Your Appointment

Telephone our front desk during office hours 02 9747 2555
Contact us via email:
Please advise the condition you are being referred for and which doctor you would like to see. Our staff can advise of availability.
The staff will also discuss costs involved for the consultation at the time you make your booking.

Please bring a referral from your GP or Optometrist.
Plan not to drive if possible, as your vision is likely to be blurry after your appointment.
Bring a list of all medications you are taking (eye drops and any tablets), and all glasses you currently use.

Your appointment time is your arrival time, not the time you will actually see the doctor.
Please allow at least 2-3 hours for your visit, especially if it is your first appointment.
Allow time for registration for new patients.
You will initially be seen by an orthoptist who will conduct testing on your vision before you see the doctor.
We often determine extra testing will need to be done, depending on the problem you have been referred for. This can add time taken for your appointment.
While we do our best to see patients in a timely manner, please understand that delays may occur as some patients take longer than others due to the complexity of their condition. Please also understand that we may have to see emergency cases at short notice which can disrupt our schedule.

We may have post-graduate student Orthoptists on university placement who assist with visual testing before you see the doctor. They are supervised by a qualified orthoptist and will be identified as students. If you prefer not to be seen by a student (this is just for the preliminary vision testing not your consultation) – please let our staff know when you check in.

We have some staff members that speak Italian, Greek, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese. However it is advisable to bring a relative or arrange an interpreter for patients who are not confident communicating in English.

Parts of the Eye

This is the clear window at the front of the eye. It helps focus light on the retina. If the cornea becomes cloudy or irregular in shape this can have a big impact on vision

This is located just behind the iris and pupil. Like the cornea it also focusses light on the retina, and in younger people it also changes shape to allow you to shift focus from distance to near vision. As people get older the lens tends to become cloudy, it also loses the ability to focus up close (unless someone is myopic or short sighted).

This is specialised nerve tissue that lines the back of the eye. The incoming light which is focussed on the retina forms an image, which is then converted into electrical signals by the retina.

This is a bundle of specialised nerves which conveys visual signals to the brain. It transmits the electrical impulses generated by the retina when you view an image.

This is the central part of the retina which is responsible for all our fine vision and reading vision. Although it is only a small area of the retina it is extremely important as it has a large concentration of the special cells required for detailed vision. Various diseases can affect the macula which can impact especially our central fine vision.

Eye Conditions

Cataract is when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, and starts to effect vision. It tends to come on gradually. Symptoms include blurred vision, trouble reading, trouble driving at night, or sometimes rapid large changes in the strength of glasses required. There are different forms of cataract but the treatment of all is essentially the same. Early cataracts can be watched but when the vision is significantly affected then surgery is likely to be required.

Glaucoma actually refers to a group of conditions where there is degeneration of the fibres in the Optic nerve. While the cause of glaucoma is not completely understood there are distinct patterns of disease we recognise. We do know that the intraocular pressure (IOP) or ‘eye pressure’ is one of the main risk factors.

As the optic nerve degenerates there is loss of parts of the peripheral vision, often asymptomatic in the early stages. Visual field testing helps map out these areas of vision loss – for diagnosis, and to monitor response to treatment.

As parts of the optic nerve begin to thin out over time this can also be monitored with OCT imaging of the optic nerve.

Treatment of glaucoma aims to lower the pressure. In most cases this will be with the use of eye drops, but in other cases there are options for laser or surgery.

Our knowledge of glaucoma continues to evolve and newer treatments are on the horizon.

The cornea is specialised tissue at the front of the eye which must be clear for optimal vision. A special layer of cells on the inside of the cornea (the endothelium) are responsible for keeping the cornea clear at all times. We are born with a certain number of endothelial cells, and these decrease throughout life. Certain diseases can cause these cells to die more quickly. Sometimes when an eye has had a number of surgeries this can affect the health of the endothelial layer. When a cornea becomes cloudy due to low endothelial cell count we term this ‘corneal decompensation’.  A corneal transplantation procedure can replace the cells using healthy endothelial cells from a donor eye. There are different types of corneal transplantation procedures depending on whether one layer or the whole cornea is transplanted. Corneal transplants may also be performed for other corneal conditions, especially if the cornea is very scarred, or very irregular in shape (which causes the eye to be out of focus). Your surgeon can discuss with you the best option based on your particular circumstances.

