We provide comprehensive eye care for all age groups. With the aid of cutting-edge technology we are able to provide a thorough assessment of your eye health and determine the best form of vision correction to meet your day-to-day needs.
Our practice is currently accredited to perform specialist NHS optometric services, including glaucoma referral refinement, post-cataract operation follow-up, children's vision screening and minor eye conditions scheme (MECS). You can find out more about NHS Enhanced Optometric Services here http://primary-eyecare.co.uk/enhanced-optometric-services.php.
Why are sight tests so important?
A sight test is a vital check on the health of the eyes and includes the detection of eye conditions. Many of these, if found early, can be treated successfully, avoiding potential sight loss. A sight test can also detect other health conditions such as high blood pressure, raised cholesterol, diabetes and increased risk of stroke.
Who needs a regular sight test?
Everybody! Eye examinations should be part of everyone’s health care routine just like going to the dentist.
How often should I have an eye examination?
It is very important to have regular eye examinations to stop your eyes becoming damaged by undiagnosed conditions. As a general rule most people should have their sight tested once every two years, unless advised otherwise. Certain groups of people may need their eyes checked more frequently, such as those people with a family history of glaucoma and those aged 70 and over.
It is very important for drivers and people whose eyesight may be affected by their occupation, such as those who use computer monitors, to have regular eye examinations.
Children should also have regular eye examinations. This is because it is very important that visual problems are diagnosed early so that learning and other developmental problems can be prevented.
What happens during an eye examination?
For new patients to the practice we allow 40 minutes for a full eye examination. This is because we like to take our time and be thorough. During your visit we will tailor the examination according to your individual circumstances, taking into account factors such as your age, medical history and lifestyle.
- Things normally start off with a chat about your eyes and how well you are seeing.
- We will build up what is called a ‘symptoms and history’ to determine exactly what tests are required and highlight any particular areas that need to be focussed on.
- Most visits will require some form of visual acuity measurement (reading letters from a chart). We use an advanced computer chart which has randomised test targets, videos and various other additional tests to make life easier. Gone are the days of the white board with letters on it!
- Most sight tests will involve some form of refraction. This is essentially a measurement of the prescription of each eye. In most cases this is performed objectively using a special computer called an auto-refractor and subjectively with either a trial frame of phoropter (a machine with lots of corrective lenses built in to measure your eyes).
- A detailed look inside your eyes is normally performed and this will involve the use of a special microscope called a slit-lamp biomicroscope. Where possible we try and utilise digital retinal photography to acquire a high resolution image of the back of your eye. This has a number of benefits, the main one being that it is easier to build up a digital history and detect subtle changes on the retina over time.
- Adult patients generally require a measurement of eye pressure as this is one of the key screening tests for glaucoma. We often use a gentler, more modern form of the ‘air puff’ test called rebound tonometry.Other important aspects of a full eye examination include an assessment of your binocular vision, colour vision and visual fields (peripheral vision). Some or all of these tests may be relevant depending on your ocular history and presenting symptoms.
What are the most common eye conditions that may be detected during an eye exam?
The detection of eye disease is one of the most important parts of any eye exam. Fortunately, serious sight-threatening ocular pathology is rare, but it is important to remember that half of all causes of registrable blindness in the U.K. could have been prevented. Find out more about the most common eye conditions encountered here https://www.aop.org.uk/advice-and-support/for-patients/eye-conditions.
Do I qualify for an NHS sight test?
30 million people in the U.K. are entitled to a free sight test paid for by the NHS. You check to see if you are entitled to a free eye test NHS here https://www.aop.org.uk/advice-and-support/for-patients/nhs-funded-eye-sight-test-eligibility-and-voucher-guide#England.
Do you accept Eyecare vouchers?
If you regularly use a computer at work you may be entitled to a test paid for by your employer. This may be in the form of an Eyecare Voucher. If you are eligible then let us know at the point of booking your appointment and bring your voucher with you on the day.