We've told you once, we'll tell you again,
Regular eye tests are super important.
During your visit, the optometrist will primarily asses your vision. This way they can determine if you need to wear glasses or contact lenses. Besides letting you see better, wearing glasses is a good way to be more comfortable in day to day life.
Additionally, your eye test is a great way to detect any conditioins that would otherwise go unnoticed, even by you. Eye related symptons are often discreet, giving you no indication that there is anything wrong. It's a pretty good reason to attend once every two years.
If you've never had your eyes tested, we thought it was a good idea to let you know what to expect.
For something that lasts 20/30 minutes, here's what happens.
A PUFF OF AIR
Using a non-contact tonometer, the optometrist will puff a small amount of air into your eye. For the sake of a gentle gust in your eye, this test is for detecting the eye condition glaucoma.
It’s a breeze.
She wears model: D – BL spectacle frame
Next, the optometrist will use an auto refractor to measure you ability to focus your eyes on a point. This indicates your prescription and if you need corrective lenses.
If you’ve never had your eyes tested, you’ll be surprised how one eye is weaker than the other. It happens to the best of us, so don’t be too disheartened.
He wears model: B – TRT spectacle frame
A BEAM OF LIGHT
Next, the optometrist will gently shine a beam of light into your eye. It’s not as dazzling as you’d expect so don’t worry. This light bounces back into what is called a retinoscope to give further indication of your prescription.
Think of this as optical sonar...
THAT FAMOUS TEST CHART
Even if you've never had your eyes tested, you know about this stage. Looking at the famous “Snellen Chart” the optometrist will ask you to read varying sizes of letters through varying strengths of lenses.
This confirms the last two tests as a final and confirms your prescription.
Using an Oxo-box, a green and a red line are positioned on either side of a white square. Vertically and horizontally, you are asked if they align or not. This test determines if your eyes are working in unison.
Next, using an illuminated microscope called a slit lamp, the optometrist can inspect any defects on the iris or cornea.
FIELD OF VISION
Across a black background, small dots of light are shone at intervals. This tests your field of vision and if you have a blind spot in a particular area.
Depending on their size and specificity, some practices offer advanced testing beyond NHS minimum standards. These advanced tests aren't manditory, however they give further insight to your health.
Advanced tests will usually last longer as further testing can consist of the following;
- Optomap : High definition photographs are taken of your retina for more detailed assesment.
- 3D Oct : A three dimesnional image of your eye is gathered for enhanced assesment.
- Reaction time : Seperatly, each eye tests your reaction time to rndomly appearing dots. It can get competitive and very much feels like a game.
- Hearing : Yes, hearing. Whilst you are in for your eye test, some practices offer a basic hearing test as a way to maximise on your visit. It takes a few miuntes extra but the reality is, your ears are as important as your eyes. Doubling up doesn't seem so illogical now, does it?