Going to the optician is more than just having an eye test these days. In fact, it’s more of an overall health check, as the diagnostic equipment used is able to detect any potential early-stage development of more sinister conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Eye test - benefits to general health

The optician will conduct tests to assess the overall health and functioning of the eyes and ask you about your family background and any genetic health conditions. On rare occasions, diseases found by an eye test can be life-threatening, so eye examinations are an important part of your regular health checks.

The Test Experts’ Specsavers are the Official Test Partner of the England cricket team for the upcoming Specsavers Ashes Series. As part of this sponsorship, Specsavers is encouraging everyone, but especially men aged between 35 – 44 years old to have their eyes tested, and men over 50 to have a hearing check.

Steve Harmison, former England fast bowler and member of the winning 2005 Ashes team was amazed to experience the state of the art eye test offered at Specsavers in the Strand. Steve had his eyes tested for close up work and distance and also experienced the very latest diagnostic imaging equipment, the Optical Coherence Tomography system (OCT). The OCT is an advanced eye scanning system which helps to detect a number of eye conditions, including glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

State of the Art 3D Imaging

Specsavers Store Director and Ophthalmic Optician, Mitul Mehta used the OCT during Steve’s eye examination. Similar to ultrasound, this imaging equipment uses light waves to penetrate a medium and create a picture from the wave reflections – in this case, the back of the eye.

Mr Mehta showed Steve the results of the 3D scan and the way in which the different layers that make up the optic nerve and retina, can be cross-referenced with a digital image of the surface of the eye to pinpoint any areas for concern.

Specsavers Style Guider

Fortunately, Steve’s eyesight is up to scratch, so currently he doesn’t need glasses. Mr Mehta did however recommend wearing a good pair of sunglasses with UV lens protection, especially during very sunny days where the bright light and its reflection could lead to the onset of cataracts over a long period of time.

Indeed Mr Mehta explained that: 'Specsavers Strand has invested in the latest state of the art diagnostic imaging equipment to provide our customers with the very best quality of eye test. The OCT can help to detect a number of eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Eye tests recommended every two years

'Steve hasn’t ever had an eye test, so it was important at his stage in life to ensure that his eyes are healthy. We recommend that men aged between 35 and 45 have an eye test every two years, as this can detect any potential changes that may be taking place. The appropriate remedial action can then be recommended. We prefer to take a preventative approach to our customers’ eye health.'

Steve is working closely with Specsavers during the Test series to raise awareness of the importance of eye tests, especially for this age bracket and for men in particular. Steve said: 'I’m pleased I had my eyes tested today, and I have a clean bill of health.'

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