How Do Eye Examination Procedures Work? Everything You Should Know
An eye examination involves a series of tests that are designed to not only evaluate your vision but also check for a range of eye diseases.
We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality of care, utilising £120,000 worth of state-of-the-art hospital-grade equipment to deliver a highly specialised eye examination tailored to you. so when you choose Taylor-West & Co as your opticians of choice you’re guaranteed to receive top-quality care and peace of mind when it comes to your eyes.
We believe that the simple traditional eye test isn’t enough for our rapidly changing world, and the strain caused on our eyes nowadays is even harsher than ever before. Our 60-minute eye examinations are designed to reliably tell us whether your eyesight has changed in any way, as well as being able to detect a full range of eye conditions up to five years before symptoms start to show – allowing us to treat them before they become a problem.
An eye examination with Taylor-West & Co helps to detect eye problems at their earliest stages – up to five years earlier than traditional methods, and when they’re at their most treatable. Regular eye examinations give your optician a chance to help you correct or adapt your vision whilst providing you with tips on proper eye care. An eye examination may also provide clues to your overall bodily health.
When Should I Have an Eye Test Procedure in the UK?
There is a wide range of factors that can determine how frequently you should have an eye examination procedure. These include your age, general health, and risk of developing eye problems in terms of lifestyle and genetic variables. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend the following:
For children 3 years and younger, it is likely that their eyes will be checked for healthy development by their family doctor. They will look for the most common childhood eye problems such as lazy eyes, cross-eyes, or misaligned eyes. However, a more comprehensive eye examination between the ages of 3 and 5 will help to detect problems with vision and eye alignment.
When it comes to school-age children and adolescents, we highly recommend having your child’s vision checked before they enter preschool. From there, your GP can recommend how frequent eye examinations should be.
As a general rule, if you are healthy and have no symptoms of vision problems, we recommend having an eye examination at least every two years. Additionally, we highly recommend having an eye examination when you are aged 25 or older as this is when some vision changes can begin to occur.
Furthermore, we also recommend having your eyes tested every year if you:
Wear glasses or contact lenses to check changes in vision
Have a family history of eye disease or loss of vision
Have a chronic disease that puts you at greater risk of developing an eye disease, such as diabetes
Take medication that has serious eye side effects
Notice a change in your vision, or one eye is blurrier than the other
What You Can Expect During an Eye Examination Procedure
If you currently wear contact lenses or glasses, make sure to bring them to your appointment. Your optometrist will want to make sure your prescription is still the best one for you, or whether they recommend updating your lenses.
Before your Eye Examination Procedure
If you’re visiting us here at Taylor-West & Co for the first time, you can expect your optometrist to ask questions about your vision and general health history. Your answers will help them to understand your risk of eye disease and vision problems. Some questions that may come up can include:
Are you currently dealing with any eye problems?
Have you had eye problems previously?
What is your general lifestyle like, do you look at screens for a majority of the day?
Do you wear glasses or contacts and are you satisfied with them?
Have you had any health problems in recent years?
Are you currently on any medications?
Do you have any allergies to medication, food, or other substances?
Have you ever had eye surgery?
Does anyone in your family suffer from eye problems or eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, or retinal detachment?
Do you, or does anyone in your family, have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or any other health problems that have an effect on your entire body?
During your Eye Examination Procedure
When you choose Taylor-West & Co for your eye examination, you can expect all of your tests to be completed by a fully-trained optometrist rather than an optical assistant. They will be the person taking your medical history and giving your eye tests.
An eye examination will involve the following:
Measurements of your visual acuity to see if you either need glasses or contact lenses to improve your vision or an update to your current prescription.
Measurements of your eye pressure to detect early signs of eye diseases such as glaucoma.
Evaluation of the health of your eyes using several lights and imaging techniques to evaluate the front and inside of each eye.
After Your Eye Examination Procedure
When your eye examination procedure comes to an end, you and your optometrist will take the time to discuss the results of all your tests. This will include an assessment of your vision, your risk of developing eye diseases, and preventative measures we recommend in order to protect your eyesight and eye health.
Types of Eye Examination Procedures
OCT scan (Optical Coherence Tomography):
The OCT eye scan works like an ultrasound for your eyes – enabling the optometrist to see beyond the surface of your retinas via cross-section views of the layers of tissue behind the retina by using sound waves to produce a 3D image. OCT scans help us to detect a range of conditions, such as glaucoma, diabetes, and age-related macular degeneration as early as five years earlier than traditional testing methods. This, in turn, allows us to treat them earlier.
Eye muscle test:
This external eye examination procedure evaluates the muscles that control eye movement. Your optometrist will watch as your eyes follow a moving object – keeping an eye out for muscle weakness, poor control, or poor coordination.
Visual acuity test:
This test measures how clearly you see. Your doctor will ask you to identify different letters on the Snellen chart some distance away, with the letters getting smaller as you move down the chart. Each eye is tested separately, with your near vision also being tested using a card with letters held at reading distance.
Slit lamp examination:
A slit lamp is a microscope that magnifies and illuminates the front of your eye with an intense line of light. Your optometrist will use this to examine the eyelids, lashes, cornea, iris, lens, and fluid chamber between your cornea and iris.
Light waves are bent as they pass through your cornea and lens. If light rays aren’t focussing perfectly on the back of your eye, you will have a refractive error which will mean you need some form of correction such as glasses, contact lenses, or surgery in order to see as clearly as possible. Assessment of this refractive error will help us to determine a lens prescription that will offer the sharpest and most comfortable vision. This will be done with the use of a phoropter to try different lenses that give you the best possible vision. Your optometrist will then ask you to judge which combination of lenses gives you the sharpest vision.
Visual field test:
Your visual field, or peripheral vision, is the full extent of what you can see to the sides without moving your eyes. This test will determine whether you have difficulty seeing anywhere in your overall field of vision.
Using your responses to this test, your optometrist will determine your field of vision and, if you aren’t able to see in certain areas, the pattern of your visual field loss can help your optometrist to determine your eye condition.
This eye examination procedure allows your optometrist to examine the back of your eye, including the retina, the optic disc, and the retinal blood vessels that provide the retina with nourishment. Having your pupils dilated with eye drops before the exam will keep your pupils from getting smaller when your doctor shines light into the eye.
Results of your Eye Examination Procedure
The results of your eye examination will detail whether you need vision correction, either through glasses, contact lenses, or surgery, and whether your current prescription needs to be updated. Your results will also tell us whether your eyes are healthy, or if you have signs of cataracts, glaucoma, macular disease, or diabetic retinopathy, for example.
If you need corrective lenses, we have a fabulous selection of glasses sourced from independent spectacle frame manufacturers from across the globe.
The health of your eyes isn’t just important to you, it is extremely important to us too. We use state-of-the-art equipment to help us detect the slightest changes in your vision and eye health and detect signs of glaucoma and other eye diseases up to five years before you start noticing symptoms – helping us to treat them early before they become a problem.
Sophie Taylor-West is the founder and Director of Taylor-West & Co Optometrists. She is one of our Hove-based registered Optometrists. Sophie specialises in contact lens fittings for both healthy and also “awkward” or more complex prescriptions, helping people who have difficulties seeing anything at all by transforming their sight. She also specialises in myopia management for children and teenagers with short-sightedness. Click here to read more...