Often referred to as windows to the soul, the eyes are also home to over two million working parts a piece. The eye is an incredibly complex, industrious, and resilient sensory organ. Capable of processing millions of data points per second they are one of the wonders of the human body.
With so much resting on our ability to see, it comes as no surprise that optometrists are in high demand. For most people, optometrists are the first point of call for any vision-based needs. But what exactly is an optometrist – and what do they do?
Quite simply, optometrists are experts in eye health. They are trained to assess our visual ability, eye health, and treat a range of eye conditions. Working alongside opticians and ophthalmologists, they provide 360 care for a large chunk of our vision needs.
Whether its new frames, more comfortable contacts, or vision changes, you may just be due for a visit. But with so many optometrists available in the nation’s capital, how does one separate the best from the rest?
The wonderful news is that we have done the heavy lifting for you. Read on for some pointers on finding a great optometrist, and of course our shortlist of the best in Canberra.
What makes a great optometrist?
The best optometrists are eye experts through and through, assessing and treating ailments in the world of vision. For clear vision and the healthiest set of peepers around, here are our tips on finding a great optometrist:
- Qualified & experienced. Optometrists have an intimate knowledge of visual systems along with the techniques and instruments used to assess client needs. This is gained through seven years of tertiary study producing a degree in Vision Science and postgraduate qualification in Optometry. Moreover, all practitioners must be registered with the Optometry Board of Australia to legally work as optometrists. Qualifications aside, experience also counts when seeking an optometrist. The best come with years of well-rounded experience, even specialisations in an area or two.
- Credentials. Good optometrists tick all the mandatory boxes for qualifications, but the best hold extra credentials too. For assurance of quality, look for optometrists that are members of the peak industry body, Optometry Australia.
- Tip-top technology. Tried and tested visual assessment methods have served optometrists well. However, like many medical industries optometry is always advancing. A wide range of new technologies now exist for eye imaging and assessing performance. So, for the most accurate assessment, seek optometrists utilising cutting-edge technology to diagnose, evaluate, and manage client needs.
- Connection & comfort. Finding a good optometrist is much like finding a good doctor. Some instantly put you at ease while others are a little harder to connect with. Consider your needs and find an optometrist that is most suited to deliver them. A great manner works wonders with young children, while accessible appointment times and locations adds to convenience. Building a relationship with an optometrist not only helps provide consistent care, it makes the process easier too.
- Diverse dispensary. Frames are more than a mere visual aid; they are fashionable extensions of your face itself. The best optometrists are also home to some great dispensaries, stocking diverse ranges of frames and lenses. Consider your prescription needs and seek out those optometrists which cater to them under the one roof. Doing so will make things particularly convenient when servicing or upgrading any lenses.
The best optometrists in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Capital Eye provides quality eye care, giving clients confidence and peace of mind. The team of fully trained, qualified optometrists conduct comprehensive eye exams and recommend the best path for the best vision.
Services at the state-of-the-art optometry clinic cover all eye needs, including ocular disease management, CASA ophthalmology and dry eye treatments.
Capital Eye takes time to listen to concerns, tailors eye examinations and explains next steps in an easy-to-understand way. The latest technology is used to provide 360-degree eye consultations. Advice covers a wide range of eye areas, including eye health, focus, coordination and protection. Lens advice and eye health and lifestyle advice are provided.
Outreach services are available for those who cannot attend the Barton clinic. Bookings are easy online.
Laura Geranios wrote on Google, “Amazing team at Capital Eye. I had a lovely, personalised experience in a quiet and calm environment.”
Proudly locally owned, Junic Eyecare is a part of the renowned Eyecare Plus group, an award-winning collective of independently owned and clinically driven optometry practices.
Junic Eyecare is known for delivering the personalised service of an owner operator, that is only enhanced by the advantages that come with being part of a large optometric group.
