What to Expect at Your First Consultation

You should see an ophthalmologist if you suspect you or your child may have worsening vision despite glasses or are concerned about other conditions such as cataracts, keratoconus, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or squints, amongst others.

Your first consultation with Dr Shastry is often the longest, and the length of the consultation can vary depending on the complexity of your case and whether additional tests are needed. You can expect the duration to last up to 1 hour in adults and sometimes 2 to 3 hours in children due to the number of tests that are done.

We understand that it can be overwhelming for patients who attend their first ophthalmology appointment. This is an overview of what you can expect at your first appointment:

  • Ensure that you arrive 15 minutes earlier to provide sufficient time for completion of administrative and registration forms. Also, bring any relevant referral letters with you.
  • An assistant will take you through a series of preliminary routine tests and scans. These tests can take up to 30 minutes, depending on the nature of your eye condition. This includes:

2.1. Medical History Review: We will ask you about your medical history, including any other eye conditions, surgeries, family history of eye diseases, current medications, and symptoms you may be experiencing. Remember to bring a list of all chronic medications you may be taking. This is especially relevant to hypertension, diabetics, asthma/eczema, warfarin and cardiac conditions.

2.2. Visual Acuity Test: You will undergo a visual acuity test where you read letters on a chart from a distance to assess the sharpness of your vision. If you wear contact lenses, we recommend bringing your case and spectacles with you so that you can remove your contact lenses during the examination.

2.3. Intraocular Pressure Measurement: A non-contact measurement of the pressure inside your eyes, which is important for detecting glaucoma.

2.4. Additional Testing: Depending on your specific condition or symptoms, additional routine tests such as visual field testing, optical coherence tomography (OCT), retinal/nerve scans, cataract measurements and fundus photography may be done.

  • Dilation of Pupils: If you have a serious retinal condition, it may be needed to dilate your pupils using eye drops. This involves putting drops into your eyes that cause your pupils to widen, allowing us to get a better view of the inside of your eyes, including the retina and optic nerve. This is an important test in patients with retinal detachments, floaters or retinal tears. Dilation drops can take a further 15 minutes to work. If your eyes are dilated during the appointment, you may experience blurry vision and increased sensitivity to light for 6-8 hours, making it difficult to drive at that time. This is why it's usually recommended that you do not drive yourself home after having your eyes dilated. Therefore it is advisable for someone to accompany you (especially after your first visit).
  • Doctors Examination, Discussion and Recommendations: After your basic tests and dilation, Dr Shastry will examine your eyes with a microscope. Dr Shastry will explain the findings of all your tests and discuss your eye condition together with recommendations for any treatment or further follow-up appointments. If you require surgery, this will be discussed with you in detail.
  • Additional in-room procedures: If you require an in-room procedure such as intravitreal injection or incision and drainage of an eyelid cyst to be done on the same day, this will be done after your consultation and can add further time to your appointment.

If you have any questions regarding your consultation, please get in touch with our practice.