General Information for Patients

What Happens at an Appointment

A series of things will happen at an appointment, the requirements may vary at successive visits. The first appointment is often the most comprehensive and may take 90 minutes or more to complete.

Followup appointments may not require as much detail and may be completed much more quickly.

Checkin and Patient Details

On arrival you will checkin at the Reception Desk.

New patients will be asked to provide patient details including

  • Name and Contact Details of Patient
  • Name and Contact Details of Account Holder
  • Medicare, Veterans' Affairs and Health Insurance Details
  • Referral Letter
  • Name and Contact Details of Patient's Usual GP

You will be given information about the Clinic and about acccounts and payments. You will be asked to acknowledge that you have been given clinic and financial information.

Review by Orthoptist

Your first clinical review will usually be with an orthoptist (see What is an Orthoptist for more information).

The orthoptist will record and assess your clinical history and then make a series of measurements and tests based on this information. They may go on to make imaging studies or visual field tests, as may be required before seeing the ophthalmologist

Eyedrops for Pupil Dilation

In many cases it is necessary for your ophthalmologist to have the clearest possible view of the inside of your eye and this is assisted by dilating (enlarging) the pupils with eyedrops. The orthoptist will often put the drops in after their assessment and you may need to wait up to 20 minutes for sufficient effect. Your vision may be blurred to some degree after these drops, see Eyedrops and Driving for further information. Dilating drops are only given if necessary and are not used at every visit. You can ask if it is likely that drops will be required for your next visit.

Consultation with Ophthalmologist

After the orthoptist has gathered all preliminary data you will see the ophthalmologist. Further examination will be made and this may suggest the need for additional in-office tests. You may need to return to the orthoptist for these, until sufficient data is collected. Your ophthalmologist will then discuss and explain all of the results, recommend treatment and the time of any review appointment.

Next Appointment, Checkout & Accounts

After seeing the ophthalmologist you will return to the reception desk. If a further appointment is required then this will be arranged at the most suitable time. Your account will be prepared for payment and a direct Medicare claim can be made after payment, if you wish.

Driving after your Consultation

Eyedrops are often used during the consultation to enlarge the pupils, this allows the best view inside the eye and assists with accurate diagnosis. The effect of the drops generally lasts several hours and vision may be blurred to some degree for this time. The eyes may also be sensitive to bright light, dark glasses can help with this symptom. After some treatments you may have an eyepad on the eye for some time. Eyedrops and Eyepads can both interfere with you vision and with your ability to drive safely and legally

Eyedrops and Driving

We recommend that patients do not drive for at least two hours after having their pupils dilated. Pupil dilation may impair vision due to blur and/or glare. It is the driver's responsibility not to drive if their capacity is impaired and patients should not drive until they are aware that their vison has returned to normal.

Eyepads and Driving

It is not legally permitted to drive with one eye covered. Police may stop and book drivers who appear to have one eye covered and in the event of an accident, insurers may deny coverage. Patients are strongly advised not to drive if one eye is covered, or if they find their vision impaired in any other way.