Eye examinations not only assess whether you require a visual correction but also evaluate the health of the eye, which can reflect your general health. Every individuals need is different so we select the tests most appropriate using the latest technology.
The main stages to the eye examination include:
A thorough history allows us to determine the reason for the patient’s visit. This affects the main focus of the examination. General health/medications, ocular history and associated family history will also influence the subsequent tests used during the eye examination.
Often patients express their concern about whether their responses are ‘reliable’ when their prescription is evaluated. However we can make an accurate measurement of the prescription using a streak of light moved across the patient’s pupil. This is done using an optical instrument called the retinoscope. Our optometrists are highly skilled in interpreting results given by the retinoscope. Such objective testing allows the optometrist to determine the spectacle correction of a young child and with patients who are unable to communicate.
Eye movement tests are utilised to assess how well the twelve eye muscles are working. Additionally binocular vision can be examined. This checks how well the eyes are working together.
The prescription can be confirmed after retinoscopy by asking the patient to interpret various images and comment on whether the first or second lens makes the letters on the chart clearer.
The eye is the only organ in the human body which allows direct observation of the blood vessels without surgical intervention. This is why many vascular conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes are first highlighted by an optometrist.
Some of the health assessment tests used during the eye examination include:
This instrument allows a detailed inspection of the external eye and is helpful for examining any signs of cataract and any disease of the lids, lashes, tear film, cornea, conjunctiva and iris.
An ophthalmoscope allows the optometrist to look through the patient’s pupil to the back of the retina. With a Volk lens this allows a 3D stereoscopic view. Many other ocular structures can be examined allowing the possible diagnosis of a multiple of diseases/conditions. These may be ocular (such as glaucoma, retinal detachments and retinal tumours) or systemic (such as multiple sclerosis and brain lesions/haemorrhages) and occasionally dilating eye drops are required to achieve a good view of the back of the eye.
The patients presenting signs and symptoms as well as their age and family history will imply that other supplementary tests often need to be carried out. This may include intraocular pressures (checking the pressure of the eyes), visual field screening (peripheral vision assessment), colour vision screening and stereo (3D) vision measurement to name a few.