At the Ballarat Eye Clinic, we are constantly updating our technology to ensure we get the best diagnostic and therapeutic equipment to best manage our patients. There may a number of diagnostic tests you may need to undergo during your visit and below shows some of this equipment. These tests are necessary to aid in the diagnosis and management of your condition however, not all of these tests attract a Medicare rebate so if you have any concerns about the cost of the test, please discuss with your doctor or the staff.
The Humphrey Visual Field is a special automated procedure used to perform perimetry, a test that measures the entire area of peripheral vision that can be seen while the eye is focused on a central point.
Patients with glaucoma will often undergo this test on a regular basis in order to determine how quickly the disease is progressing. The Humphrey Visual Field test can also be used to detect conditions within the optic nerve of the eye, and certain neurological conditions as well.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive imaging test that uses light waves to take cross-section pictures of your retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye.
With OCT, each of the retina’s distinctive layers can be seen, allowing your ophthalmologist to map and measure their thickness. These measurements help with early detection, diagnosis and treatment guidance for retinal diseases and conditions, including age-related macular degeneration and, diabetic eye disease, among others.
The Pentacam is a high speed rotating camera that takes many pictures of your cornea (very front surface of the eye), lens and anterior chamber in 2 seconds. The Pentacam provides precise information about the opacity of the lens, the shape and the curvature of the front and back surfaces of the cornea and corneal thickness. These measurements aid in the selection of diagnosis of corneal conditions such as keratoconus and also in the calculations of intra-ocular lenses before you have cataract surgery.
Fundus fluorescein angiography is a common procedure that is performed to give your doctor more information about the condition of the back of your eye. A small amount of yellow fluorescein dye will be injected into a vein in your arm. The dye travels to your eye where it highlights the blood vessels. It is particularly useful in showing leaking blood vessels and where the circulation in your eye is poor.
A series of rapid photographs will then be taken and it is important that you keep as still as possible at this stage. It is quite bright when the photos are being taken however the test generally takes only 5-10 minutes.
The dye is excreted by the kidneys and so you may notice that your urine is bright yellow for the next 24 hours. There is also a risk of an allergic reaction to the dye so please inform the staff if you have had a reaction to fluoroscein or believe you may be likely to. Reactions can include nausea, vomiting, rash and in severe cases, anaphylaxis. If you have any concerns, please bring these up with your ophthalmologist.
Before a patient has cataract surgery, we need to perform an A-scan on the IOL master. This machine uses light rays to determine the size and shape of your eye ball which in turn allows us to calculate the power of the new intra-ocular lens.
This intra-ocular lens (IOL) is inserted into your eye during surgery,after your surgeon takes out your cataract (cloudy natural lens) so that it can focus the light rays and you can see clearly. Usually both eyes are measured for comparision (as they are generally similar) and also, should the second eye need surgery in future, the test does not need repeating.
The results from this test are also important in ensuring you get the best refractive outcome from surgery.
A laser is an instrument that produces a pure, high-intensity beam of light energy. The laser light can be focused onto the different parts of the eye, selectively treating the desired area while leaving the surrounding tissues untouched. The absorbed energy creates a microscopic spot to destroy or weld tissues together.
At the Ballarat Eye Clinic, we have several lasers with different uses. There are YAG lasers which can be used for patients with narrow-angle glaucoma or for patients with Posterior Capsule Opacification ( PCO). For patients with narrow angles, the laser can provide alternative drainage holes for the aqueous fluid to drain so the intra-ocular pressure does not build up. For PCO patients, the laser can “polish’ off the debris on the intra-ocular lens which might be hindering your vision.
The Selective Laser is to treat glaucoma patients by improving the drainage of the aqueous to lower the intra-ocular pressure.
The retinal laser is used to treat many different conditions such as diabetic eye disease, retinal tears & holes, some types of macula degeneration, vein occlusions, central serous retinopathy, ocular tumors and several other conditions. it works by reducing swelling, improving better circulation and/or physically adhering the retina together.
Corneal cross-linking (CXL) is a procedure used to treat keratoconus which is a progressive, degenerative disorder characterised by thinning of the cornea. It’s round, dome shape starts to bulge and become cone-like instead.
The aim of CXL is to strengthen the bond or crosslinks between the thin collagen fibres in the stromal layer of the cornea. This is done using Riboflavin (vitamin B2) drops and Ultraviolet (UVA) light via a special machine.