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Standard Eye Examination

This is the core of our clinical services, and we take great pride in the skill and experience of our highly qualified optometrists, who will carry out some or all of the following.

Symptoms and History: when we ask you about:

  • what glasses you're using or have used previously - if you wear glasses please bring them with you, along with any copy of the prescription from your previous eye test
  • pills and capsules
  • any problems you've been experiencing with your eyes or vision
  • any headaches you might have been having
  • what demands are placed on your eyesight by your work and / or hobbies
  • your general health status
  • what medication you're taking - please bring a list with you if you can

If you are bringing a child for an examination, especially for the first time, we will probably ask you about any family history of eye problems, together with details of any problems during pregnancy and birth, as these can often be important clues as to any eye problems we may find.

Initial assessment of vision: usually involves getting you to read out letters on an illuminated chart or video display screen, either without glasses or with your existing glasses.

ophthalmoscope
External Eye Examination: may be done with a large magnifier and a light, or a standard hand-held instrument, or sometimes with a special type of microscope called a slit-lamp.

slit lamp microscope Internal Examination: where we examine the internal structures of the eye to check for abnormality or eye disease, and to see if there are any other signs that you may be suffering from other general conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

We have various instruments and methods at our disposal to accomplish this, and we may use one or more of these depending on individual needs.

Sometimes we may need to put drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils in order to get an adequate view of the inside of the eyes.

ophthalmic trial frame
Refraction: at this stage we carry out the tests which, if you need glasses, enable us to determine your spectacle prescription. This may involve any or all of the following:

  • Retinoscopy - shining a moving light into each eye from arms length. By watching the way the light moves inside the eye through different lenses we can obtain a reasonable estimate of the prescription without relying on feedback from the patient. This is an invaluable technique in children other patients who can't respond reliably to questions about letter clarity or target appearance.
  • Reading letters from a test chart.
  • Answering questions about the appearance of targets on the chart with different lenses.
  • Tests of near focussing ability.
  • Assessment of eye muscle co-ordination and how well your eyes work together with each other.

Perkins tonometer Extra tests: some patients will require extra tests, such as those for glaucoma, colour vision problems or macular degeneration. This will depend on your age, risk factors such as family history, and your general health. This will be decided by the optometrist and explained to you during the examination.

Conclusion: at the end of the examination the optometrist will hand you over to a dispensing optician or dispensing assistant. The optometrist will explain any difficulties you may be having, what changes there have been in your prescription, and any other details which might assist in helping you to choose new frames and lenses.