FAQs

Eye Test FAQs

How much does an eye test cost?

The vast majority of optometric consultations are covered by Medicare and are bulk billed when eligible, in most cases.

When consultations are not covered by Medicare, such as for the fitting of low powered or coloured contact lenses, our staff will discuss any fees with you before proceeding with the examination.

Other specialty consultation services may attract a fee outside Medicare, although our staff will advise of such costs prior to proceeding with these tests.

How long does the eye test take?

Allow 30-40 minutes – this covers the time for a thorough eye examination, as well as time to choose frames when required.

Do I need a referral?

No, a referral is not required to have a consultation with our optometrists.

Contact Lens FAQs

How do I know if contact lenses are right for me?

The best way to determine whether you’re suitable to wear contact lenses is to have an appointment with an Optometrist. The Optometrist will check your prescription and eye health and will discuss the best contact lens options.

Technology is constantly improving which means most people are suitable for contact lenses.  Whether you have dry eyes, a weird prescription, or complex visual needs, contact lenses could quite possibly be your perfect solution.

I’ve been told before I can’t wear contacts – have things changed?

Yes!! Contact lenses can now correct short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism and presbyopia (difficulty with near focus after the age of 40).

If comfort has been a problem in the past, new lens technology means that most patients are not even aware of the lenses in their eyes!

Why do I need an up to date script every time I buy contacts?

Our eyes change throughout our lives, consequently both spectacle and contact lens prescriptions also change. A contact lens prescription includes not only details about the optical power but also the brand and dimensions of the contact lenses such as base curve and diameter, which affect the comfort and fit of the lenses.

It is recommended that contact lens wearers have 12 month reviews to make sure all aspects of the prescription are correct.

Can I sleep in my contact lenses?

There are a number of factors which determine the suitability of sleeping in lenses. Firstly, the lens must provide high oxygen transmissibility. Since the eyes are closed during sleep air is unable to reach the cornea which is reduced further when a contact lens is worn.

Oxygen deprivation can cause detrimental long term effects such as corneal scarring. Only silicone hydrogel lens materials provide high enough oxygen transmissibility to be safely slept in.

The second consideration with extended wear is the risk of infection. Sleeping in contact lenses increases the risk of developing an eye infection. Children, people with a history of eye infections or who have compromised immune systems are recommended not to sleep in lenses.

What should I do to best look after my eyes and contact lenses?

  • Annual check-ups with your EyeQ Optometrist.
  • If eye redness or eye pain occurs when wearing your contact lenses, remove the lenses immediately. If the redness and pain persists on removal, see your EyeQ Optometrist immediately.
  • Only wear your contact lenses for the prescribed time, as indicated by your Optometrist.  E.g. monthly lenses should be changed every month- we recommend marking the day on your calendar, or ensuring that you change your lenses on the same day of every month e.g. 1st of every month.
  • Do not sleep in lenses unless they have been prescribed for that purpose.
  • Ensure that you are cleaning your contact lenses properly and with the correct solution.  Most people are unaware that not all contact lens solutions can be used with all contact lenses. Ask your EyeQ Optometrist about the best solution for your lenses.
  • Ensure that every time you open a fresh bottle of solution, you also replace your contact lens case. Old cases are breeding grounds for bacteria!
  • Do not wear your contact lenses when you are sick or in hospital.
  • For daily disposable CL wearers, do not sleep or nap in your CL.
  • Wash your hands before handling your lenses.
  • Do not wear lenses in environments where contamination is likely ie. swimming in rivers.

How do I insert a contact lens?

Handling Lenses

  • Usually there are no markings on the lenses to indicate right from left. To ensure that they do not get mixed up it is important to get into the routine of always handling the right lens first.
  • Your lenses can easily turn inside out. Some lens types are marked to help you identify the correct orientation. Your EyeQ Optometrist will assist you in finding these markings which are often transparent letters and numbers inscribed on the edge of the lens. If your lens is the ‘right way up’ then the markings will appear the ‘right way round’ when viewing the lens from below. If the lens is inside out these markings will appear reversed or ‘back to front’ when viewing the lens from below.
  • If your lenses are not marked, you should check by using the following test:
  • Flex the lens between your thumb and forefinger (see below). If the edges curl in to meet between the fingers, the lens is the correct side out. If the edges flare away from each other over the finger tips, then it is inside out and must be reversed.

Correct lens fold FAQ

  • Another method is to place the lens on the tip of your finger and view its shape from the side, as shown below. If the lens is the correct shape then the edges of the lens will appear to be curved like the edge of a bowl. If the lens is inside out then the edges will flare out like the edge of a plate.

Faq image 2

 

  • Contact lenses are packaged in sterile blister packs. Once a pack is opened and handled there is a risk of contamination. In order to avoid contaminating the lenses always wash your hands since bacteria on your skin are one of the greatest sources of lens contamination.
  • Keep your hands free from soap or hand cream when handling your lenses. Avoid contaminating your lenses with other substances (eg: cosmetics, hair spray, etc). For women place the lenses in your eyes before applying make-up.
  • Fingernails should be kept shorter on your thumb and forefinger as long nails can easily damage your lenses.

