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Frequently Asked Questions



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Will wearing glasses weaken my eyes?

No, if spectacles are prescribed and worn correctly they will not weaken your eyes.

There are many forms of spectacle prescriptions,

Firstly, the most common is the compensating lens prescription which is to eliminate blurry vision. If this is worn correctly, ie as recommended by your optometrist then it will not weaken your eyes.

Secondly, there is the therapeutic lens prescription, this is often used in cases of childhood developmental vision problems, prescribed in order to remediate and rehabilitate problems with focusing and convergence for example. These therapeutic lenses are used for the time the problem exists and then wear is ceased after the optometrist deems the visual system no longer requires support.

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Where do the stories of glasses weakening eyes come from?

This common misconception typically comes from people purchasing off the shelf readymade glasses which are basically magnifiers. The magnification effect often leads to adaptation which then has the person wanting ‘more', ie a higher magnification.

The other concern is people wearing their spectacles incorrectly, ie if prescribed a reading or computer prescription and then you ‘forget' and walk around with the spectacles on,it is likely that your eyes may become accustomed to this style of focusing, and require you to be prescribed a stronger lens power prematurely.

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Do I need to see an ophthalmologist even if I have seen an optometrist already to check for eye disease?

The Optometrist is able to both fully evaluate a person's vision status and to check for signs of eye disease using both their university trained skills and the latest diagnostic equipment. In the event of signs of an eye disease being detected the optometrist will immediately refer the patient to an ophthalmologist for medical treatment.

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Can't I just go to any Optometrist today, why do I have to wait for an appointment for my child to see a Behavioural Optometrist?

Everyone is of course free to go wherever they wish to go for an eye examination, however the Behavioural Optometrist with ACBO Fellowship Accreditation (FACBO) is your assurance that the optometrist you are going to see has achieved the necessary qualifications to ensure an indepth assessment of your child's visual system and vision development.

The Behavioural Optometrist is required to undertake ongoing continuing education to remain at the forefront of the profession.

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Aren't all glasses the same? Why should I pay a premium over the cheap spectacles I see advertised on TV?

All glasses are not the same. The quality of the lenses is not the same wherever you go, as is always the case, you get what you pay for. At Vision West our lenses are dispensed as standard with three coatings, 1. Scratch resistant coating 2. Anti-reflective coating to reduce reflections from lights, computers, important for clear vision 3. Smudge free coating to improve cleaning ability.

At Vision West we will always advise the lens that best suits your needs, the thinnest best optical quality lens with the best visual and aesthetic properties.

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I want to come to Vision West for my eye test but I want to take my prescription elsewhere, is that OK?

Whilst a person is free to take their spectacle or contact lens prescription anywhere, it needs to be remembered that what you are offered at Vision West is the best product for your visual needs, not just the cheapest. Often the cheapest option won't fully satisfy your visual requirements, so if our prescriptions are taken elsewhere we cannot guarantee the end result will be the same as dispensing at Vision West.

Also, given the extra time we take with your careful vision examination, and the latest diagnostic equipment that of course requires ongoing investment.

Also it is important that if we are to be able to offer ongoing vision care to the discerning public into the future, and to ensure what we say you need is actually what you end up getting, then YES dispensing your prescription at Vision West is an important part of your total vision care.

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What is the difference between a health fund providers' 'FREE' spectacles and Vision West spectacles?

Health fund spectacles are dispensed down to a price determined by the health fund, not the Optometrist. Typically this means the cheapest frame with the most basic uncoated lenses. It is not possible to provide the best optical solutions for the price a health fund determines is ‘enough'. This means the carefully devised prescriptions for your spectacles are then compromised by inferior materials and poor quality frames that cannot last.

To meet health fund cost parameters, providers of these so called free spectacles have to source old, discontinued or poor quality frames and lenses. Often when you price equivalent product at a health fund provider and compare it to Vision West prices for quality product, we will be cheaper in many cases.

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How often should I have my eyes examined?

For maintaining clear healthy vision, it is recommended that an eye examination be undertaken every two years. Your optometrist may however recommend more regular examinations depending on the health of your eyes or visual needs. Contact lens wearers require an aftercare visit every twelve months.

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How long will my eye examination take?

