Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Orthoptist? 

An Orthoptist is an allied health professional that is involved in the diagnosis, treatment and management of eye diseases and disorders of the eye and visual system. Orthoptists work closely with ophthalmologists to assess and manage eye conditions. 

 

What does an Ophthalmologist do? 

An Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor with further specialised training in management and diagnosis in eye and visual system disorders. Additionally, they are able to perform surgeries and prescribe medication in order to manage eye and eyelid diseases. 

 

Do I need a referral? 

Yes, a referral from a General Practitioner (GP), optometrist, ophthalmologist or other specialist is required to claim any Medicare rebates.  If you do not have a referral, we can still see you, however, it is generally more expensive. 

 

How is my vision tested? 

Your vision is tested by the orthoptist with a specialised electronic vision chart. If needed, a prescription is also determined to assess your best corrected vision. 

 

What are dilating eye drops used for? 

Dilating eye drops are used to enlarge the pupils (black circle inside the coloured part of your eye) so the ophthalmologist is able to thoroughly assess your eyes. While your eyes are dilated, you will become sensitive to bright light, have blurred vision and have difficulty focusing on close objects. These drops wear off after several hours, so it is suggested to bring sunglasses with you. 

 

Can I drive to my appointment? 

No, it is not recommended to drive to your appointment yourself and have a driver with you instead. Dilating drops will most likely be used and you will have blurred vision and be sensitive to bright lights for several hours afterwards. 

 

What is an OCT scan and what is it used for? 

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive machine that takes pictures of the layers at the back of your eye. This helps with diagnosis, detecting changes over time, and indicates the type of treatment needed for retinal diseases and glaucoma. 

 

What is AMD? How is it treated? 

AMD, or Age-related Macular Degeneration is a disease that causes the progressive loss of central vision. It does not cause complete blindness but does greatly impact one’s ability to recognise faces, read and drive. Early detection is important in order to prevent irreversible damage. It is most commonly managed with injections at regular intervals. 

 

What is diabetic retinopathy? How is it treated?

Diabetic retinopathy is associated with damaged blood vessels from diabetes in the retina which is at the back of the eye.  Management involves regular review of health of the retina (back of the eye) and to control your blood sugar levels. Sometimes injections may be needed to treat any diabetic macular oedema or laser is needed to prevent the growth of new vessels that can impact vision.

 

What is glaucoma? How is it treated? 

Glaucoma results in vision loss caused by damage to the optic nerve. Assessing your eye pressure, optic nerve and a visual fields test is generally required to diagnose and decide on type of treatment required. Glaucoma is most commonly treated with eye drops, laser or surgery. 

 

What is a visual field test? 

A visual field test is used to assess and detect changes in your central and peripheral vision for conditions such as glaucoma, stroke or other neurological issues.  

 

What are cataracts? How are they treated?

Cataracts are when the normally clear lens inside your eye becomes cloudy, it is most common in the older population but can also form in younger people. It is treated through surgery where your cloudy lens is removed and is replaced with an artificial lens. 

 

What is an A-Scan used for? 

In order to decide what artificial lens should be placed in your eye during cataract surgery, an A-Scan needs to be completed. This noninvasive machine determines the length, depth and curvature of your eye to assist in deciding the best visual outcome following cataract surgery. 

 

What is a chalazion? How is it treated?

A chalazion is a lump or cyst that forms in the eyelid. It forms when the glands within your eyelid become blocked. There are different types of treatment such as warm compresses and massage or a small procedure.

 

How long should I expect my appointment to last? 

A typical appointment lasts from 30 minutes to an hour and a half. 

 

Why should I choose Balwyn Eye Centre? What makes Balwyn Eye Centre special? 

At Balwyn Eye Centre, we endeavor to provide safe and high-quality care for our patients. We pride ourselves on delivering the best outcomes with attentiveness and compassion for all patients. 

 

How do I make an appointment to see Dr Kam?

Our reception is open Monday to Friday 9:00-17:00 and on Saturdays 9:00-13:00. Please call us anytime during these hours. Our phone number is (03) 8586 1288.