Inserting Lenses

  • Always begin by washing your hands making sure all soap residue has been rinsed away.
  • Take the right lens out of the container and ensure it is not inside out.
  • Flush the inside surface with your rinsing solution, which ensures that they are free of any loose debris.
  • Place the lens on the tip of the index finger of your dominant hand.
  • Hold your upper lid up with the index finger of your non-dominant hand. It is best to hold your eyelids as close to the eyelashes as possible, this gives you greater control of the lids which will allow you to open the eyes wider and stop yourself from blinking. It is integral with lens insertion that you open the eyes wide enough to allow the lens to pass through the space between your lids. As a general rule if you can still blink whilst holding the lids then you will be unlikely to fit the lens on the eye.
  • Hold the lower lid down with the middle finger of your dominant hand, again trying to hold the lid as close to the margin of the eyelid as possible.
  • Lift the index finger upwards to the eye and place the lens on to the coloured part of the eye.Insert Faq image 3
  • Slowly release the lids and remove your index finger.
  • Close your eyes momentarily. The lens will normally centre automatically but can sometimes require gentle manipulation with the lids to help centre it.
  • If the eyes feel uncomfortable gently rubbing on your eye through your closed eyelid will often remove bubbles or debris trapped beneath the lens. Often it is recommended that you place a moisturising drop on the lens prior to insertion, which helps cushion the lens when it settles on the eye.
  • Repeat for the left lens.

faq image 4

 

Removing the lenses

  • Wash hands thoroughly.
  • Ensure that the lens is in the correct position on your cornea before attempting to remove it.
  • Retract the lower lid with the middle finger by holding the eyelid margin and slide the lens down on to the white of the eye with the index finger. Do not lift your finger off the lens as this will cause the lens to re-centre on the eye.
  • Squeeze the lens lightly between the thumb and index finger. This will allow air underneath the lens to break the suction and allow the lens to be removed.
  • Repeat for the left lens.

How do I beat Dry Eye?

Dryness of the eye can be a significant problem for many contact lens wearers. The incidence of dry eye increases with age and is more common in women. Dry eye is also prevalent in people who suffer from chronic eye infections such as blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction.

Environment also plays an important role, computer users, air-conditioning and dry and dusty environments also exacerbate dry eye. The brand of lens is also critical, the newest generation of water gradient contact lenses reduce dryness especially at the end of the day.

Water gradient daily disposable lenses have a thin envelope of water surrounding the core of the lens which prevents the lens from dehydrating and reduces friction between the contact lens and the eyelid when blinking.

An Optometrist is able to diagnose and treat dry eye and will recommend the best materials and solutions to maximise your contact lens wearing experience.

What is the difference between a monthly, fortnightly and daily contact lens?

Whether a contact lens is monthly, fortnightly or daily largely depends on the breathability/oxygen transmissibility of the lens. Certain materials such as silicone hydrogels, which are used in fortnightly and monthly contact lenses have high oxygen transmissibility and are tougher and more resilient for longer term wear.

As a result they are thicker, and as such, sometimes pose a comfort issue for patients. Daily lenses, tend to be made from a hydrogel material which is more comfortable, however less breathable. As a consequence, overwearing these contact lenses puts the wearer at a higher risk of developing complications and eye infections.

Does it matter what contact lens solution I use?

Contact lens solutions are critical to comfort. A contact lens solution has two major functions; to clean and disinfect the contact lens. The newest generation of cleaning solutions also have wetting agents which improve the wettability of the contact lens surface, thus improving comfort.

An individuals sensitivity to preservatives also needs to be considered. Certain lens care systems may cause toxic responses on the eye which negatively affects contact lens comfort. Preservative free solutions may be recommended to patients who demonstrate these toxicity responses.

Does over wearing contact lenses really do any harm?

Yes. Over wearing contact lenses increase the risk of eye infections. Most eye infections are mild and treatable yet severe infections have the potential to permanently affect vision and in some cases may lead to blindness.

The people most susceptible to eye infections are those who sleep in their lenses especially when they’re sick, people who wear lenses beyond the recommended schedule ie. A monthly disposable lens being worn for 6 weeks, and people who don’t clean their lenses. Over-wearing lenses increases the number of micro-organisms which attach to the contact lens surface and can therefore interact with the eye.

To decrease the bacterial load on a lens it is imperative that you wash your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial hand wash, clean the lenses every day and avoid wearing the lenses in certain environments such as swimming in rivers and spas.

What should I do if my eye becomes red or sore?

If your eyes become red or sore whilst wearing lenses, remove the lenses immediately. If the irritation subsides after the lens has been removed then inspect the lens to make sure it hasn’t been inserted inside out or has a rip or tear. If necessary insert a new lens.

If the irritation returns after re-insertion or does not subside after removing the lenses contact your Optometrist immediately. An Optometrist is able to determine by using a slit lamp biomicroscope whether you have an eye infection and can recommend the appropriate treatment.

It is best to consult an Optometrist rather than your GP since most GP’s do not have access to slit lamp biomicroscopes. The quicker an infection is diagnosed and treated the faster the recovery and the less likely of permanent visual impairment.

What happens with eye infections and contact lenses?

Once diagnosed, eye infections usually require intense treatment involving topical antibiotic drops.  Drops will usually be required for several weeks, over which time, contact lenses cannot be worn.

The key is early detection and treatment.  A contact lens related infection, left untreated for several days, can result in significant corneal scarring and visual impairment.