FAQs


Q. Is it easy to park at Hawkeneyes?

Hawkeneyes is situated in the St. Lucia shopping village and there is a car park underneath the building that we are in, which is easy and convenient.

Q. Can pregnancy affect my vision?

Yes. Changes in hormones, metabolism, fluid retention, and blood circulation can all affect your eyes and your eyesight during pregnancy.
Water retention, for instance, may cause the thickness and curvature of the cornea of your eye to increase slightly. It's a small change, but it could affect how well your glasses or contacts correct your vision. Pregnancy isn't a great time to invest in a new pair of glasses, though. In most cases, these changes are temporary and will reverse themselves within several months of delivery.
You may find that your eyes are drier and more irritated during pregnancy (as well as during breastfeeding). This, along with subtle changes in the shape and thickness of the cornea, may contribute to some difficulty wearing contact lenses that were once comfortable.

Q. What is ARMD (Macular Degeneration) ?

A. Age Related Macular degeneration (ARMD) is a progressive eye disease that affects the central vision. Just as film at the back of a camera gives us pictures, the retina, which forms the lining at the back of our eyes, sends pictures to our brain, giving us vision. In Macular Degeneration the very centre of this picture (called the macula) becomes damaged.
Q. How common is ARMD or macular degeneration ?
Age-related macular degeneration is the major cause of vision impairment and blindness in Australia for people over the age of 50. Early ARMD occurs in about 14 per cent of those aged 55 to 64 years, 18 per cent of those aged 65 to 74 years, and 30 per cent of those aged over 75 years. Men and women are equally affected. ARMD accounts for almost 50 per cent of legal blindness and up to 70 per cent of seriously impaired vision in people over the age of 70 years.

Q. What can I do to reduce the risks of ARMD?

  • Stop smoking
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Have regular eye tests
  • Maintain good blood pressure control
  • Eat fish, nuts and brightly coloured fruit and vegetables

Q. How does my general health and lifestyle impact on my eyes?

One of the biggest influences on the long-term health of the eyes is an individual’s general health. A healthy vascular system provides the appropriate amount of nutrients to the eyes. Hypertension, diabetes and other vascular conditions can impact on eye health.
Uncontrolled diabetes can cause permanent vision loss and cataracts. Various medications can result in side effects ranging from mild dryness of the eye to changes in the retinal tissue that can permanently reduce a person’s vision. Long term abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs can also have an impact on the well being of the eyes.
If you have diabetes or hypertension, you should have your eyes tested regularly. Talk to your optometrist about this. If you suspect your vision has altered due to drugs, you should have an eye test.

Q. What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition in which the pressure within the eyeball becomes too high and damages the nerves. Just like we have blood pressure, there is pressure in the eye which helps maintain the structure of the eye. Increased pressure within the eye pushes against the delicate nerves at the back of the eye and damages them. Vision to the sides is first affected and slowly progresses towards the centre. Generally, with the most common form of glaucoma, there are no symptoms, similar to high blood pressure. You are more at risk to developing glaucoma if you are:

  • Over 40
  • Significantly shortsighted
  • Diabetic
  • Related to someone who has glaucoma

The side (or peripheral) vision can be tested by our optometrist with a 'visual fields test' using state of the art computerised technology.

Q. What are Cataracts?

Cataracts are changes within the lens of the eye. In most cases, with age, the lens within the eye becomes cloudy and can interfere with our vision. Cataracts can also be caused by trauma to the eye or be there at birth. Generally cataracts are nothing to be too concerned about. Many people with cataracts will never have to have them treated. In a routine optometrist examination your lens will be looked at. If there are any concerns you will be advised.

Q. What can be done about Cataracts?

When the cloudiness reaches a stage that it is interfering with a person's lifestyle, the lens is removed by an eye surgeon. A new plastic lens is put in its place, giving clear vision once again. Usually this can be done under a mild anaesthetic. Following surgery, spectacles may be required to give perfect distance and near vision.