Literally meaning ‘conical cornea’ this is a condition where the clear window at the front of the eye instead of being round is cone shaped. It is due to thinning of the cornea, It tends to run in families and to affect younger people. It is strongly associated with allergies and with eye rubbing. As the cornea takes on an abnormal shape the eye is out of focus. Sometimes this can be corrected with glasses, other times with a hard contact lens, which moulds to the irregular shape of the cornea. Keratoconus tends to progress and in the past when it could not be corrected optically patients required a corneal transplant. Currently if it is diagnosed early then corneal crosslinking can be applied which decreases the chance of progressive vision loss due to ongoing thinning. For more advanced cases lamellar or full thickness transplantation procedures may be required.

Macular Degeneration refers to a group of conditions where there is deterioration of the special cells in the most important part of the retina at the back of the eye – the part of the eye responsible for our fine vision. It tends to occur in older people. The exact causes are not well understood but there is an enormous amount of research going into this condition, and treatments for this condition have improved over the last 15 years, with even more treatments on the horizon.

Macular degeneration is generally divided into ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ sub-types, but there is overlap. In the dry type there is general wear and tear of the macula which results in gradual decrease of central vision. At present there is not treatment for this condition, but it tends to move very slowly.

In the wet form, which is less common, there is leakage of fluid at the back of the eye. This can result in sudden changes of vision and if left untreated can cause permanent loss of central vision quite quickly. Fortunately there are effective treatments available to dry out the fluid at the back of the eye, and vision can be preserved if the condition is caught early.

People with diabetes can develop a number of issues with their eyes. The most important of which is termed diabetic retinopathy. It can range from mild to severe. In the early stages there may be no symptoms so regular eye checks are important for people with diabetes to detect any abnormalities. The earliest signs are abnormalities with the blood vessels in the retina and leakage of fluid. In later stages there can be bleeding in the back of the eye and loss of vision. The best means of preventing diabetic retinopathy is with optimal control of the blood sugar, blood pressure and other vascular risk factors.

Dry eye (also termed Ocular Surface Disease) is extremely common. It sounds trivial but the effects can be serious. Patients experience irritation, grittiness, blurred vision and discomfort. It can be worse in people who have had eye surgery, with some eye drop treatments, in people with certain medical conditions or on certain medications. There are different causes of dry eye, and it ranges in severity. It also appears to be increasingly common in our society. While there is no one ‘silver bullet’ to cure dry eye there are a number of different treatments available to help manage this condition.

Flashes and floaters often indicate changes are occurring at the back of the eye (retina and vitreous). The most serious condition to exclude is retinal detachment. Posterior vitreous detachment is more common, and is a normal change that occurs with age – but in some cases can lead on to retinal detachment.

Download Flashes and Floaters Info Sheet

Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is an emergency. Tissue at the back of the eye pulls away from a layer of blood vessels that provide necessary oxygen and nourishment. This is often seen as a shadow or a curtain coming down over the vision, and part of the peripheral vision missing. There may have been flashing lights experienced before this happens. Retinal detachment requires urgent surgical repair.

Posterior Vitreous Detachment

Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a normal change in your eye which happens to everyone at some point. It is very common, and although it can be associated with troubling symptoms in the vast majority of cases it does not cause any problems with the vision. It is due to the shrinkage of the vitreous gel, and when the back of the vitreous pulls away from the retina at the back of the eye this causes visual symptoms (usually flashes followed by the development of a floater). It is important to have a thorough eye examination when this occurs to detect any retinal breaks or tears, and make sure there is no sign of retinal detachment.

Further useful information on this commonly encountered condition:

Useful Links

Driving and Glaucoma – Talk by Dr. David Wechsler with Glaucoma Australia –
Glaucoma Australia
Macular Disease Foundation Australia
Vision Australia
NSW eye bank
Keratoconus Australia

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