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Ballina,meet your local optometrist

Your vision might not have changed, but getting an eye test is still important for maintaining overall eye health. After all, you see a doctor for a regular health check-up, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your eyes?

How often should you get your eyes checked?

We recommend you get your eyes checked every one or two years. But it really depends on your age.

Now’s the time to come in and let us help you get the jump on any potential vision loss.

It helps to come in more regularly, so we can ensure you’ve got the right lenses and make sure we detect any eye disease early.

When was your last eye test? IF you're unsure, why not give us a call and find out?

Booking your eye exam

When you book an eye exam with us, we don’t just get you to read letters. You get a full eye health check-up. Your consultation will take around 30-45 minutes, depending on what your optometrist is looking for. It’s a bit longer than your standard eye test, but we’re making sure we test for everything, using the latest technology such as the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)  machine (which we’re pretty chuffed about). So you’re getting more than just a simple Snellen test.

Here are the eye
health services we offer.

Optical Coherence Tomography

The latest technology that’s used to test for macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. It uses visible light to produce a 3D image of the inside of your eyes, allowing us to detect signs of macula problems (including macula degeneration, holes, diabetic retinal disease, and oedema), and early signs of glaucoma.

Visual Field Tests

Visual field tests are used to check your entire scope of vision, and creates a map of each individual eye. A crucial part in the diagnosis and treatment of all glaucomas, and many neurological diseases, visual field tests are used to detect any dysfunction in your central and peripheral vision. Ours generally take 10-15 minutes, and help you detect blind spots, optic nerve damage, and early signs of eye disease.

Orthokeratology (Ortho K)

Ortho K is a safe alternative to surgery, also known as Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT), and is a powerful tool that helps you slow the potential effects of myopia, and lets you go glasses- and lens-free during the day! We use EyeSpace designed lenses that are measured to the shape of the front of your eye. These lenses then remould to your cornea overnight, meaning your eyes are getting fixed as you sleep, and you get clear vision all day long.

Intense Pulsed Light Treatment

IPL is a non-invasive treatment that’s designed for improving dry eye syndrome, commonly due to Meibomian Gland Syndrome. Our optometrists will provide you with a treatment plan that reduces MGD symptoms, and helps you stop being so dependent on eye drops.

What happens next?

What happens next depends on your results. You might find that you’ve got 20/20 vision, in which case we can schedule you in for another checkup at some point in the future.

If you find you’re long-sighted or short-sighted, or something else, we’ll sort you out with a prescription for glasses and lenses, or contact lenses, tailored to what your eyes need.

If your test finds something that needs further assessment we offer specialist referrals within Allied Health in Northern Rivers NSW.

Glasses or contacts?

This one’s mostly up to you, but what really determines whether you need glasses or contacts will be the results of your eye test, and your circumstances. Your eyes might need stronger support than what contacts can provide, or you might want a more cost-effective option than repeatedly buying contact lenses.

When you come and see us we can provide you with advice about what choice is going to be best for you while you browse our range of frames, including niche fashion brands, and get a look that suits you.

Looking for something different?

Be sure to check out our great collection of fashion eyewear and exclusive European brands in-store today.

Book your consultation now

Come on in for an eye check, and get peace of mind that your eyes are as healthy as they can be. We’re looking out for you.

Did you know?

All major Australian Health funds

We're registered with all major Australian health funds for your optical rebates, which includes contact lenses, prescription glasses, and sunglasses, and we also provide private-billing services for those that need it. So whoever you’re with for your health cover, you’re covered with us*.

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Bausch & Lomb contact lenses recycling program

We’ve even part of a recycling program with Bausch & Lomb with TerraCycle, a fantastic initiative to reduce waste from items you don’t often think about. All you need to do is bring in your used contact lenses and blister packs, drop them off with us, and we’ll ship them off to get recycled.

*Please note though that some procedures may not be available on your private health cover, so be sure to check before you book them in.

Something looks different…

You may have noticed that we’ve rebranded. It’s a new look, and a new name - but we’re still the same friendly team who you’ve seen helping the Northern Rivers community with their optometry needs for over 15 years. We’re still 100% locally-owned and run. You’ll still see us down the shops.

But underneath the new look, what this new brand means for you is more optometry services to look out for you, access to better technology, and a much wider variety of fashion frames. Headware has you covered.

Meet your local Ballina team

Here’s the friendly local team who you’ll meet in our store.

Ryan O’ConnorOptometrist

Ryan graduated from the University of Otago in 2009 with a BSc in Anatomy, and followed this with a BOptom with therapeutics from the University of Auckland in 2013. He has a keen interest in Ortho-Keratology (the practice of correcting your vision in your sleep, and slowing myopia progression), children's vision and behavioural Optometry, sports vision and how nutrition plays a role in myopia, and macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetes.

Originally from Invercargill in New Zealand, Ryan moved to Australia in May with his partner Alex and their new baby, and loves the lifestyle, cafes, and beaches of the Northern Rivers. Whether it’s working up a sweat at Crossfit Ballina, or playing for Ballina Rugby, Ryan’s now one of us – a Ballina local.

Bernard StarfieldOptometrist

Bernard graduated from the School of Optometry in Johannesburg in 1981, and spent two years in the Ophthalmology Department of South Africa's biggest teaching hospital. He then worked at Hawkes and Wainer in London, before emigrating to Australia to take up an opportunity at an independent optometrist in Canberra. Following this, Bernard moved to Sydney, operating his own private practice in Randwick, until he finally settled in sunny Byron Bay.

Bernard is the co-founder of Vision Eyewear Lismore, which rebranded as Specsavers Lismore in 2008, and resigned this role in June 2018 to come and join the Headware Baillina team.

When he’s not following his passion for optometry, you’ll find Bernard slogging it out in the hills on a mountain bike, or putting in laps in the pool.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my consultation take?

Most appointments run on time and are completed within 30 minutes. Our patients are then encouraged to spend another 20-30 minutes browsing frames with our qualified optical dispensers.

My prescription is over a year old, can I still use this?

It’s recommended all patients have an eye test every two years (minimum). If you’re aged over 60 years we recommend having an eye test every year to check the overall health of the eye. If you’re currently experiencing any blurry vision, trouble reading, or headaches behind the eye, we recommend booking an appointment ASAP.

I have a glasses prescription. Can I use this for contact lenses?

No, glasses and contact lens prescriptions are completely different as the power of each prescription will vary.

Can I use my health fund extras cover at this optometrist?

Yes, Headware is registered with all major Australian health funds.

Are my frames and contact lenses covered by a guarantee?

All our frames and lenses are covered by a manufacturer’s guarantees, which is a warranty covering any manufacturing faults and lens coatings. If these occur within the first 12 months of your purchase, please bring your frames back to be assessed, to be repaired or replaced. This doesn’t cover scratches or damages that have occurred due to general use.

Our returns policy

We’ll provide a full refund or replacement of any goods purchased that are deemed faulty, damaged, wrong prescription parameters, returned within 30 days, or undeliverable by courier. Each return will be reviewed and require approval from the practice staff.

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Client Testimonials

Expertise and outstanding service from Headware Ballina.. a better job than we have experienced anywhere else. State of the art technology and a clear and concise explanation of the results. You could not ask for better.

Susan

Very professional treatment, plenty of choices available and reasonable prices - I strongly recommend Headware Ballina.

Nedwood