Q. Why do I have dry eyes?

Dry eyes are often caused by your eyes not producing enough tears or the components that make up your tears are not within the right balance. Symptoms of dry eyes include itching, burning, soreness, grittiness and red eyes. Dry eye symptoms can be made worse by evaporation of tears from your eyes particularly in air-conditioned environments or staring at a computer screen. The optometrist can determine the most likely cause of dry eye symptoms and provide advice as to the management so that it does not impact your lifestyle.

Q. How do I get contact lenses?

A full eye examination is required prior to obtaining contact lenses. The optometrist will assess the health of your cornea and whether contact lenses are appropriate for your prescription as well as the type of contact lenses that would be most appropriate for your needs. The optometrist will provide you with a pair of trial contact lenses to determine whether they are comfortable and suit your lifestyle. Once you have contact lenses prescribed, you will need to have an annual eye examination to ensure that your eyes are healthy, before a current prescription can be issued.

Q. Is it difficult to insert and remove contact lenses?

We will teach you how to insert and remove your contact lenses. It is not difficult but like driving a car is a skill that you become more adept at, the more you practice and eventually be able to do without thinking about it. It can take about an hour to learn how to insert and remove contact lenses.

Q. What can go wrong when wearing contact lenses?

As you are placing something in your eye, there could be a risk of infection when wearing contact lenses. However, to minimise the risk of sight-threatening infections, it is imperative that contact lens wearer obey several rules:

  • Always wash your hands before touching your eyes or lenses.
  • Always clean and sterilise your lenses as directed after removing them from your eyes.
  • Do not over wear or sleep in your contact lenses (unless they are specifically designed to be slept in).
  • Replace your contact lens case regularly. You will normally find new cases in with fresh solutions when you purchase.
  • Allow your case and its lids to air dry during the day.
  • Always remove your contact lenses and seek the advice of an eye care or medical practitioner if: a) your eyes become very red: b) your vision becomes blurry; or c) you have a painful eye. Contact a hospital casualty department if this occurs in the middle of the night.
  • Always present for routine aftercare visits at your optometrist. You will be advised on the regularity of these visits.
  • If you swim in your contacts, replace them or sterilise them when you get out of the water.
  • Never put saliva on your contact lenses.
  • It is impossible for a contact lens to go right behind your eye. One may end up rolled or folded up behind the top lid. If you suspect that this has occurred, do not panic, it will not harm your eye. Please come in to see us and we can have a closer look with the correct equipment, and remove the lens if possible.

Q. Why are some people colour blind?

Colour blindness is almost always inherited, although it can be an acquired condition as a result of some diseases or injuries. The abnormality is sex linked, recessive, and carried on the X chromosomes. As a result, about 8% of males and 0.5% of females have colour vision deficiencies. Almost all colour deficient people do see most colours but they will have difficulty identifying particular ones, confusing certain shades of red and green for example.
As children, few of these people will be aware that they have a colour vision deficiency but the detection of these problems is important. We are able to perform tests to identify colour vision deficiencies.

Q. What is Digital Retinal Photography?

Digital Retinal Photography uses sophisticated equipment to produce a high-resolution photograph of your retina, optic nerve and blood vessels. This technology allows us to screen for abnormalities which can help with early detection of diseases including glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal changes that may be associated with diabetes. Any detected abnormalities can then be monitored and treated to better protect the quality of your sight and overall eye health. These images are stored by our optometrists to track your eye health over time.

Q. What is the impact of computers and smart phones on my vision?

As a society, we are becoming more reliant and computers, tablets and smart phones. Using this equipment may be causing eyestrain that ordinarily may not be present. As a result you may require a special lens to be able to use these tools comfortably. Your optometrist will be able to advise you on the best solution for your work and lifestyle needs.

