Thursday 21 September 2017

Sponsored Feature: I can see clearly now

The specsavers guide to your eye examination

Regular eye examinations are essential for clear, comfortable vision. But they also offer a broader health assessment – the optometrist checks the health of your eyes and looks for signs of other medical conditions. Your eye examination will be tailored to your individual needs, but this is what typically might happen:

1. The optical assistant makes sure that your confidential customer record is accurate and up to date.

2. A non-contact tonometer is used to blow a few puffs of air at each of your eyes to measure the internal pressure. High pressure can indicate the early stages of glaucoma. The auto-refractor takes an electronic measurement of how well your eyes focus and gives a read out of your approximate prescription for the optometrist to use.

3. The optometrist asks questions about your health and lifestyle. It is very important to have a clear understanding of your vision needs, especially if a specific problem is the reason for your visit.

4. Fundus photography may be used to enable the optometrist to see the back of the eye in great detail. The camera uses state-of-the-art computer technology to record and store a detailed image of the back of the eye.

5. The optometrist may use an instrument called a retinoscope to get an accurate measure of your required prescription. It is used to test the sight of very small children or people with communication difficulties who cannot easily describe how clearly they can see.

6. The optometrist fine tunes her findings by asking you to read the test chart through different strength lenses. Each eye will be tested individually before both are tested together. The optometrist flips different lenses in front of your eyes that change how clearly you can see until you have the clearest, most comfortable vision possible.

7. An ophthalmoscope is used to examine the retina at the back of the eye, including the blood vessels and the front of the optic nerve. This can detect signs of diseases, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. The optometrist will shine a bright light into each eye. It may leave shadows on your vision but these soon fade.

8. The slit lamp is a powerful, illuminated microscope that is used to examine the outer surface of your eyes – the cornea, the iris and the lens – to check for abnormalities or scratches. This is a very important test for contact lens wearers.

9. A visual field screener randomly flashes dots of light on a black background. If you fail to see any of the dots, this can be an indication of a blind spot.

10. The optometrist will answer your queries during the eye examination, and will explain the best options. A member of staff will then help you to choose your new glasses, if required, and advise on the different lens options Your glasses will be carefully fitted and individually made to meet your own particular needs and vision requirements.

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