Your Eyes in Safe Hands
An eye examination is an important part of looking after your eyes, but it’s more than a simple test of your sight. Your optometrist is able to check out other general health issues during an eye examination and give advice. An eye examination should be part of everyone’s normal health routine.
Our ROUTINE EYE EXAMINATIONS are offered in two formats – the ESSENTIAL and COMPREHENSIVE .
PRIVATE REFERRALS to Consultant Ophthalmic surgeons can be arranged as required. All our optometrists have undertaken additional training to become fully accredited under EYE HEALTH EXAMINATION WALES (EHEW). We also provide full CONTACT LENS FITTING AND AFTERCARE services to existing and new patients.
What happens during an Eye Examination
ROUTINE EYE EXAMINATIONS are carried out by an Optometrist, The Essential Eye Examination normally taking around 25 minutes but you get an extra 50% of the Optometrist’s time on the Comprehensive Eye Health Examination level. Sometimes either can take longer if you need extra tests, but this is to make sure you can see as well as possible.
History and symptoms
At the start of the eye examination, your optometrist will ask why you are having your eyes examined, whether it is a routine check-up or if you have come for a specific reason.
If you are experiencing problems with your eyes or vision your optometrist will need to know what symptoms you have, how long you have had them and whether any changes have happened suddenly or slowly over a period of time.
Your optometrist will also need to know about your general health including any medication you are taking, whether you suffer from headaches, or have any close relatives with a history of eye problems.
You will be asked about your previous glasses or contact lenses.
In addition your optometrist may ask about the kind of work you do and whether you play sports or have any hobbies.
Examining your eyes
Your eyes will be examined both outside and inside. This will allow the optometrist to assess the health of your eyes and may identify any other underlying medical problems.
The interior of your eye will be examined using an ophthalmoscope, a special torch which shines a light through the pupil allowing a detailed study of the internal structures. Your pupil reflexes will also be tested.
Remember to take your glasses or contact lenses with you when you attend an eye examination. Your vision will be measured both with and without glasses or lenses to check for any problems with your eyesight. The optometrist would normally assess your distance vision (for TV and driving), your near vision (for reading and close work) and your intermediate vision (for computer use).
Your optometrist will then carry out a series of tests to measure the type and extent of any problem with your vision. You will then be asked to choose between different lenses to see which ones help the quality and clarity of your sight.
Eye movements and co-ordination
Eye movements and co-ordination are checked to make sure that both eyes are working together, and that undue stress is not being placed on the eye muscles. Good muscle balance is particularly important if you use computers or read a lot.
Comprehensive Eye Health Examination
The Comprehensive Eye Health Examination is Suitable for anyone, but particularly recommended when there is a personal or family history of any medical eye problems such as cataract, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment and iritis. For the Comprehensive eye health examination the optician will:
- Do an in depth assessment of the anterior eye using digital slit lamp, taking still and video images as required
- Carry out an Optical Coherance Tomgraphy Scan – Akin to an MRI scan of the Retina and Optic Nerve
- Measure Pachymetry
- Take Keratometry readings
- Perform Tonometry using the state of the art TRK-2P or iCare device
The optician may:
- Take Macular Pigment Density Scan saved to digital file for annual / bi annual comparison
- Analyse your Meibomium gland under LED
After either eye examination
Your optometrist will now have detailed knowledge of the health of your eyes, the standard of your vision and any special requirements that you may have. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is something you don’t understand; your optometrist is there to help.
You will also be able to discuss the best form of vision correction to suit your individual lifestyle and visual needs.
At the end of the examination you will be advised of when you should have your next examination. You’ll also be given a prescription for glasses or contact lenses, or a statement which confirms that your eyes don’t need correction.
If you need medical treatment for an eye condition you may be referred to your doctor or hospital.
