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Eye Examination

Eye Examination

Boy Having Eye Test

Boy Having Eye Test

We all rely on our eyes and good eyesight in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Access to information through reading or television depends on clear vision, while life itself can depend on the ability to see properly while driving, or just walking in busy streets.

Yet a significant proportion of people don’t have their eyes examined at regular intervals, while many people have never had an eye examination. Why?

Part of the reason is that eyes, unlike teeth, do not normally let you know in an obvious way when something is wrong. Often, because sight deterioration can be very gradual, people genuinely fail to notice that they are not seeing as well as they could. Regular examinations are important as the sooner a vision problem is detected, the greater the chance of successful treatment – this is particularly true with young children and the elderly.

Eye Test

Eye Test

More than just identifying whether your eyesight needs correcting, the eye examination can reveal a number of other underlying health problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes. It is a vital health check that should be part of everyone’s normal health regime.

Unless otherwise advised, you should have an eye examination every two years. It may be necessary to have one more frequently, depending on your age and medical history. An eye examination is carried out by one of our qualified optometrists and usually takes about 20-30 minutes. However, our optometrists will spend as much time as they need to carry out a comprehensive eye examination taking the time to discuss your needs and any action they feel should be taken.

More details of some of the elements involved in an eye examination are set out below.

Eye Examination

Eye Examination

General Information – We will discuss with you any problems you may be having, how you feel your vision is and whether you are getting on with any current glasses you may have. Details about your work and any hobbies you do are also important as they help us to assess your daily visual needs, for example whether you drive or use a VDU a lot. Information on your general health and any medication you take will also be looked at. This is because certain conditions and medications can cause ocular problems and we may be able to offer advice on how to minimise them. Whether you have a close relative with any eye or general health problems can also be important.

Visual Assessment – The next stage of the examination is to determine what you can see, both with and without any current glasses. This initial visual assessment will be used to see if we can improve your vision any further.

Objective Measurement – There are several measurements we take early on in the examination which require little or no response by the person being examined. These include checking the balancing and movement of the ocular muscles and testing for correct pupil reactions to different stimuli. To assess the approximate magnitude of a prescription we always use a retinoscope (a torch like instrument) and sometimes an autorefractor. These tests all help in determining the overall performance of the eyes.

Subjective Refinement – Once we have obtained an approximate value of the prescription needed using the retinoscope we then set about refining this. To do this we present the person being examined with different lenses and ask them to decide which they feel is better. This then produces the final prescription needed.

Ocular Examination – One of the most important aspects of the eye examination is when we assess the health of your eyes. This involves looking at the outside as well as the inside of your eyes. This investigation can often show why the vision/prescription may have changed and whether it can be improved with glasses or if further action needs to be taken.

Supplementary Tests – In addition to all the routine parts of the eye examination we may carry out some further tests to assess other functions of the eye.

Further Investigations – When indicated there are additional procedures that we may wish to carry out. As part of our screening programme for glaucoma, we routinely check the intra ocular pressures on everyone over 40. In addition we may wish to check your visual fields. This may again be part of our routine screening for glaucoma or because during the examination you showed signs of a particular problem which we feel requires further investigation.

At the end of all this, your optometrist will have a detailed knowledge of the health of your eyes, how good your vision is and any special requirements you may need. This information will be explained to you but remember, if you do not understand anything or require more information please ask and we will be happy to explain further.

At the end of the eye examination you will be advised of the appropriate date for your next appointment and be handed your spectacle prescription, or a statement which confirms that nothing is needed.