The practice provides a full range of optometry services catering to the varied needs of children, adolescent, and adult clientele. These services include vision examination, preventative and remedial vision therapy, and low vision assessment and rehabilitation. Their state-of-the-art technology also allows them to deliver optical coherence tomography scans and fundus imaging.
Junic Eyecare boasts a comprehensive dispensary stocked with the latest designs from leading optical brands. Using thinner and lighter lenses, finding the perfect face-framing pair is a breeze.
What matters most for the team is delivering quality patient care. This passion and commitment to clinical excellence is what really sets Junic Eyecare apart.
Michael Arcidiacono has 27 years experience and an excellent reputation for high quality care. This family owned and operated business knows that your family is your priority and Michael wants every child to reach their full potential. He’s passionate about detecting eye problems early and ensures the correct treatment is provided. With a keen interest in specialised active eyewear himself, Michael understands having a fulfilling lifestyle contributes to your family's health.
Wanda Oram shared her experience with Arcidiacono Optometrist on Google, “Matthew is a very professional optometrist. I've been having checkups and getting my glasses and contact lenses with Arcidiacono Optometrists for twelve years now.”
Stepping into their optometry practice in Manuka, you'll feel instantly welcome. Ash is the Optometrist: the one to see for a truly personalised and thorough examination of your eyes. He's been serving the Canberra community for 14 years and has developed a loyal patient following. Ashita is the Dispensing Optician: you'll be astounded by her ability to choose the right glasses to suit your face shape, colouring and prescription.
Adam Kong shared this glowing review on Google, “A excellent place for all your optical needs, Ash does very thorough testing. It is a very warm, friendly and caring business who cater to all optical needs. With great advice on frames and excellent customer service, I will be going there for all my optical needs in the future.”
Founded locally by optometrist James Simpson, Simpson Optometry has grown to be one of the largest independent optometry practices in Canberra. Offering an extensive range of eye testing services, they also boast cutting-edge instruments to assist with finding the earliest signs of eye disease. They also want your healthy eyes to look great – hand selecting the very best frames from tradeshows and suppliers to stock in their dispensary. For a complete package and service with a smile, look to Simpson Optometry.
Matthew Smith shared his experience with Simpson Optometry on Google, “Easily the most thorough optometrist I've been to (thanks Renita). Very good service. Highly recommended.”
If you’re looking for more information on health services in Canberra, you might like our article on the best endocrinologists, the best hearing centres and audiologists, the best dentists or perhaps this article on the best paediatricians Canberra has to offer.
Your experience with optometrists in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the optometrists listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an optometrist?
An optometrist is can eye care professional who provides primary vision care; that is they are the first port of call for any problems with eyes or vision. Optometrists perform eye exams and vision tests, prescribe corrective lenses, detect eye issues, and can prescribe medication for some eye conditions.
How does an optometrist differ from an optician and ophthalmologist?
While optometrists are primary vision care providers, they work closely with both opticians and ophthalmologists. On one end are opticians, technical practitioners who assist with fitting and dispensing vision correcting devices. On the other end are ophthalmologists, specialist doctors who can diagnose and perform medical or surgical interventions for eye conditions.
How often should you have your eyes tested?
Generally, adults without any existing eye conditions should have their eyes tested every 6 years for those aged 20-39 years; every 2-3 years for those aged over 40; and every 1-2 years for those over 65. More frequent testing is typically advised for spectacle wearers and young children, with spectacle wearers requiring an annual test and children bi-annual testing. Always consult your optometrist to obtain the best advice for your needs.
What is the difference between a routine and comprehensive eye exam?
A routine eye exam is generally needed to assess vision, check or update vision aid scripts for lenses or glasses, and screen for any eye diseases. A comprehensive eye exam on the other hand involves a full assessment of the visual system and overall eye health. It generally takes longer to complete and includes additional tests, resulting in a full evaluation of eye vision and health.
What health problems can eye tests detect?
Along with identifying visual concerns, eye tests can also detect other health related issues. Common health issues include diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, some autoimmune diseases and in other cases certain types of cancers.