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Optometrist check
The optometrist will check the health of your eyes and look for signs of other medical conditions. They will ask if you are experiencing any eye problems and about your general health and lifestyle. It’s important to have a clear understanding of your needs, especially if there is a specific reason for your visit, so that we can select the best management plan and/or corrective lenses for you.

Your optometrist will carry out a number of different tests using a range of specialist equipment:

Retinoscopy: The retinoscope is used to get an estimate of the ability of your eyes to focus and can be used to assess how long- or short-sighted you are. This test is usually used with children, or people with communication difficulties who can’t easily describe their vision.

While looking at the red and green light in the distance, your optometrist will shine a light in each eye. They will then place a number of different lenses in from of each eye to calculate a prescription for each eye. Read more about retinoscopy here.

Vision test: To fine-tune their findings, the optometrist will ask you to read from a Snellen test chart, that’s the one with the letters that get smaller. This test measures your visual acuity, i.e. how well you can see with and without lenses in front of your eyes. This use of lenses is known as refraction and lets the optometrist know which strength prescription gives you the best vision possible.

Ophthalmoscope: The optometrist uses an ophthalmoscope to examine the retina at the back of the eye, your optic nerve and its blood vessels to make sure they are healthy. This important test can detect changes that can indicate diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

The optometrist darkens the room and sits quite close to you, while they shine a bright light into each eye using the ophthalmoscope. The light may leave shadows on your vision, but these soon fade.

Slit lamp test: The slit lamp (also known as a Volk lens) is a powerful, illuminated microscope that is used to examine the front surface of your eyes. Your optometrist will use this to check for abnormalities or scratches on your cornea, iris and lens. It is a particularly important test for contact lens wearers.

Visual field check: This test will assess your ability to detect flashes of light in your peripheral vision. Visual field tests are often used to detect early stages of glaucoma or any conditions that could be associated with headaches and other health issues.

The visual field screener will randomly flash dots of light on a black background. If you fail to see any of the dots, this can be an indication of a blind spot.