Q. How does poor vision affect driving?

Good vision is essential to operating a motor vehicle. Any marked loss of visual acuity or visual fields ie your peripheral or side vision, will diminish an individual’s ability to drive safely. Not being able to see signs easily and quickly, can make driving difficult and dangerous. A driver with a significant visual defect may fail to detect another vehicle, pedestrians and/or warning signs, and will take appreciably longer to perceive and react to a potentially hazardous situation. Peripheral vision is particularly important in certain common driving tasks, such as merging into a traffic stream or changing lanes.
Persons over the age of 75 are required to have their vision checked annually to maintain their driving license. Our optometrist is able to provide these checks as well as advice on suitable correction for comfortable driving.

Q. How much does Medicare help with testing fees?

Medicare covers the majority of test charges when we bulk bill. If you want a second opinion after seeing another optometrist, you are not fully covered and may be asked to pay in full, for the examination before claiming back an amount from medicare.
Only some contact lens fitting fees are claimable by medicare. Your optometrist can explain this to you.

Q. What is involved in testing children?

At Hawkeneyes we enjoy seeing children and making there visual experience better. This means keeping the eye test as fun and straight forward as possible and making the job of picking frames, if necessary as fun as possible.
Testing children involves ensuring that the eyes are both seeing well and working together to focus and point in the correct direction. We have many ways of doing this, which will vary for different age groups. Any results will be explained to you and your child in as simple terms as we can, and please feel free to ask any questions.

Q. Will my child need eye drops for the test?

We do sometimes need to put drops into children’s eyes during an eye test. If a child does not demonstrate good vision in some way, this may be necessary straight away or on a return visit. This will be discussed with you before any action is taken.

Q. What is visual perceptual testing?

Visual perception is the way in which the messages from the eyes are interpreted by the brain. In most people this is well organized and develops normally. In some individuals however, the messages may be scrambled or slow. This means that normal tasks such as copying may become a chore for those individuals. There are certain tests to determine whether or not someone exhibits some problems with their visual perception.
The battery of tests involves tests for fine motor skill, copying, visual memory, audio to visual tests, spatial awareness and a few other things. The test may take at least an hour for some, but longer for other people. That means testing may be split over two sessions.  Perceptual testing is seldom done on the same day as a standard eye test. It is best to fresh when doing these tests.
Please feel free to ask the optometrist questions about this if you wish.

Q. What does my private health fund cover?

If you have extras cover with your fund, you will be entitled to a rebate for optical appliances, ie prescription items like glasses, contact lenses, swimming goggles etc.
Every fund differs by how much they pay and each fund has various levels of cover. Not everyone gets the same rebate.
When you pay for you glasses, we will swipe your card to claim electronically for you, and you then will need to pay us the balance of your purchase. Click here

Q. Can I get hospital glasses at Hawkeneyes?

Yes, we have an agreement to supply hospital glasses to those eligible for hospital glasses. We require that you have your prescription checked by us before we dispense the glasses. The application forms then are sent to the authorities to decide if you are eligible for free glasses. This process may take several weeks. You may have lens extras or frames that are not covered by the spectacle scheme and pay us the balance when you order the glasses. Click here

Q. Can I use my gold veteran’s card to get glasses at Hawkeneyes?

Yes, we do have an agreement in place to provide glasses to gold card holders. We will do a prescription test and then help you chose your glasses. You are able to choose frames that are not fully covered by the DVA, and just pay a balance to us. In most cases, your lenses will be fully covered by the DVA. We will check and gain prior approval before ordering any glasses. This process takes no longer than ordering glasses privately. Click here

Q. Can I get  safety glasses at Hawkeneyes?

Yes you can. Click here

Q. Can I get prescription swimming goggles at Hawkeneyes?

Yes you can. Click here

Q. How long do glasses take to get?

This will depend on the type of lenses and frames that you have chosen. It could be as fast as overnight to about two weeks. Unfortunately sometimes glasses of a very specialised nature will take longer. Your glasses are being made especially for you. If something goes wrong in the lens manufacture or fitting to your frames, there may also be delays. We will endeavour to inform you if this is going to be the case.

Q. What is a visual field test?

A visual field test is used to determine if you are seeing everything across the entire field of your vision. This test may be performed if the optometrist decides it is necessary. It may take between 15 minutes to half an hour. The optometrist will explain to you why they are doing the test at the time.

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