Eye Examinations Really Matter
Your Eye Examination
Your eyesight is your most precious sense and deserves the highest standards of professional care.
Without good vision it is difficult to enjoy most everyday activities including reading, driving, sports, as well as watching TV.
There is much more to your eye examination at First Optic than finding out if you need spectacles or contact lenses. We also carry out a range of tests to assess the health of your eyes and because everyone's eyesight is different, we tailor the eye examination to your individual circumstances.
The eyes can reveal a lot about a person's general health. So, even if you have excellent eyesight you should still have regular eye examinations.
An eye examination can reveal diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, intracranial pressure and many more systemic conditions.
First Optic is an Eye Health Examination Wales (EHEW) accredited practice.
This means we are able to offer FREE eye examinations for qualifying patients, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government.
This type of examination is all about preserving vision in at-risk patients and dealing with emergency problems such as a sudden painful red eye.
Do you qualify for a free NHS Eye Test?
Find out below if you are entitled to a free NHS-funded eye test.
You are under 16
You are aged 16-18 and in full-time education
You are aged 60 or over
You suffer from glaucoma or diabetes
You are aged 40 or over and are either the parent, brother, sister or child of a person who has or had glaucoma
You are considered to be at risk of glaucoma by an ophthalmologist
You have been prescribed complex lenses under the NHS voucher schemeYou are registered blind or partially sighted
You or your partner have a valid HC2 certificate
You or your partner receive either income support, working families' tax credit, income-based job seeker's allowance, universal credit, disabled person's tax credit or certain pension credits.
Are you entitled to a special free EHEW examination?
You have been referred to us with an eye problem by your Doctor.
You have an eye problem that occurred suddenly (acutely) and you think it requires urgent or immediate attention.
(This could save you a trip to A & E)
You have sight in one eye only, i.e. you are effectively sight impaired in your worse eye.
You have a hearing impairment or are profoundly deaf.
You suffer from the eye condition retinitis pigmentosa.
Your family origins are Black African, Black Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi as these groups have a predisposition to certain eye conditions.
You are at risk of eye disease by other reasons of racial origin or family history.
You can ask your GP for a referral to us or you may simply visit us yourself and explain why you think that you may be entitled to a free EHEW examination.
A typical routine eye examination would include most of the following:
History & symptoms
First of all, we discuss any problems you might have with your eyesight and general health. Many eye conditions are health-related and it is important that you let us know if you are taking any medication as these may affect your vision.
To assess your visual needs, we also discuss your work and leisure activities.
This is where you, the patient, do most of the talking and explain any concerns you may have.
If you already wear spectacles or contact lenses, you should bring these to your appointment.
We will then examine the lenses to establish their type, prescription strength, and measure how well you can see with them.
This part of the examination finds out whether you need to wear spectacles at all and if so, discover the best prescription.
We check your near vision (for reading), your distance vision (for driving or TV) and your intermediate vision (for hobbies or computer work).
These refraction tests will reveal if you are short-sighted, long-sighted, presbyopic or have astigmatism. As everyone's vision changes over time you may experience one or more of the above conditions. However all can be corrected with spectacles or contact lenses.
Eye muscle balance
It is important that your eye muscles in both eyes work together as a team.
Simple quick tests checks that both your eyes are co-ordinated and that you have comfortable vision at all distances.
Often headaches and fatigue are caused by minor misalignments of the eye muscles.
Simple spectacles can often help prevent this fatigue and let you enjoy life's pleasures such as reading once again.
The pupil controls the amount of light reaching the retina at the back of your eye. As with the eye muscles, both pupils should work as a team.
Very simple tests will check this.
This test measures the pressure inside the eyes.
High eye pressure can indicate glaucoma, a disease which eventually would lead to blindness if left undiscovered and untreated.
The test is usually carried out on patients over 40 or those with glaucoma in the family history.
Most patients know this test as "the puff of air", but did you know that we usually measure your eye pressures at First Optic in a much more comfortable and painless way?
Visual field test
Testing your surrounding or peripheral vision can detect glaucoma and other neurological conditions.
Particular attention is paid to your peripheral vision as losing your field of vision is one of the main signs of glaucoma.
This part of the examination checks the health of your eyes.
Using a hand-held instrument called an ophthalmoscope, a harmless light is shone into the eye.
This enables us to see the internal parts clearly, such as your lens, retina and optic nerve, and so check for problems like diabetes, cataracts, hypertension, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Here the Optometrist will take photographs of the back of your eyes using a Digital Retinal Camera, allowing us to show you what your inner eyes look like. The procedure is absolutely comfortable and the image captured in seconds with nothing touching your eyes.
A picture really does "paint a thousand words" and this is why photographing and storing images of your eyes is the most thorough and recommended examination.
When your eye examination is finished, we'll give you an explanation of our findings, answer any questions you may have, plus hand you a copy of your optical prescription, should you actually need spectacles.
We'll then recommend a time for your next eye examination based on your visual needs.
We are always delighted to answer any questions you may have about eyesight and the examination, so please don't be shy.