Why is having an eye test so important?
Your eyes are one of the most important organs so looking after them is crucial. Having an eye test allows you to find out how well you can see and if there are underlying problems with your eyes.
Making a visit to the eye clinic not only helps discover potential issues with your vision before they develop but also provides an indicator to your overall wellbeing. This is because eyes can give early signs of common health issues, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And it is even more important for children to have regular check-ups as 80 per cent of their learning is done via their eyes. It can also help to prevent problems, such as lazy eye. Eye problems are also often much easier to treat in children when their vision is still developing.
How often do I need to have
an eye test?
You should have your eyes examined once a year.
All children should have their eyes tested once a year until the age of 16 and those with significant Refractive errors should be reviewed every 6 months.
What does an eye test involve?
Your appointment will start with some initial checks:
- 1If there is a history of glaucoma in your family, your optometrist may perform an eye pressure check which involves blowing a puff of air into your eye or a test where you track flashing lights as they move across a screen. These tests are quick and painless and help to diagnose the early symptoms of glaucoma.
- 2Your optometrist may also take a digital photograph of the retina to create a permanent record of your eyes and enable the monitoring of changes over time.
- 3You may also be asked to complete a questionnaire about your lifestyle so that your optometrist can offer the best advice for your individual circumstances. If you wear glasses, don't forget to bring them with you to your appointment so you can fill in the form.
The actual eye test
The main eye test will take approximately thirty minutes in your optometrist’s consulting room. You will be asked to undergo a selection of checks to examine many different features of your vision. The tests will determine the strength of your near and far vision, your ability to change focus, which can often deteriorate with age and frequently makes your near vision appear blurry. Your optometrist will observe your eyes for signs of cataracts and any other indicators which demonstrate your overall health and could show an increased risk of developing serious conditions such as type two diabetes.
Concluding your eye test
Your optician will finish your eye test by sharing his or her recommendations to improve your eyesight if necessary. If no treatment is required, your records will be stored and you will be invited to attend another appointment in a couple of years’ time. If you need treatment, your optician will talk to you about the benefits of various types of visual aids, such as glasses, varifocals or contact lenses, and you will have the opportunity to attend a follow-up appointment.