wide group of Ophthalmologists in Co-Management or Shared Care.