Eye Surgeons Miranda

Frequently Asked Questions

Our eyes are very precious to us, and the possibility that you might lose some or even all of your vision can be quite distressing. Naturally, you'll have questions. While it is impossible to answer specific queries about any individual situation without a thorough examination, we can provide some general information to help you make more considered decisions. Here are some of the patient questions we hear most often.

Do I need a referral?

Yes. As with all specialist practices, we ask that you obtain a referral from either your GP, optometrist or another specialist. Without one you wouldn't be able to claim any money back from Medicare for services rendered. Besides your referral, please bring any relevant records; Medicare, pension and/or DVA cards; plus prior tests results related to your problem. For example, previous visual field tests if you have glaucoma or any retinal photos you have been given on a compact disc. Tests that indicate the stability of your diabetes, such as the Haemoglobin A1c blood test, will give us an idea of your blood sugar control over the past three months.

Anything else I should
bring with me?

If you wear glasses, bring them. And because dilating drops make your eyes a bit sensitive for a while, bring a pair of sunglasses, too, to help with glare on your trip home. If you're diabetic, bring a snack just in case your stay takes longer than anticipated. It's also a good idea to bring a friend or relative, not only to accompany you home, but because four ears are better than two for taking in instructions and explanations.

What happens on
my first visit?

A:When you arrive for the first time, we will record your personal identification details as well as your medical and medication histories. On this and subsequent visits, we will check your vision and may need to dilate your pupils with eye drops. Because this procedure will blur your vision for a while, you should not drive for at least four hours afterwards.

Why must I fill out
a patient questionnaire?

A:To help us treat you the best way possible. Before specialising as eye surgeons, we must first train as general doctors. Thus, we have the knowledge and experience to relate your general health to the health of your eyes. Many conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and neurological diseases have implications for your eyes and visual health.

Does everyone need
dilating drops?

A:Sometimes no. But the examination for macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma is done through the pupil. A dilated (or bigger) pupil enables a better assessment. Even if your main problem is at the front of the eye, we recommend a complete dilated examination of your whole eye including the macula every two years once you reach the age of 40.

What should I expect
after drops?

A:Your vision will be blurry and your eyes sensitive to light. So bring sunglasses to help with the glare and arrange to have a family member or friend drive you home. If this isn't possible and you have to drive, you must allow four hours before getting behind the wheel. Since Westfield Miranda is right across the street, you could have some coffee or get in some shopping.

Where do you operate?

A:We perform some minor procedures within the practice procedure room, including injections for retinal disease. More significant eye operations such as cataract, glaucoma, pterygium and eyelid operations take place at President Private Hospital. If you're uninsured, you can be treated with no out-of-pocket expenses at Westmead Hospital, where Dr Hunt is a consultant ophthalmologist. However, you will have to go on a public waiting list, and a training doctor (registrar) will do the procedure under Dr Hunt's supervision, once you reach the top of that list (generally a year or more later).

How long should I
set aside for
rooms-based procedures?

A:That depends on what you require. Most minor procedures require time for the local anaesthetic to take effect but take less than half an hour to then complete. Just ask either your surgeon or Natasha. If your time is reasonably flexible, we can generally fit in most procedures on that same day.

What does having an
eye operation involve?

A:From your point of view it will seem pretty effortless. Dr Rose will adminster a local anaesthetic. The surgery, done via a microscope, will take about half an hour and involve no sutures. You'll be in hospital for less than a half day. However, someone will have to escort you home, and you'll need to wear an eyepad overnight then return here the next morning for an assessment. You should be able to resume normal activities inside a day or two with some limits, such as rubbing your eyes. (We'll give you a list of Dos and Don'ts.) Most people return to work within a few days.

Will the needles
in my eye hurt?

A:You wouldn't be human if you didn't feel some anxiety about undergoing such a procedure. However, most people are pleasantly surprised and more than a little relieved by the non-invasive nature of the process. Any discomfort you experience should be minimal. Some of our patients describe feeling nothing more than a pinch or pressure sensation. In fact, they are often not even aware the procedure is over.

Do you use a laser?

A:Absolutely. While most people know that lasers are an integral part of the corrective eye surgery that allows patients to throw away their glasses, their ocular use doesn't stop there. We routinely use laser to help prevent vision loss caused by damaging diseases such as macular degeneration, cataract, diabetes and glaucoma. Newer refinements to lasers have significantly increased efficiency and effectiveness. Incidentally, if we determine you are a suitable candidate for refractive laser surgery, we can objectively advise you regarding the best refractive surgeons in Sydney.

How much
does it cost?

A:Clearly, that depends on whether you need a checkup and advice, additional tests or any procedures. You will be partially reimbursed by Medicare for your visit to our practice. If you reach the Medicare safety net threshold in one calendar year, Medicare will start to reimburse a much higher proportion of your out-of-pocket costs (up to 80 percent). If you're having an operation in hospital, it's a good idea to belong to a health fund. In any event, we always explain the reasons for all specialised tests and procedures. And we will not proceed until you fully understand what your financial commitment will be.

How do I get there?

A: If you click Maps, you'll see where we're located. You'll note that right behind our building is Miranda Station. A little less obvious out front is the taxi stand and a bus stop for Veolia Transport Routes 970 and 971, as well as Caringbah Bus Service Route 977.

What is the parking like
around there?

A:Just across the street there are some 4,500 free parking places. By rights though, you should actually buy something in one of the Westfield shops. A newspaper, cup of coffee or some sushi (Omega 3 fish oils are good for your eyes) ought to do the trick. There is also some limited two-hour parking on the street.

Does your building
have wheelchair access?

A:Yes. There is a ramp out front. As well, our examination and testing equipment, lasers, etc., are all accessible by wheelchair.

Is there a way I can test
my own eyes for
wet macular degeneration?

A:You're probably thinking of the Amsler Grid. Developed in 1945 by Swiss ophthalmologist Marc Amsler, it's a brilliantly simple self-test featuring a grid of horizontal and vertical lines. If the lines you see are distorted or have missing patches, you likely have a disease of the macula. The grid also proves useful for monitoring your progress during treatment. To download a PDF with the grid and instructions, just click Amsler Grid.