Don’t neglect the health of your eyes – find a specialist and make your eyes a part of your regular health upkeep. Four local practices have recently been recognised as among the best, making the choice easy!

The eye care industry in Australia, as elsewhere in the world, has become dominated by a small number of multinationals whose main business is to sell eyewear from their optical ‘superstores’. That’s not to say they don’t offer clinical services, but it’s easy to forget that your local optometrist offers more than eyewear. They are, in fact, a primary health care specialist, who should work closely with your GP, and other specialists, to ensure your eyes are in their best health.

If you’re like me, your eyes start to get a bit gritty and red, your iPad or magazine becomes tougher to read, and so you decide you’d better update your glasses. In conversation with Peter Jackman, manager of four Eyecare Plus practices on the Coast, I realised I wasn’t really taking care of my eyes’ health at all. I go and get my vision tested for glasses, but I can’t be at all sure that the bigger picture of my ocular health is being monitored and managed.

Optometrists shouldn’t just assess your vision and dispense lens prescriptions, they’re trained to detect signs of injury, ocular disease or abnormality, and problems with your general health.

With Eyecare Plus’ emphasis on ocular health as part of your overall health, their check ups are thorough, lasting between 30 and 45 minutes. Starting with a chat about your health history you’ll then be checked for things like clearness of vision, colour vision, focusing ability, eye muscle control and eye conditions including macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts. The results and recommendations are then explained clearly, with help available to arrange any further referrals
or treatments.

Eyecare Plus is not a franchise, but a group of privately owned, independent optometry practices. The group is member owned and works to the highest industry standards, with a focus on clinical practice.

To be accepted practices have to achieve a base level accreditation for quality, service, cleanliness and value within their business – Eyecare Plus have a stringent star rating system with businesses assessed regularly. Practices must be up-to-date with the latest instrumentation, techniques and treatments on offer. It’s a rigorous process, with practices put under the microscope for everything from standards of optometric care to patient experience – you wont find copies of Women’s Day from 1996 at an Eyecare Plus optometrist, even magazines have to be current and in good condition.

Staff training is also closely monitored in all practices, with the group offering resources to ensure that all optometrists, optical dispensers and related staff have skills that are current and of a high standard.

The Coast is lucky to have four Eyecare Plus practices distributed across the region. Optometrist Marc Eskander and his team at the Bateau Bay practice were awarded their five star rating a while back and have continued to consistently deliver top service and value to their patients and retain their rating. In the most recent round of accreditation reviews the practices at Umina, Kincumber and Toukley have also been awarded five star national accreditation, the highest distinction within the Eyecare Plus group.

Optometrists Elizabeth Cubis (Kincumber), Ilinca Furdui (Toukley) and Anna Wang (Umina) were thrilled with the evaluation, all stressing that it’s very much a team effort to achieve the top ranking.

Elizabeth says “It’s a great honour for all four local practices to have now received the 5 Star Eyecare Plus Accreditation. Every two years we’re evaluated on more than 110 key criteria to determine how effectively we deliver excellence in eye care and eyewear to our patients. Among others, these criteria require our practice to meet standards for diagnostic equipment, staff training and patient service, as well as the quality and value of the products that we offer”.

Of course, being part of the Eyecare Plus group not only ensures high standards of optometry but also gives group buying power. So despite the fact that these practices are clinically driven, you’ll still find a great range of affordable eyewear in store with the range and value of frames and the technology of lenses forming one of the accreditation criteria.

Competitive prices are matched by customer satisfaction – all new glasses are fitted by a qualified Optical Dispenser, and multifocal lenses are individually measured to ensure they suit your needs. With over 1000 options for multifocal lenses they should never be a one-size-fits-all solution.

Aftercare is managed by Eyecare Plus too – you can take your glasses to your local practice to have the fit adjusted, screws tightened and lenses cleaned as needed. Practices also offer ultrasonic cleaning and this is recommended every six months to keep your glasses in good shape.

Keeping our eyes healthy and doing their job is so important, but also often overlooked. Our lifestyle has changed radically in the last 50 or so years and we now put our eyes under new kinds of strain – just think of how many screens your family views on a daily basis. Setting good habits is very important, and fortunately eye care has radically changed too. Our local Eyecare Plus Practices are accepting new patients so if it’s been a while, make an appointment for a thorough check up with one of the best in the business.

For further information see:

Marc Eskander at Eyecare Plus Bateau Bay

Shop 20, Bateau Bay Square
The Entrance Rd, Bateau Bay
P: (02) 43320032

Elizabeth Cubis at Eyecare Plus Kincumber

86 Avoca Dr, Kincumber
P: (02) 43631515

Ilinca Furdui at Eyecare Plus Toukley

26 Canton Beach Rd, Toukley
P: (02) 43971199

Anna Wang at Eyecare Plus Umina

Shop 4, Oscar St, Umina
P: (02) 43425411

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