Eye Care Articles

Transitions lenses

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Speak to our friendly team on 02 9872 1555 or in store at Carlingford Court to find out more!

Introducing TruBlue Vision

A huge welcome to our all new sister brand, TruBlue Vision! Specialising in affordable blue light filtered eyewear.

Designed for fashion. Crafted for lifestyle.


Eyesight test

Do you need an eyesight test?

What is an eyesight test?

Eyesight plays such an important role in daily life, from reading to driving to browsing the web, so protecting your eyes is vital. Making regular appointments with an optometrist ensures you stay on track with your eye health.

There are a number of eyesight tests (or eye exams) that can be performed. Let’s take a closer look!

The visual acuity test (performed with the ‘Big E’ or ‘Snellen’ chart, like in the image below) is the most common – this is the one where you sit in a chair and read letters from a chart that is a small distance away, the letters start off really big and reduce in size as they near the bottom. The optometrist will run this test on each eye by covering the other eye. This test helps to determine how each eye’s level of vision compares to the standard 20/20 complete vision.

Snellen eye chart


Another eyesight test performed is a retinoscopy – this allows the optometrist to ensure a correct lens prescription for your glasses or contacts. As you focus on an object, the optometrist will shine a light into your eyes and conclude how it affects the way your eyes process the light. This test shouldn’t cause any pain, so let your optometrist know if you experience any discomfort.

A refraction test is another common test undertaken. This test also helps the optometrist to access your eyeglasses or contact lens prescription – the optometrist will put a device in front of your eyes and replace the lenses to be stronger or weaker, depending on your answer when they ask ‘Is it clearer with lens 1 or 2?’. Don’t worry, there is no right or wrong answer here! This test will help determine if you are nearsighted (can see items clearly up close but not far), farsighted (can see things clear from afar but are blurry when brought closer) or have astigmatism (which is when the abnormal curvature of the eye creates two focal points to point in two separate locations.)

Knowing what happens in our peripheral vision is just as important as knowing what happens inside the eye, which is why a peripheral visual field test is carried out. There are a few ways this eye test can be carried out; automated perimetry, tangent screen exam or a confrontation visual field exam. Your optometrist will decide which test to use.


When should I get an eyesight test done?

In general, regular eyesight tests should be done at least every 2 years. However, this depends on factors including age, current health and any predetermined risks of developing eye problems. Frequent testing is highly recommended for those with medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or neurological conditions. Specialists also recommend getting eyesight tests done more frequently if you already wear glasses or contact lenses, have a family history of eye disease or loss of vision, or take any medications that may have eye-related side effects. If you notice a change in your eyesight, you should get an eyesight test performed, even if it’s before the recommended 2-year time frame.

The same applies for children, eye tests every couple of years are recommended, but if your child complains of vision problems or you suspect your child cannot see well, make an appointment for them straight away.


What should I expect from an eyesight test?

An eyesight test is nothing to be afraid of and should not be painful.  The optometrist will start off by asking about your medical history, family history and about any vision problems you may be experiencing. A clinical assistant may perform some diagnostic tests before seeing the optometrist – these tests will give the optometrist an insight into the health of your eyes. The optometrist will then take that data and see what further tests may be required – this will most commonly be testing your vision with the “Big E”/”Snellen” chart, and testing your eyes reaction to light and muscle co-ordination.

Generally speaking, these eyesight tests should be enough to test your vision, however depending on a number of circumstances, further eyesight testing may be required, which can some times even include eyedrops in your eye to dilute the pupil to see a more in-depth picture of the eye.

There is nothing you need to do to prepare for an eyesight test. However, make sure you have as much information as you can about; your health background, any pre-existing family conditions, what medication you take (name, dosage and how long you have been on them) and if/when you first started to notice your vision changing. When attending an eye exam please bring; your Medicare and private health find card (if you have one), any existing glasses or contact lenses you are using, sunglasses (sometimes optometrists use drops that can cause temporary light sensitivity), and a list of any allergies or medications (if applicable).

Whilst it can be confronting going to get your eye health checked, it is an important part of your overall well-being. Look after your eyes now is an investment in your future.


What to take to an eyesight test


optical extras

Claim your Health Fund Benefits before June 30

If your health fund optical benefits reset at the end of June come to see us in store or call us on Tel: 9872 1555.

