Ophthalmology is the care of patients with eye conditions.
What is the role of an ophthalmology consultant?
Ophthalmologists are doctors who diagnose, treat and prevent illnesses, diseases, injuries, and conditions that affect your eye.
The role of an ophthalmology consultant is a mix of medical and surgical work. They perform vision tests and prescribe corrective lenses, treat eye diseases and perform eye surgeries.
An ophthalmologist treats a range of conditions including common issues such as cataracts, glaucoma, squints and diabetic retinopathy, infectious eye diseases including conjunctivitis and uveitis, chronic diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, major and minor eye injuries, and emergencies such as retinal detachment.
The medical work of an ophthalmology consultant involves seeing patients in outpatient and specialist eye clinics and follow-up appointments for existing conditions. Surgical work uses lasers, an operating microscope and other technology. It includes cataract, squint and glaucoma, retinal surgery, corneal transplantation, orbital, nasolacrimal and oculoplastic surgery.
Why would I be referred to an ophthalmologist?
You may be referred to an ophthalmologist if you have:
- chronic or severe vision symptoms such as reduced, distorted, blocked, or double vision; vision problems that glasses or contact lenses can’t correct; seeing coloured circles or halos around lights; floaters; seeing flashes of light; and loss of peripheral vision.
- signs of eye conditions including bulging eyes, excessive tearing, eyelid problems, unexplained eye redness, and misaligned eyes.
- a sudden vision loss or changes, sudden or severe eye pain or an eye injury that requires emergency care.
- factors that can increase your risk of eye conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of eye conditions, HIV, and thyroid conditions, for example, Graves’ disease.
What are the different types of ophthalmology?
Ophthalmologists can have special interests in a number of sub-speciality areas of ophthalmology. The different types of or sub-specialist areas of ophthalmology include:
- Cataract and refractive surgery - to remove cataracts and treat refractive errors using precision laser eye surgery techniques.
- Corneal - to diagnose and treat cornea trauma and conditions such as Fuchs’ dystrophy and keratoconus. They also perform surgeries such as refractive surgery and corneal transplantation.
- Retina – to diagnose and treat retinal eye conditions including macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and the surgical repair of torn or detached retinas.
- Glaucoma – to treat the excess fluid build-up of glaucoma that puts pressure on your eye and can cause optic nerve damage.
- Neurological cases – where vision problems are related to how your eye communicates with your brain, nerves, and muscles. These include optic nerve problems, abnormal eye movements, double vision, and some kinds of vision loss.
- Paediatric - that involves children or childhood eye conditions such as eye misalignment, uncorrected refractive errors, and vision differences between the two eyes.
- Plastic/reconstructive – to repair damage to your eyelids, bones, or other eye and tear drainage system structures, and improve the look and function of facial structures around your eye.
What are the costs of an ophthalmologist?
The costs of an ophthalmologist will depend on your chosen healthcare specialist, your eye health, if further tests are needed and your recommended treatment.
You will receive a formal quotation price for your eye care following a consultation with one of our expert ophthalmologists. This formal quote will be valid for 60 days.
Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. Medical insurance policies usually cover ophthalmology treatment and medication for eye conditions. However, everyday eye care including check-ups and glasses and some treatments that are considered to be cosmetic rather than medical such as laser eye surgery may not be covered. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before your procedure.
We have a number of finance options if you are paying for your ophthalmologist yourself. These include interest-free finance that requires no deposit and allows you to make monthly instalments at 0% interest, a one-off All-inclusive Total Care payment with unlimited aftercare, and flexible pay-as-you-go.
What is the recovery process of an ophthalmologist?
The recovery process of an ophthalmology treatment will depend on your eye problem and the best way to treat it. Most ophthalmology treatments are day-case procedures, which means you can go home the same day.
For example, if you have cataract surgery, this is typically performed as a day-case surgery and you will be able to go home afterwards with full recovery taking up to six weeks.
If you have a corneal transplant, your vision may return after a few weeks and up to a year or more, and may fluctuate between being better or worse before it settles down. It will depend on the specific procedure used.
Your ophthalmologist will advise you about the recovery process and what to expect from their recommended treatment. You should not drive until your ophthalmologist grants you permission.
Ophthalmologist at Ramsay Health Care
Highly skilled ophthalmologist consultants at Ramsay Health Care provide first-class quality ophthalmic care. Many have sub-specialist training for cataract, corneal, retina, glaucoma, and neurological eye conditions.
Our ophthalmologists diagnose and treat patients with a wide range of eye problems. From common eye conditions such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, squints and glaucoma through to complex vitreoretinal surgery.
At Ramsay, we understand the anxiety that vision problems can cause and their impact on your daily lives. Our ophthalmology appointments are available without waiting to quickly assess and diagnose your eye symptoms and vision changes.
If treatment is required, our knowledgeable and experienced consultants will take time to fully discuss the best treatment options including the latest techniques. We also offer cosmetic and reconstructive eye surgery including LASIK surgery and blepharoplasty.