Friday 19 December 2014

Your visit to the optician

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The test chart
The optometrist fine-tunes his findings by asking you to read the test chart through different strength lenses. The results for one eye often vary from those for the other, so each eye will be tested individually before both eyes are finally tested together.

The optometrist flips different lenses in front of your eyes that change how clearly you can see. Depending on your answers, he changes the lenses until you have the clearest, most comfortable vision possible.
Using the ophthalmoscope
The optometrist uses an ophthalmoscope to examine the retina at the back of the eye, including the blood vessels and the front of the optic nerve. This important test can detect changes which can indicate diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

The optometrist darkens the room and sits quite close to you, while he shines a bright light into each eye in turn using the ophthalmoscope. The light may leave shadows on your vision, but these soon fade.
The oxo box
You are also asked to focus on an oxo box, and say whether the illuminated lines are in line horizontally and vertically. This indicates whether your eyes work well together - balanced and co-ordinated eyes are essential for clear comfortable vision.
The slit lamp
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.
Visual field screener
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.
Testing your focus
The optmetrist may test your ability to focus at varying distances to decide if you need different prescriptions for distance and reading.
Discussing your needs
The optometrist will try to answer your queries during the eye examination, and will explain his findings. If he considers that you would have clearer vision with a change of prescription or new glasses, he will explain why and recommend the best options.
Choosing your glasses
After your eye examination, your optometrist will pass on his findings and recommendations to a dispenser, who will help you to choose your new glasses.

Regular eye examinations are essential for clear, comfortable vision and are an important health check too. This guide shows a typical example of some common tests your optometrist may perform.

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