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What Is Typically Involved In An Eye Test?



We all know we should get them – so why don’t we?

Nearly half of all sight loss can be avoided, with an eye test being one of the best ways to keep your vision in top condition. The NHS recommends that you should undergo an eye exam at least once every two years, with checks not only preventing disease but improving comfort.

Still, feeling a bit anxious? Read on to find out what the process involves to soothe your nerves and avoid any surprises during your visit to the opticians.

Pre-test preparations

Before you undergo your eye test an assistant will conduct a series of examinations to gather some general details and create a record about your vision.

They will use a non-contact tonometer to test the pressure inside your eyes by blowing a few streams of air into them. Not only will this provide valuable information about your vision but can detect early signs of glaucoma. The curvature of your eyes will be calculated, with your field of vision and ability to focus also measured through a series of simple tests. Additionally, the optical assistant will take detailed photos of your eyes for your records and so they can be analyzed by your optician.

Optician’s check-up

After all the pre-test procedures are completed, you will meet the optician so your full eye examination can begin. They will typically ask you some general questions about your vision and lifestyle as well as whether poor eye health runs in your family.

The first test your optician will then conduct involves a retinoscope, which will shine a beam of light to the back of your eye. Different lenses will be fitted to the instrument to give an insight into the type of prescription you might need.

Next up is the most well-known part of an exam – the test chart. Each of your eyes will be examined by you having to read the lines of a chart a short distance away, with different lenses placed in front of them until the clearest picture is obtained.

Your optician will also examine your retina, optic nerve, and eye’s blood vessels with an ophthalmoscope. This test, which is conducted in a darkened room, is important for detecting diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes. A slit lamp will then be used to check the condition of your cornea, iris, and eye lens.

A visual field scanner will then be used to check your site for any blind spots, with the focus of your eyes also tested to see if you need different prescription glasses for reading and long-distance situations.

Post-test guidance

Once all of the testings of your appointment is complete, your optician will discuss their findings and advise you whether you need glasses or a change of prescription. A colleague will then be able to help you find a suitable set of frames and lenses or advise you about contact lenses to help ensure your vision is as good as it can be.