Having your eyes examined regularly is important not only to ensure that you are seeing clearly and comfortably, but also to check the health of your eyes.
An eye examination can not only pick up eye conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma, but sometimes general health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol, which can affect the eyes.
So what happens during the eye examination? We first need to know a bit about you and your eyes. We need to know about any problems you may have had with your eyes in the past and how you feel your eyes and sight are at the moment. We also need to know about your general health and any medication that you are taking as this can sometimes affect your eyes. We’ll ask you whether any of your close relatives have had any eye problems. We’ll find out how well you can see with your present glasses (if you have any) and without.
After we’ve determined the prescription that will give you the best possible vision we’ll be able to tell you whether you would benefit from new glasses. The other important aspect of the sight test is to check the health of your eyes. We do this by shining lights in your eyes to thoroughly examine the outer part of the eyes and then by looking through the pupil we can actually look at the inside of your eye. We check how well your eyes work together and measure the pressure of the eye. We also check your field vision. Most of the tests that we do check how well you can see straight ahead, the field test is to find out how well you can see slightly to the side of your central vision. To check this we ask you to look at a light straight ahead and then to tell us how many lights you can see flashing around that central light.
To give even more information about the health of the eyes, it is worth having a retinal photograph taken which allows us to look even more closely at the retina including the many small blood vessels that are visible on the surface of the retina. This is the only part of the body where blood vessels can be seen without operating! The photograph also provides us with a record of your eyes which can then be compared to subsequent photos in future so that any changes to the eyes can be picked up as early as possible. This is available at a small extra charge to the main sight test.