Our Optometrists play an important role in your eye health.

If you have not had your eyes examined for quite some time you may not be aware of all the tests involved in a comprehensive eye examination. If it has been more than two years since your last eye test, we generally allow 45 minutes to complete a comprehensive consultation.

Our team of experienced Optometrists detect, diagnose, and treat eye health and vision conditions that affect vision including glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, hypertension, lazy eye and cataracts.

They can also identify general health conditions that are first detected via an eye exam, provide referrals to eye surgeons (ophthalmologists) and often help manage post-eye-surgery health. Our team of Optometrists at can help you maintain good vision for life.

The majority of our services attract a Medicare rebate.

Every consultation and eye examination is with an experienced Optometrist using the latest and most advanced eyecare procedures. With our full eye health examination (45 minutes), comprehensive internal and external eye testing is standard and includes:

  • Field of vision
  • Eye muscle control
  • Visual acuity
  • Ability to focus
  • Ability to see colour

We request you bring the following to your eye examination

  • Your medicare card
  • Your latest pair of prescription glasses
  • Your latest pair of prescription sunglasses
  • Any contact lenses you may use
  • Previous prescription details or Optometrist’s reports if you are new to our practice

If your child has 20/20 or 6/6 vision, this is only a small part of having good vision. Your child must also be focussed in each eye, must have good eye movement control, good eye-hand co-ordination, good eye health and normal visual perception.

At Dickens and Herd we have a special interest in making sure that your child develops the best possible vision. We test all the visual skills necessary develop good vision.

There are many vision problems that children can have. They include:

  • Strabismus
  • Amblyopia
  • Myopia
  • Hyperopia
  • Astigmatism
  • Muscle Inco-ordination
  • Colour Vision Defects
  • Visual Perceptual Deficits

Some of these are very obvious and are picked up early in childhood and others are much less obvious.

Strabismus is a condition that interferes with binocular vision because it prevents a person from directing both eyes simultaneously to align with each other at the same spot. This is often known as a squint. Strabismus is present in about 4% of children. Treatment should be started as early as possible to ensure the development of the best possible vision.

Amblyopia (also called lazy eye) is a disorder of sight. It results in decreased vision in an eye that otherwise appears normal. Whenever the brain does not receive visual signals from an eye for a long period of time, there is a risk of amblyopia. It also can occur when the brain “turns off” the visual processing of one eye to prevent double-vision. It is common in children with strabismus.

Detecting the condition in early childhood increases the chance of successful treatment; this disorder has been estimated to affect 1–5% of the population.

Myopia is a condition of the eye where the light that comes in does not directly focus on the retina but in front of it, causing the image that one sees when looking at a distant object to be out of focus, but in focus when looking at a close object. It also known as short-sightedness.

Hyperopia is a defect of vision causing difficulty focusing on near objects, and in extreme cases causing a sufferer to be unable to focus on objects at any distance. Children with hyperopia can experience blurred vision, headaches, accommodative dysfunction, binocular dysfunction, amblyopia, and strabismus. Most school age children are in fact slightly hyperopic and therefore must exert an extra effort to bring their vision into sharp focus for both far and near tasks. For some children it will interfere with their ability to do schoolwork.

Astigmatism is a refraction error of the eye in which there is a difference in degree of power in different meridians. Astigmatism causes difficulties in seeing fine detail. Astigmatism can be often corrected by glasses with a lens that corrects for the difference in power.

Muscle Inco-ordination occurs when the complex muscle system for co-ordinating the two eyes to work as a team are not properly balanced. They often occur together with other vision problems and if left untreated contribute to a worsening of the vision problem.

Colour Vision Defects occur in about 9% of boys and 0.5% of girls. They are almost always inherited but can be the result of disease or injury. Almost all people with colour vision defects see most colours but due to the imbalance of their colour receptors they see them slightly differently to the way someone with normal vision sees them. They will therefore have difficulty in identifying some colours and will confuse some colours.

Visual Perception is the ability to analyse and understand what the eyes are seeing. Children with vision problems are more likely to have difficulty with their visual perception; however these problems can occur with otherwise normal vision. If this problem does exist, the underlying vision problem is treated first and then a program of visual perceptual therapy is administered.

Many spectacle wearers spend years unaware that they are suitable for contact lenses. Our qualified Optometrists will fit you with the most appropriate contact lenses for your prescription and lifestyle.

Contact lenses are available to correct both distance, near and multifocal prescriptions, as well as for patients with astigmatism. We will help you find the right contact lens to suit your specific needs.

Approximately 1.7 million Australians are estimated to be living with diabetes . Diabetes affects vision and eye health. Every person with diabetes is at risk of diabetic retinopathy, where the tiny blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye become damaged and begin to leak blood and other fluids. Diabetic retinopathy can seriously affect vision and in some cases may even cause blindness. So, diabetics must pay special attention to their eyecare. All diabetics are recommended to have annual assessments.

We utilise Digital Retinal Imaging (DRI) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to detect diabetic retinopathy. Digital retinal imaging photographs the surface of the retina looking for signs of haemorrhages, lipid exudates or micro-aneurysms. OCT is a non-invasive imaging test, which uses light waves to take cross-sectional images of the retina. OCT allows the optometrist to see each of the retina’s distinctive layers allowing them to detect leaking blood or fluid beneath the surface of the retina.

Speak to one of our Optometrists to learn more about managing your eye health if you are living with diabetes.

