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Eye Examinations

What Can I Expect?

An eye examination is an opportunity to discuss any concerns that you may have with your eyes, vision and eye health, and for us to check that there aren’t any hidden problems that you haven’t noticed yet.

Caroline Hurst is an experienced, qualified, independent behavioural optometrist and she will listen and discuss your concerns, together with thoroughly examining your eyes and vision using a full range of examination equipment and techniques including digital fundus photography.

Computers and Reading

In today’s world many people spend much of every day in front of a computer screen, texting on a mobile phone and playing on games consoles.

This can cause visual stress at near which may show as tired, sore or itchy eyes together with general tiredness, headache, an aching back and neck and blurred vision.  Computer work is frequently a part of dry eye syndrome.

An eye examination may show that visual stress at near can be relieved by reading or computer glasses, and Caroline can give you advice on taking breaks, blinking (blink rate goes down when working on a computer), and changing your viewing distance.

Adult Eye Tests

Eye examinations usually take between twenty minutes and half an hour, although extra techniques may take longer.

An eye examination includes:

  • an examination of the inside and outside of your eyes

  • a spectacle refraction to determine whether you would benefit from a glasses prescription at distance or at near

  • an assessment to check your eye muscle movements, and to check how well your eyes are working together

  • a fundus photograph of each eye

  • any other tests that Caroline considers necessary.

If you are over 40, or have a history of glaucoma in your family, or any other risk factors, you will also have:

  • a visual field test

  • a measurement of your eye pressures.

After the examination we will discuss the results, and Caroline can give you advice on eye health and safety whether at work or play, and the use of any spectacles needed. As we fit contact lenses Caroline can also discuss your suitability for contact lens wear.

We recommend an eye examination for adults at least every two years and may recommend an earlier examination if we wish to monitor any conditions.

Childrens' Eye Tests

Babies are usually born with sight, but the abilities to use the two eyes together and to create vision are learned as part of normal development that takes place over many years. With vision, we understand what we see, where things are, and we are able to compare what we see with our other senses, and with previous experience.

So in a child’s eye examination we are looking to see if their visual skill is in place for their age level, as well as to see if they would benefit from any glasses.  We want to check that the child can use each eye well with the other eye covered, and then check that they can use both eyes together. We are looking to see if the child has a squint (strabismus), double vision or a lazy eye (amblyopia). Children rarely complain of being unable to see as they tend to presume that everyone else sees as they do, so it is important that all children have an eye examination from an early age.

We recommend that children have an eye examination at six-monthly or annual intervals depending on the age of the child and any difficulties found.  Children’s eye examinations are free under the NHS until the age of 16 or 19 in full time education.

An optometrist trained in working with children can assess many important things about a child’s vision as their vision development is critical to their learning success at school, sport and quality of life.  Vision problems are a major source of learning and academic difficulties (see Vision and Learning).  Once any vision problems have been identified a Behavioural Optometrist has many ways to help a child (or adult) learn any visual skill that has been learned incompletely (see Vision Therapy).

As well as NHS examinations Caroline provides specialist children’s eye examinations and optometric vision therapy, and will give you information and advice on the visual development of your children.

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