Low Vision Clinic

The Low Vision Clinic provides a service for people who have permanent visual impairment. These people have reduced vision that cannot be corrected to normal levels by standard spectacles or contact lenses. Our low vision comprehensive rehabilitation assessments are available to UNSW staff, students and the public at no cost to patients during clinical teaching sessions.

  • A comprehensive low vision assessment includes the following:
  • Taking a careful ocular and medical history
  • A discussion of symptoms and assessment your visual requirements
  • Assessment of functional vision, including high contrast Visual Acuity, contrast sensitivity, Binocular Vision (the way your eyes work together), and peripheral vision
  • Evaluation of ocular health and age-related changes in vision
  • The assessment, trial, prescription and training of the appropriate low vision device, magnifier, filter, electronic magnifier, lighting or non-optical aid.
  • Referral and Advice on activities of daily living and independent mobility.

Will there be any fees? 

Consultations during clinical teaching sessions are free, final year students are supervised by optometrists that have advanced clinical skills in low vision care. You do NOT need a Medicare Card. If you prefer to be examined without students present, Medicare plus a gap payment is required  

If you require a spectacle prescription and do not want to purchase from us, then a $15 administration fee applies. Reports are available on request however a fee from $30 applies.

Do I need a referral? 

You do not require a formal referral to attend our clinic. However, if you have been given a written referral to the UNSW Optometry Clinic by your local optometrist, ophthalmologist, medical practitioner or other health care professional, please forward a copy of the referral to reception at least 48 hrs before your scheduled appointment either by fax (02) 9313 8604 or email optomclinic@unsw.edu.au

How long will the appointment take?  

The time taken for your comprehensive eye examination may vary depending on the type difficulties you are having with your eyes.  As a general guideline we allow up to 2 hrs, which includes the initial testing as well as discussions about treatment options and recommendations.  Review appointments are usually shorter.

What else whould I bring with me?

  • Your current spectacles (and/or spectacle prescriptions) and magnifiers
  • A list of any regular medications and any known allergies
  • Any reports or visual field tests from other health care professionals that you might have

Will I need eye drops during my examination? 

No, a low vision comprehensive assessment does not include a dilated examination of your eyes. If required, you might be referred to another clinic for further assessment of your ocular health.

What if I need glasses (spectacles) or low vision aids? 

As part of our complete service, the UNSW Optometry Clinic has a wide selection of fashionable frames.  We have experts to advise you on all the factors to consider, including the type of lenses, sunglasses and frames most suited to your vision, comfort, and the intended use of the spectacles. 

Our prices are well below retail prices, and then discounted by up to 20% if you attend our student clinics. We also have competitively priced package deals.

The UNSW Optometry Clinic acts as an agent for the free spectacle schemes operated by the Department of Community Services and the Department of Veteran Affairs. Patients who may be entitled to free spectacles/magnifiers may obtain their spectacles through the UNSW Optometry Clinic.

When are appointments available? 

Low vision clinics run every Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Our clinic has been designed to match the needs of people with low vision. Your visit will not be rushed, and you will have ample time to talk about your needs and concerns to a professional who understands your problems.

To book an appointment:

Email: optomclinic@unsw.edu.au

Telephone: (02) 9385 4624