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Questions about eye examinations? Hopefully your answer will be below. If not, feel free to contact us. You can email or click the little speech bubble next to "contact us directly" at the bottom of this page.

What is an eye examination?

According to mates of mine who like to belittle my skills and abilities, it's just counting your eyes and getting you to read a few letters. "One, two. Correct number of eyes. Check! Now read those letters. All done. You can go". Of course, my mates are idiots! An eye examination is actually a comprehensive assessment of your eye health and vision conducted by an optometrist (also known as an ophthalmic optician). It involves various tests and assessments to evaluate the condition of your eyes and determine any vision problems or eye diseases.

Why do I need an eye examination?

Regular eye examinations are essential to monitor your eye health, detect vision issues, and identify potential eye diseases (e.g., glaucoma, macular degeneration) at an early stage. They help ensure clear and comfortable vision and can even detect underlying health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. And this goes for everyone! Even if you don't need glasses or contact lenses. Being able to see doesn't necessarily mean your eyes are healthy. I can't know if my eyes are healthy unless somebody checks them for me, and I'm a fully qualified optometrist (and quick frankly a damn good one too 😂).

How often should I have an eye examination?

Well that really depends on what your optometrist thinks.  Generally speaking, a good rule of thumb is 2-years at the very most. Here at EDGE we often see patients every year. The reason for this? Well, back when I started in optics many years ago, your records were a few words scrawled on a piece of paper. One year later there wasn't exactly a lot to compare against. Because we have the kind of equipment that is taking tens of thousands of measurements per second, there's a lot more to compare to at that 1-year mark. Now that we can pick up very early warning signs of eye conditions much earlier than before, an yearly check is often what we decide upon. 

What happens during an eye examination?

You'll have to book one and find out! Just kidding! I'll tell you 😁. During an eye exam, your eye care professional will perform a series of tests including eye pressure measurement, examination of the health of the eyes, checking vision, checking for any prescription, and often many more checks besides as decided at the time. It's safe to say that the time spent and comprehensiveness of an eye examination done at EDGE often comes as a surprise to new patients - even those who've had many eye examinations in the past.   

Is an eye examination painful?

No, the eye examination is typically painless. Some tests, such as pupil dilation, may cause minor discomfort or temporary mild blurriness. However, most for most eye examinations this is not necessary. Anyway, any discomfort is mild and only lasts a few seconds.

How long does an eye examination take?

Now that really depends on where you go. You can always enquire how long the appointment slot is when you book an eye examination. Having worked in optics for a long time I have seen appointment times decrease over the years, despite the fact that more examinations are often performed than before. This is a problem, in my opinion. I feel an eye examination appointment slot should be at least 45-minutes, and that all of that time should be spent with the optometrist, i.e. none of the examination should be performed by unqualified shop-floor staff. 

Can I wear contact lenses during the examination?

Simple answer? No. It's recommended to wear your glasses, rather than contact lenses, when you arrive for your eye examination. If you are wearing your contact lenses when you come for an eye examination then don;t worry. We will just need to be remove them before the exam. Therefore, if your lenses are reusable then it is very helpful to bring your contact lens case and solution with you. If your lenses are daily disposables then bring a spare set.

What should I bring to an eye examination?

An excellent question. Again, there's a simple answer here. Bring everything! If you're not sure whether something would be useful, bring it anyway. If we don't need it and you bring it, no big deal! If we do need it and you'll left it at home, bigger deal!

In all seriousness, your current glasses are particularly helpful, and probably the most important thing to bring. Copies of your your previous prescriptions can are also great to bring.  A list of medications is good. If you have had past visits to an eye department at the hospital then details of this is also very helpful.

At the end of the day if all you can bring is yourself and your eyeballs, then that is okay too. Here at EDGE we make sure the appointment times are such that we'll have the time to deal with this lack of previous information without having to rush anything.   

Can children have eye examinations?

Absolutely. Children should start having comprehensive eye exam at around  age 4. It should be noted that they do not need to know their letters or numbers. Regular eye exams are important to ensure normal visual development and detect any issues early.

If there is a family history of short-sightedness (scientific name myopia) then a fully comprehensive eye examination at age 6 is particularly important. This exam should include cycloplegia (drops in the eyes to check for early warning signs of short-sightedness). This is often not done as part of a standard eye examination, so enquire whether this will be done when you book the appointment. If not, come to EDGE! 

Will I need to get new glasses after the examination?

Let me just check my crystal ball 😂! The real answer is that it's up to you. It's my job to advise you. I can show you the difference between your old prescription and your new one. I can explain the benefits of updating your glasses to you. You are the one who will make the decision. We will never pressure you into buying anything. At the end of the day, many patients who haven't had a change in prescription choose to get new glasses because they want a different look, or a spare pair. 

Do eye examinations detect conditions other than vision problems?

Yes, eye examinations can sometimes reveal underlying health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and even certain neurological disorders. The eyes can offer valuable insights into your overall health.

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