A full eye examination for adults or children will take around 40 minutes. Subsequent eye examinations and contact lens aftercare examinations will take about 20 minutes.

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Will my eye examination be bulk billed to Medicare?

In 2015 the Federal Government made changes to optometric rebates under Medicare, reducing rebates back to 2010 levels and freezing these rebates until 2018. Furthermore the time interval between visits attracting the full rebate was increased from two years to three years.

These reductions in Medicare fees and rebates made it no longer possible for us to direct bill most patients, so the consultation is payable by the individual now but a Medicare rebate is applied for by Vision West on the patient behalf at the time of the visit. This means although there is now a small gap between the consultation fee and the Medicare rebate, we at Vision West do the claim via Medicare electronically for you on the spot, so there is no need for you to go to a Medicare office to receive your rebate.

Though some other practices, in particular the corporate franchises, may still bulk bill visits, this is generally in an environment that offers a much shorter consultation time. At Vision West our full appointment slot is forty minutes, not the fifteen minutes that is common in a corporate environment, therefore allowing us to provide complete vision care for your visual needs.

 

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I know that Vision West is an optometrist for children, but does Vision West see adults as well?

Vision West is a great place for adults as well as children. In fact, adults make up 50% of Vision West's customers.

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At what age should I commence having my childrens' eyes tested?

The simple answer is as early as possible. Although most people think the Optometrist needs verbal answers to questions to be able to conduct an eye test, nothing could be further from the truth.

It is possible to test the eyes of a newborn baby using objective methods where we can observe the eye movements and even measure the focusing power of the eyes.

Having said that, it is normal for the first eye examination to be around 18 months of age, then 3 years of age, then before Kindergarten and annually during the school years to ensure appropriate vision development.

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Does Vision West have a great range of fashion frames?

Vision West has built a reputation over the years for being the place to go if you are looking for something spectacular in optical fashion design. Vision West is the only independently owned (non-corporate) optical outlet in Karrinyup, which gives us the freedom to stock what people want rather than what's best for the corporate bottom-line.

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I have tried Multifocals before and they didn't work, why would Multifocals made by Vision West be easier for me to use?

There are many type of multifocal lenses. The older designs were typically more difficult to adjust to, having large amounts of peripheral distortion so if you looked to the side they made things blurry or you may have become dizzy and disoriented, tripping over steps and the ground sloping.

Modern multifocal lens designs can have far larger areas of distance, intermediate and near vision, with minimal peripheral distortion.

In modern optics however there are so many designs of multifocals most consumers are unaware or can't be sure that they are going to be given the latest designs.

The older designs, that were much harder to wear, are still manufactured and typically used by optical retailers that claim to have cheap or free glasses, usually the ones that say your health fund rebate is enough and you won't have any 'out of pocket expense'.

As is always the case you get what you pay for, at Vision West we guarantee to always give the latest designs that will allow you the maximum amount of vision, with seamless transition between distance, intermediate and near vision.

As soon as new designs are released, we at Vision West analyse their suitability for our patients and offer them immediately, so you never have to worry about having the latest and best lenses for your eyes.

 

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Can I use my multifocal spectacles on the computer too?

At Vision West we promise to always offer you the best optical products for your visual needs. 

Whilst modern multifocal lens designs have far greater intermediate vision zones than the older designs that some other places use, there is often a need for an alternative lens design to be used on the computer, if you are on the VDU alot.

We recommend the use of extended focus lens designs for the computer. These allow full near vision just like reading spectacles, however the upper section of the lens is set for computer distance.

The advantage of these extended focus lenses means being able to shift focus between your computer and hard copy on your desk without having to peer over your glasses or getting a sore neck from leaning forward.

Many people can wear their regular multifocal spectacles on the computer, but if you are having trouble it is worth considering an additional pair of extended focus lenses for your computer needs.

At Vision West we will discuss your visual needs and the suitability of the various lens designs for you when you come in for your vision care appointment, prior to dispensing of your spectacles.

 

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Glossary

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Word of the Moment

Behavioural Optometry
Covers all aspects of primary care optometry, where vision can affect performance; including developmental vision, visual efficiency problems that may be inhibiting accurate vision, visual processing problems that may be inhibiting ability to process visual information such as when reading. Behavioural Optometrists examine all ages of patients not only children. more