Choosing glasses or contact lenses
When you have your prescription made up, you will be given help in choosing glasses or contact lenses. If you choose contact lenses you will be given advice on the various types of lenses available, how to fit them, and how to look after and clean them. Extra tests are also needed for contact lens fitting and check-ups for which there are separate charges. Please see our FEE’s section for a list of our examination fees.
If you are not satisfied with your glasses or contact lenses make sure that you come back to see us. As part of continuing care and service we will be happy to adjust or make minor repairs to your glasses where possible. The College of Optometrists advises you to be careful about buying glasses or contact lenses from somewhere different to where your eyes were tested: if you have any problems, it can be harder for them to be sorted out.
Most optometrists will send you a reminder when your next appointment is due. However, if you have a problem with your vision or your eyes before your next eye examination is due do not wait – contact the practice and make an appointment.
Unfortunately certain non urgent referrals through the NHS eye service can be a lengthy wait due to high demand. Cataract removal is a prime example of this. Should you wish for us to make a private referral to an eye specialist, we have excellent links with the consultants at the Nuffield Hospital in Hereford.
EYE HEALTH EXAMINATION WALES – EHEW
EHEW is unique to Wales and offers eye examinations for patients with an acute eye problem that needs urgent attention or those at increased risk of eye disease or who would find losing their sight particularly difficult. EHEW is available for patients by visiting a EHEW registered optometrist practice in Wales and is free at the point of access eye examination for patients.
Patients with an eye problem often attend their GP. One aim of the EHEW service is to direct many of these patients to optometrists when it is appropriate to do so.
Who is eligible for EHEW
- Any patient experiencing eye problems that need urgent (within 24 hours) attention.
- Any patient that you suspect has an eye problem that would benefit from examination by an optometrist.
- You have sight in one eye only
- You’re registered as sight impaired
- You have a hearing impairment and are profoundly deaf
- You suffer from retinitis pigmentosa.
Patients who are at risk of eye disease due to ethnic background
Epidemiological research has shown that a patient with an ethnic background that is Asian or Black/African/Caribbean are at greater risk of Diabetes Mellitus and Glaucoma compared to White or other ethnic groups, including those of mixed ethnicity. Therefore, patients that have confirmed they belong to these ethnic groups (and by association those who are Asian British or Black British) are at greater risk of sight threatening eye disease.
What happens to patients after the examination?
Optometrists will monitor your condition at a second appointment if required and will send your GP a written report within 7 days of each appointment detailing their findings. If you require more urgent referral A fax or telephone call will be made on the same day if the Optometrist feels the patient requires urgent referral to the Hospital Eye Service.
The hospital eye service will feed back to the optometrist and the patient’s GP as normal with an information or discharge letter.
See http://www.eyecare.wales.nhs.uk/eye-health-examination-wales for more information.
CONTACT LENS APPOINTMENTS
Prior to fitting:
- Up to date eye examination and prescription (within 1 year)
Fitting Process involves more than one appointment:
- Initial Assessment to ascertain is patient suitable for contact lenses, lenses may be fitted by the optician at this appointment. Patient will wear lenses for up to 1 hour and return for assessment.
- Assessment of fit, vision and comfort.
- If required – alternative fit lenses will be ordered
- Optician will fit alternative lenses, patient will wear again for up to 1 hour and return for assessment.
- Patient will attend for instruction on insertion, care and removal of lenses. This can be carried over for up to 3 appointments.
- Once insertion and removal is mastered, patient will take lenses away and build up wearing time over next week to ten days.
- One more appointment with the optician to assess lens wear and eye condition following increased wearing time, and wearing in different environments.
After all this, supply can be ordered.
The Optician will require you to attend for aftercare appointments either 6 monthly or annually. (Please note further contact lenses will not be supplied if you fail to attend for these appointments).
Aftercare is free if you pay for your lenses by standing order, and your lenses will be ordered automatically to be here when you need them.
Please ask a member of staff if you’d like to sign up. (If you do not pay by standing order a charge of £35 is made for aftercare appointments.)