Your Eye Test

Your eyes are very complex.  Out of all your senses, sight is the one we use and rely on the most.

An eye test at our opticians takes 40 minutes, including the pre-screening.  The process of the eye test is simple and very thorough and it doesn’t hurt.

We recommend that you have your eyes tested every two years, or more frequently if recommended by your optometrist.

The eye test provides an accurate assessment of your vision and general eye health, as well as looking for signs of any medical health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.

Your eye test consists of:

  1. Eye health screening
  2. Your eye health questions and history
  3. Comprehensive eye tests
  4. Personal lifestyle recommendations based on your needs
  1. Eye health screening

Visual Field Test:  This is used to determine your field of vision and locate any visual field loss. This test is done in both eyes.

MPS II: This is used to establish how healthy your macula is.  It measures the density of the protective pigment around your macula.

Retinal Digital Scan: This allows us to take a detailed photograph of the back of both eyes.  We can then monitor any subtle changes and store the digital data for future comparison.  We can also use this to detect eye conditions sooner.

Focimeter:  We can measure the strength of your glasses and advise you of any changes, if at all.  Bringing your glasses with you means we can also check the fitting and comfort.

  1. Your eye health questions and history

Symptoms:  The optometrist will discuss in detail the reason for your visit and any visual problems you may be experiencing.  We believe this is very important, as understanding your visual requirements will allow us to give you the best solution.

We would like to know if you are having: any blurry or hazy vision, eye strain, sore or red eyes, any discomfort or pain.  Also, if you are suffering from any headaches or migraines.

Hobbies and Lifestyle: Knowing this information gives us a better understanding of how you use your eyes, and the most efficient optical solution for your requirements.

General Health:  We will ask you about your general health and any medication you may be taking.  Some medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes can also affect your eyes.

Ocular Health:  The optometrist would need to know if you have had any eye problems in the past.  Whether you have had to visit the hospital eye department and if you have had any eye injuries in the past.  We would also like to know if you are currently wearing any glasses or contact lenses.

Family History:  Some eye conditions can also be hereditary like glaucoma.  We recommend that you check with immediate family members like your mother, father, brother or sister to see if any of them have the condition.  We also like to note if there are any medical health conditions that are common in the family such as diabetes.

  1. Comprehensive eye tests

Vision: The electronic letter chart is used to determine your visual acuity - which is how well you can see.  We do this with and without your current spectacles, if you have any. For those who drive, we can advise on the DVLA requirements.

The Slit Lamp:  The slit lamp is a powerful illuminated bio-microscope.  It is an excellent tool that the optometrist can use to check the front surface of your eye: enabling them to carefully examine the condition of the conjunctiva, sclera, cornea, iris and lens. One common condition, which can be seen with this equipment is a cataract.

The slit lamp is also used to check the fit of a contact lens, as well as assessing the eye’s health.

Opthalmoscopy: The optometrist can use three methods to carefully examine your retina.  These include, the retinal digital photograph, the Ophthalmoscope and the Volk lens. The Ophthalmoscope is a hand held microscope. The Optometrist darkens the room, and brings the Ophthalmoscope very close to each of your eyes, whilst they shine the bright light into your eyes. The Ophthalmoscope gives a 2D view of the retina. The Volk lens is used with the slit lamp, held close to the eye, it gives a 3D view of your eyes. These examinations do not require the optometrist to touch your eyes.

The optometrist examines the back of your eyes, which include the retina, the blood vessels, the macula and the front of the optic nerve. The optometrist can detect changes to the fine bloods vessels, which can indicate a medical disease, like diabetes and high blood pressure. Whilst assessing the back of your eyes the optometrist is looking for signs of common eye conditions, like cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and any retinal tears or detachments.

Using a non-contact and contact tonometer, the optometrist can determine the pressure inside your eyes. The results help them assess the risk of glaucoma or ocular hypertension, both sight-threatening conditions.

Using the non-contact tonometer, the optometrist blows a puff of air into each eye in turn. This test doesn’t hurt.

The contact tonometer is a special test used mainly in hospitals, however the optometrist can also use it when required. For this test, they would need to put some drops in your eyes, to numb the eye (so that there is no discomfort), then a probe touches your eye in turn to establish the pressure. This technique is called the Goldman and it’s known as the gold standard for measuring the pressure.

The Retinoscope: Your optometrist uses a retinoscope to determine your prescription and to make an initial assessment of your eyes. This instrument shines a light into your eye, which bounces off the back of your eyes, back into the instrument. The optometrist then uses different lenses to neutralise the movement seen, in order to get closer to the prescription required.

The Test Chart and Lenses: Your optometrist will then use the retinoscope test findings as a starting point to find the prescription, if required. This involves asking you to read the test chart, through various lenses, to determine any glasses you may require. This test is done on each eye and then together.

Whilst the optometrist flips between the different lenses in front of your eyes, you’ll be asked a series of questions. There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. However, your optometrist will use the answers to find the final prescription, which will give you the sharpest, clearest and most comfortable vision achievable.

All Distance Focus: Your optometrist will check your vision is comfortable and clear for all distances, including for driving and television, reading and the computer.

Balance Eye Muscle: The optometrist uses the ‘fixation disparity’ test for your distance and near vision to measure how well your eyes work together. This test determines how well your eyes work together, and if any correction is needed to balance your eye muscles. Balanced eyes give you optimal depth perception and clear comfortable vision.

  1. Personal lifestyle recommendations based on your needs

At the end of your eye test the optometrist will fully explain the results and discuss the health of your eyes with you. Your optometrist will always look to advise you on how to keep your eyes healthy, including lifestyle and diet.

If you require a correction to improve your vision at any distance, your optometrist will discuss the options of glasses, and/or contact lenses. Your optometrist will provide you with individual and personal lifestyle recommendations for your work, hobbies and social life.

Your optometrist will also give you the opportunity to ask any questions relating to your eyes, and anything else we can help you with. Finally we will advise you when to have your next eye test, based on our findings.