Diabetes Australia, Diabetes in Australia, 2015, www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/ diabetes-in-australia (accessed March 2017)

Glaucoma is an eye condition which is characterised by damage to the optic nerve and retina, causing progressive vision loss. Glaucoma develops gradually, without pain or any noticeable symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose until it has begun to permanently damage your vision. Right now, 50% of people with glaucoma remain undiagnosed.*

The good news is that glaucoma can be detected early as part of a standard eye test. We utilise Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), a non-invasive imaging test to detect glaucoma. OCT uses light waves to take cross-sectional images of your retina. OCT allows the optometrist to see each of the retina’s distinctive layers, which can be used to map and measure their thickness. The retinal nerve fibre layer thickness measurements help with the diagnosis of glaucoma. Studies have shown that OCT technology can detect glaucomatous damage up to 8 years before vision loss .^

For optimum eye health, it’s recommended that everyone over the age of 40 have their eyes tested every two years.

* Tunnel Vision. The economic impact of Open Angle Glaucome, Centre for Eye Research Australia, 2008
Kuang TM et al. Ophthalmology 2015. Oct;122(10):2002-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2015.06.015. Epub 2015 Jul 18.

For some of us, refractive surgery can be a great option. It’s important that laser surgery is undertaken by an expert who understands your eye health history. Our Optometrists have a great relationship with your local ophthalmologists and will make sure you get the right referral with a surgeon who suits your needs. We can also provide aftercare, following your surgery.

Macular degeneration is a condition that causes progressive damage to the macular, the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Australia and will affect 1 in 7 people over the age of 50 and the incidence increases with age*. Those with early macular degeneration may have no noticeable symptoms but the disease can cause central vision loss if not treated early.

Early detection of macular degeneration is aided by having regular eye tests. We utilise Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), a non-invasive imaging test to detect macular degeneration. OCT uses light waves to take cross-sectional images of your retina. OCT allows the Optometrist to see each of the retina’s distinctive layers and pick up early signs of macular degeneration, which can include fatty deposits known as drusen, pigment cell disruption or leaking blood or fluid.

For optimum eye health, it’s recommended that everyone over the age of 40 have their eyes tested every two years.

* Source: Macular Disease Foundation

Optometrists are able to diagnose and manage a number of ocular conditions including age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Our practice is equipped with state of the art equipment such as optical coherence tomography which allows us to diagnose these conditions earlier and monitor them more effectively. Many of our Optometrists are also therapeutically endorsed which allows them to treat a number of infective and inflammatory eye conditions with topical medications such as antibiotics and steroids.

What is Ortho-K?

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) is the use of rigid contact lenses to mould the shape of the cornea (the clear window at the front of the eye). Ortho-K is used to reduce or correct myopia (short-sightedness) and astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea).

Orthokeratology is a non-surgical alternative to laser surgery and is akin to using braces to straighten teeth. While teeth usually hold their new position once straightened, the cornea is easily moulded and will always return to its original shape once the moulding forces have been removed. As a result, the Ortho-K lenses are required to be worn every night, to maintain the ideal corneal shape.


Why use Ortho-K?

Orthokeratology is an excellent treatment option for children due to its ability to slow down the progression of myopia. Studies have found that Ortho-K lenses slow the progression of myopia by up to 63%iii.

Orthokeratology allows those normally requiring glasses to be free of both spectacles and contact lenses during waking hours. Ortho-K is ideal for athletes, swimmers and those who work in dirty or dusty environments.

iii Charm J, Cho P. High Myopia-Partial Reduction Ortho-k: A 2-Year Randomized Study. Optom Vis Sci, 2013. 90(6):530-9.


Can anyone have Orthokeratology?

Orthokeratology is able to correct myopia prescriptions of up to eight dioptres and two dioptres of astigmatism.

When using Orthokeratology, the speed of the moulding process varies, based on an individual’s corneal shape and rigidity.


What does Ortho-K involve?

Initial examination

During your initial examination, your Insight Optometrist will assess the general condition and health of your eyes. During this examination, the Optometrist will determine whether Orthokeratology is the best option for you.


Using a computerised corneal mapping system, the Optometrist will measure the shape of your cornea and will order your Ortho-K lenses. Your Optometrist will also schedule your delivery appointment.


Your Ortho-K lenses will arrive at our Practice and your optometrist will show you how to insert, remove and clean your Ortho-K lenses.


How long will Ortho-K take to reshape my cornea?

The Ortho-K lenses are designed to be worn for at least 6 hours at night and are removed soon after waking. Your cornea will begin changing shape the very first time you wear the lenses. Generally, 50% of reshaping is obtained on the first night of use and 100% of corneal reshaping is achieved within 10 days.

Follow up appointments

A number of follow-up appointments will be scheduled to assess the effectiveness and fit of your Ortho-K lenses. If the lenses are not fitting well, your optometrist will re-order the lenses, taking into account any adjustments that may need to be made. Orthokeratology is a precise science and changes as small as one-hundredth of a millimetre can affect the final result.

Long term care

Your Optometrist will also determine the most appropriate wearing schedule for your lifestyle. You may be required to wear the lenses every night, every second night or in some cases every third night. If your Ortho-K lenses are not worn regularly, your eyes will return to their original prescription.

Your Ortho-K lenses will have a prescription which enables you to see clearly while wearing them, allowing you to continue wearing the lenses if you are forced to wake earlier than expected. The lenses may then be removed after the normal wear time.

Vision training is a course of prescribed activities, tailored for the individual and designed to improve poorly developed vision and visual processing skills. Your  Optometrist will prescribe a vision training plan to help improve things like eye movement control, eye focusing, eye coordination and visual analysis skills. At Dickens and Herd, many of our Optometrists use vision training as part of their treatment plans.

In many workplaces, keeping your eyes healthy and protected requires special procedures, techniques and eyewear. All of our Optometrists are qualified to assess your workplace safety needs. They will work with you to create a plan which ensures maximum protection and safety for your eyes in the workplace.