About Private Eye Examinations
Getting your eyes examined is the most important aspect of your visit and at Hatchend Eyecare we provide both Private Eye Examinations as well as NHS Eye Examinations for those who qualify. Remember this is not just an assessment on how well you can see.
Our optometrists in HatchEnd
Our optometrists in Hatch End are highly trained in the detection and management of ocular disease and a detailed inspection of the health of the eyes is essential.
Some conditions do not present with any symptoms and it is for this reason that a thorough regular examination is so important.
Annual eye examinations are normally suggested, although some patients may require a recall of 3, 6, or 9 months, depending on the examination outcome. We use advanced equipment to screen for diseases that can affect the body as well as your eyes. An initial history will be taken so we may understand your needs and previous ocular problems. Each examination is tailored to your needs – every patient is different and each eye is different.
A Digital Retinal Camera allows us to take photographs of the inside of your eyes. The procedure is comfortable and the image is captured in seconds without touching the eye! It enables us to view the retina and check the nerves and blood vessels. This may enable us to detect diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, macula degeneration and high blood pressure. A baseline image is usually advised for all of our patients – this way future images may be compared to check for subtle changes. Detecting pathology early gives us the maximum chance for recovery and for the least threat to the eyesight.
This is essential for examining the front surface of the eyes. We can see signs of dry eye, allergies and contact lens complications. With extra lenses we also get a binocular view of your retina to judge the height and depth of structures, we adopt this hospital-method here in our practice.
VISUAL FIELD TESTING
The ‘clicky button test’! This test measures the peripheral sight. The peripheral nerves of the eye may suffer damage that you may not notice as your central vision can remain clear. Often with both eyes open any peripheral sight loss can be masked by compensation of a binocular image and it is not until we perform this test that any extra blind spots become apparent. Diseases that affect peripheral nerves include Glaucoma, Multiple Sclerosis, Strokes, Vascular diesease and even Tumours.
We start by using an auto-refractor to gain a close estimate of your prescription, whether you are short sighted, long sighted or have astigmatism. This reflects light off the retina and calculates the power of lenses you require. This is particularly useful when seeing young children as we can continue to assess their prescription even when their attention is low. The main refraction using a computerised test chart is then performed to achieve the most accurate prescription of your sight, for distance, intermediate and near. Children do not have to know their letters to have their eyes examined. Some tests can be done from the age of approximately 6 months old. It is very important that children are seen early as problems need to be detected and corrected before the age of 7 years. Children’s eye examinations are NHS funded and are free for all children upto the age of 18. See NHS for further details.
One of the most important things to test for in children and adults is if the two eyes are working well together to make sure there is no squint. With this test we can assess and grade the co-ordination of the two eyes. Early detection of squints can prevent lazy eyes developing. In adulthood excess computer use may tire the way the eyes work together and this may give rise to terrible eye strain. Older patients may also suffer a phase late in life where reading is no longer comfortable – even with their spectacles on!
This is an assessment of the ability to distinguish colours. First we screen if there is a problem and then we can grade the severity of the problem. Most colour vision deficiencies are congenital (ie born with these) and affect the male population, in fact 8% and only a mere 0.5% of the female population. Once detected these conditions do not get better or worse, but we will give detailed advice on certain career choices and monitor them over the years. A very rare few deficiencies are acquired because of eye diseases and these must be examined and treated appropriately.
If you cannot see the number in the image above you should definitely get a colour vision test.