In this part of the examination the Optometrist will ask you about your general health, medications, any past treatment on your eyes, and if there are any family members with eye conditions. This part of the examination also gives you the opportunity to discuss any concerns you have about your eyes, vision or current glasses, and whether you’re experiencing any symptoms which might need further investigation.
What happens when you visit our practice?
Your eye examination contains three main parts
History & Symptoms
The Optometrist will use a range of test and checks to assess your vision and eye health. Some checks are common and are carried out on all patients, while others may be used when a further investigation is required. Whatever tests are being carried out, you can be assured that our Optometrists will give clear explanations throughout the test.
A tonometer measures the internal pressure of the eye.
This is one of the tests the Optometrist uses to asses your risk of developing Glaucoma
Digital Retinal Photography
This equipment takes a photograph of the back of your eyes using a fundus camera. This image can then be used to compare the health of the eyes on future visits.
This is a procedure using a retinoscope that helps to see if you need a prescription.
A retinoscope is a handheld device used by Optometrists to determine how long or short sighted you are.
By shining a light back and forth across your eye, Optometrists are able to determine if your vision needs corrective lenses by “dialing” the retinoscope so that the light focuses properly at the back of the eye on the retina.
This simple procedure is called a retinoscopy.
To fine tune their findings from retinoscopy, the Optometrist will ask you to read letters from a Snellen chart.
Arranged as a pyramid of sorts, the letters in the Snellen chart are specifically chosen and arranged to test your sharpness and clarity of vision at a baseline distance of 6 metres. During a visual acuity test, the Snellen eye chart is viewed as a projection, or mounted on a wall. The Optometrist will use lenses in front of your eyes to test how well you can see i.e. your visual acuity.
This use of lenses is called refraction and lets the Optometrist know which strength prescription gives you the best vision possible.
An ophthalmoscope is a handheld device used to examine your eye’s interior structure, including the retina. While an ophthalmoscope may seem similar to the retina scope, it has a different purpose. This is a handheld device that combines a light source with built-in mirrors and lenses so that the Optometrist can examine the interior structures of the eye. An ophthalmoscope is particularly useful for examining the structures of the retina – the light sensitive area at the back of the eye responsible for processing images.
Traditionally part of almost every eye exam, ophthalmoscopes can identify healthy structures within the eyeball, and easily help the Optometrist see symptoms or indicators of diseases of the eye.
A slit lamp is a powerful microscope that is used to examine the front surface of the eyes. Your optometrist will use this to check for abnormalities or scratches on your cornea, iris and lens. It is a particularly important check for contact lens wearers.
This test will assess your ability to detect flashes of light in your peripheral vision. Visual field tests are often used to detect early stages of glaucoma or any conditions that could be associated with headaches and other health issues.
An optical coherence tomography scan (commonly referred to as an OCT scan) helps us to view the health of your eyes in greater detail, by allowing us to see what’s going on beneath the surface of the eye. Imagine it like a cake – we can see the top of the cake and the icing using the 2D digital retinal photography (fundus camera), but the 3D image produced from an OCT scan slices the cake in half and turns it on its side so we can see all the layers inside.
Our opticians can then map out and measure the thickness of these layers to get an even clearer idea of your eye health. OCT scans can help detect sight-threatening eye conditions earlier. In fact, glaucoma can be detected up to four years earlier. Click here to find out more
By the end of the eye examination, your Optometrist will have enough information to be able to discuss the results and offer any advice.
It could be that your eyes are healthy and you don’t require any glasses, or they may talk you through vision changes and what we can do to help. Your Optometrist will also discuss any eye conditions, treatments as well as any referrals that are needed.
You will then be handed over to one of our expert team who will discuss with you your next steps.
No updated glasses needed
If you have current glasses but don’t need to update them, we will offer you an MOT where we can check the fit, tighten any loose screws and give your glasses a thorough clean.
New glasses needed
One of our expert team will sit with you and carry out a lens consultation, where they will discuss your visual and lifestyle needs, advising you on the options and best possible solutions to suit your individual requirements.
We will the apply the same method to helping you choose a frame that not only suits these needs, but that you feel great wearing.
Your glasses will the be made by our very own manufacturing lab, based in Consett, County Durham. The lab has the most state of the art equipment, with an extremely knowledgeable and talented team running it.
Collecting your glasses
When your glasses arrive back from the lab, you will be invited to come and collect them. In your collection appointment, we will check your vision with your new glasses and go through a full fitting check to make sure they are comfortable.
We will leave the door open to invite you back for anything else we can assist you with.