Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that come up in practice:
1. How often should I have my eyes checked?
This can vary from person to person (and obviously depends heavily on the circumstances) but generally as long as your eyes are healthy and there is nothing that requires closer monitoring then once every two years is usually sufficient. However, the decision is always taken case by case and it will ultimately be left to the discretion of your optometrist as to what frequency would be appropriate for you. This also applies to contact lens aftercares, although these are generally advised more frequently (usually once every year) due to the invasive nature of contact lens wear and the resultant need to monitor the anterior segment of the eye more closely.
If you are ever unsure about your eye examination and/or contact lens aftercare recall then please do not hesitate to contact us. It is far better to know than to not know.
2. What does an eye examination involve?
An eye examination with us typically lasts 30 minutes and will be carried out by one of our qualified optometrists. It will always involve checking your vision, your prescription and, most importantly, the health of your eyes. To aid us in the latter, we have the facility to both photograph and scan the retina (i.e. the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye) as required through the use of various retinal imaging techniques at our disposal. We will also assess your binocular visual function (i.e. how well your two eyes work together) as well as, depending on the circumstances, your visual fields (i.e. your peripheral vision in each eye) and your intraocular pressures (i.e. the fluid pressures of each eye).
For more information about our eye examinations and/or retinal imaging techniques, please check out the ‘Eye Examination’ and/or ‘Retinal Imaging’ sections of the website (under ‘Services’) respectively.
3. What do you mean when you say ‘prescription’?
The term ‘prescription’, in the context of what we do, refers to whether you are short-sighted, long-sighted or, in some rare cases, neither. This relates in the first instance to any spectacles you may or may not need but can also apply to contact lenses as well (and sometimes the two are not always the same). It can also confirm whether or not you are astigmatic, which is decided by the curvature of your cornea (i.e. the transparent window of the eye).
Still confused? Why not have a look at the ‘Refractive Error’ section of the website (under ‘Eyecare’) for a more detailed explanation.
4. What if I don’t have any problems with my eyes – do I still need to have them checked
In a word, YES! The eyes are our window into the body, meaning that we as optometrists are able (and well-placed) to detect the early signs of various sight-threatening conditions such as Diabetes, Hypertension and Glaucoma, the latter of which being potentially blinding if left untreated. The early detection and prevention of such conditions is crucial, which is why it is of the utmost importance to get your eyes checked (and checked regularly) regardless of whether you are having problems or not.
It is also important to note that this advice applies to anyone and everyone irrespective of age. Therefore, if you are a parent reading this and you have either not had your child’s/children’s eyes checked at all or know that you are overdue in doing so then get them checked. Children under the age of 16 and those aged 16, 17 or 18 and in full time education are eligible for a free eye examination under the NHS - so there is no excuse!
If you think you may eligible for an NHS sight test, why not check the ‘NHS Eligibility’ section of the website (under ‘Services’) to confirm for sure.