Our practice is now open Mon-Sat 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sat 10:00am to 4:00pm providing eye tests, glasses, contact lenses and urgent repairs.

We are taking every step to ensure that our practice is a clean and safe environment for you and our staff. As a health care provider, we will continue to uphold our high standards of hygiene and infection control policies and procedures.

We look forward to seeing you soon for all your eye care needs.


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What is an optometrist?

What is an Optometrist?

Sight is a crucial aspect of our daily lives, that we often take for granted. Every so often we need to acknowledge the importance of our eyes and make sure we are giving them the care they deserve. That’s where an optometrist comes in!  Read on to find out about the important role optometrists perform in ensuring your vision remains at its peak.

What is an optometrist?

If you are experiencing trouble with your vision or eye health, seeing an optometrist should be your first step.  An optometrist will help to diagnose and provide resources, for any vision problems that you may be experiencing.  An optometrist has the qualifications, resources and expert knowledge to examine your eyes and diagnose any vision impairment issues or diseases you may have. An optometrist will give an eye test and examine your eyes to determine whether you would benefit from glasses or contact lenses, or analyse if your current eyewear prescription is still adequate.   Most commonly, patients are treated for a refractive error (e.g. farsightedness or nearsightedness). Sometimes an optometrist will recommend forms of eye therapy or other types of eye care for those with a vision impairment or eye discomfort.  Optometrists can prescribe a limited range of medications to treat specific eye conditions.  If it is necessary, an optometrist will refer you to an ophthalmologist.  Optometrists are there for assistance before and after eye surgery, performed by an ophthalmologist.

Optometrist, ophthalmologist or optician?

These words sound similar and can be easily confused.  But, what is the difference between an optometrist, an ophthalmologist and an optician, and who should you see?


In most cases, you will require assistance from an optometrist first.  An optometrist is a primary health care provider and is the only profession (other than a GP) that has consultations covered by Medicare, without a referral.  Optometrists are highly qualified registered health professionals who have a 5-year optometry degree from a university.  They conduct eye exams, evaluate your vision, prescribe lenses and diagnose common eye disorders. If you have a more complex eye issue or require eye surgery the optometrist will refer you to an ophthalmologist.


An ophthalmologist (also known as an eye doctor or eye surgeon) is a specialist medical doctor, who has postgraduate training in eye health and the vision system.  They have a minimum of 12 years of training.  While they can perform the same duties as an optometrist (such as the standard vision exam), they can also perform eye surgery.  Visiting an ophthalmologist requires a referral from your GP or optometrist.


If new lenses are needed, then you might visit an optician.  An optician specialises in finding the perfect glasses for you based on fit and prescription, and some will help you find the right type of contact lenses.  A dispensing optician will make and dispense eyewear.  They can often do repairs and adjustments to your glasses as well.  An optician is not a doctor and will not evaluate your eye health.

What to expect at the optometrists

Sometimes, we can overlook the importance of a check-up at the optometrist.  As a guideline, healthy adults without glasses should get a check-up at least every 2 years.  Children and the elderly need to be examined more often because eye changes can occur more rapidly in these groups.  If you have already been diagnosed with a vision impairment or use glasses or contacts, your optometrist will advise you how regularly to check back with them.  It is especially important for those recovering from eye surgery to check in with an optometrist as advised.  Always visit the optometrist straight away if you have any concerns about your eye health.  Don’t wait till your next scheduled check-up if you are experiencing any vision changes or discomfort. A check-up with an optometrist will involve an eye examination, but don’t worry this is not a test you can fail.  Check out this short video on what to expect from an eye test. If it is the first time you are seeing a new optometrist, be prepared to answer some questions about your vision history, general health, allergies, and medications, so your optometrist has all the information they need to assist you properly.  If you have prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses then take them with you.  Some optometrists also recommend also bringing along sunglasses to wear after the eye test, as the examination may cause pupil dilation for a short period of time. Overall, your appointment should take somewhere between 20-30 minutes, which also includes a discussion before and after the standard eye exam, where the optometrist will discuss your results. If you think it is time you had an eye test, book now to see one of our highly qualified optometrists at Sparks & Feros.

What happens at an eye exam

What happens at an Eye Examination?

Contrary to popular belief, eye tests are not just about reading letters on a chart, and Optometrists definitely aren’t just salespeople for glasses!

Check out this video to learn more about what happens when you go for an eye examination here at Sparks & Feros: