What to expect during an eye test
There is no such thing as a ‘standard’ eye test. As everybody’s eyes are different, so too are their eye tests.
An average eye examination takes around 20 minutes but for some people it can take longer, and others don’t have to spend as long in the testing room. Optometrists will tailor the test to suit your needs and will be based on a number of factors including, the results of your last test, your family history, whether you currently wear glasses or contact lenses and what you tell us about your vision.
The importance of regular eye examinations
Regular eye examinations are essential for clear, comfortable vision, but they are also an important health check. They are used to detect eye-related conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration, but can also help spot problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
What will happen during an eye test?
Most eye tests will start with a discussion with your optometrist, when we will ask about your lifestyle, whether you’ve noticed any changes in your eyesight and double check our existing records, before moving on to the diagnostic tests.
We won’t always need to use all the tests, but most eye tests will include:
• The non-contact tonometer: This machine tests the pressure in your eyes by bouncing a puff of air at each eye in turn. High pressure can indicate glaucoma.
• The autorefractor: This tests how well your eyes focus and gives your optician an approximate prescription for glasses.
• The test chart: This is the one most people are familiar with; this is when the optometrist will ask you to read from a chart, testing your distance and near vision.
• The ophthalmoscope: Using a bright light to shine into your eyes, the optometrist examines the retina. This is an important test as it can show up early signs of diabetes or high blood pressure.
• The digital retinal camera: This is used to photograph the retina and allows the optometrist to keep a record of your retinal health.
• The slit lamp: An important test for contact lens wearers, the slit lamp examines the cornea, iris and lens to check for any scratches or abrasions.