Here we answer some of the most frequent questions an optometrist gets asked:
From about 2 years onwards a child can start having eye examinations. A child’s eyes have finished developing by around 8 years of age.
We recommend children should have their eyes examined before they start school.
The two main signs of your eyes ageing are the development of cataracts which can be treated with surgery if they are advanced enough and the other is Presbyopia a word derived from the Greek meaning ‘old eye’.
The first sign of presbyopia is the need for reading glasses, usually around the age of 40 onwards. Over time the lens in the eye loses its elasticity making it more difficult to focus on near objects, this means that even for those that had perfect vision when younger will still find they eventually need to wear reading glasses.
A healthy lifestyle plays a major part in delaying the onset of age related eye conditions. Eating healthily, keeping weight down and stopping smoking means you halve your chances of developing eye problems and diabetes.
No, wearing a vision correction will not make your eyes worse or your sight deteriorate. It means that you get used to seeing with clearer more comfortable vision so will notice inferior vision without spectacles or contact lenses.
Routine eye examinations are important regardless of your age or physical health. During an eye examination the optometrist does more than just check to see if a prescription is needed to correct your vision. They will also check your eyes for signs of disease and your eyes are also a good indicator of your general overall health.
Eye examinations are important for children so they can reach their full potential academically, and for anyone who drives or where good vision is essential for their occupation.
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 you come for a specific reason ie having problems with your vision.
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 spectacles or contact lenses. Additional information, may include specific hobbies or your occupation.
Your eyes will be examined both externally and internally. This will enable an assessment to be made of 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.
Other tests for glaucoma, visual field testing and colour defiency may also be carried out.
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 for those who use computers or read for prolonged periods.
Your vision will be checked for distance, reading and intermediate (VDU) distances.
After your eye examination you will be introduced to one of our qualified dispensing opticians who will advise you on the most suitable lens for your prescription and lifestyle requirements. They are also on hand to offer advice on frame styles so that the frame you choose is best suited to your facial characteristics and will create the ‘look’ you want to achieve.
This is a common problem for people when trying frames on and can sometimes lead to the same type of frame being bought on each occasion.
For many people wearing spectacles is not just about being able to see better, its about making a statement about themselves, just like clothes, and hairstyles do. Therefore don’t let this put you off choosing a totally different look as we have facilities to take a picture of different frames on that can be referred to and helps in the final choice.
Also talk to our dispensing opticians and tell them how you’d like your new spectacles to look. They are experienced in knowing what frame styles, shapes and colours will suit.