The Eye Exam at C Murray Optician
At C Murray Opticians in Belfast BT15 we think eyes are really important. The eye examination Carmel carries out takes about thirty minutes, or if you are a new patient to us, forty five minutes. Sometimes it can take longer if you need extra tests. We do these to make sure you can see as well as possible.
What are the benefits of getting my eyes tested regularly?
Carmel says “An eye examination not only provides a detailed assessment of how well you see, it also enables me to check the health of your eyes and look for general health problems. Regular eye examinations allow early detection of cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.”
General health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol can also show signs in your eyes. We recommend you have an eye examination at least every 1-2 years.
Symptoms and History
At the start of the eye examination, we find out why you are having your eyes examined. We ask about what symptoms you may have, how long you may have had them and whether changes have occurred gradually or happened suddenly. Your general health and any medication you are taking can also affect your eyes so we discuss this with you. If there is a family history of eye problems we note this. We ask that you bring your glasses and contact lenses [if worn] to your appointment. These will be used as a starting point to measure how well you see at the start of the examination.
We use a modern state of the art computerized test chart that allows us to show letters, pictures or numbers to assess your distance vision(for TV and driving) and also measure your near vision for reading and computer work. We offer a variety of tests for all ages including toddlers and non-English speaking patients.
This is a great way of measuring the power of your eyes using a retinoscope, a specialized torch used by Carmel to calculate your lens power. It is especially useful for children’s eye exams where Carmel can get a good idea of how longsighted/ short-sighted or how much astigmatism a child has, just by getting them to look across the consulting room and allowing Carmel to shine the light in their eyes and put trial lenses in front of their eyes. It’s also a great way to detect corneal problems and cataract.
The Test Chart
We have a Thomson Test Chart 2000 Pro at Murray Opticians, BT15. It’s a Windows –based computerised test chart and has a wide range test charts to suit all patients. It also has tests which suit patients with little or no English or poor verbal skills as there are no need to be able to say the alphabet. It means Carmel can tailor the eye examination for each and every patient.
Eye movements and co-ordination
It is important your eyes work well together and that your eye muscles are aligning well. This is especially important for detailed near work such as computer or mobile device use.
Stereopsis is a term to describe depth perception. Depth perception occurs when two eyes see normally. We measure depth perception as another way of checking if your eyes are well co-ordinated
Colour vision assessment
In the normal eye there are three different types of cones which are the light sensitive cells at the back of the eye. One type of cone is sensitive to detecting long wavelength (red)light, another type of cone is sensitive to medium wavelength (green) light and the third cone type is sensitive to short wavelength(blue) light. The signals from these cones are interpreted by our brain and perceived as colour.
Some people are born with one or more of the cone types absent or different. This can lead to difficulties differentiating between certain colours. As colour deficient people can only see a limited number of colours, their ability to differentiate by colour is restricted. These colour vision deficiencies can be detected and graded using Colour Vision Tests. Usually if the maternal grandfather had colour vision deficiencies then the grandson is likely to inherit this trait. At C Murray Opticians, Belfast BT15 we measure your Colour Vision at your first eye examination.
Eye Puff Test
This is known as non-contact tonometry. It is a test of the pressure inside your eyes. This is an important measurement as it can be one of the first indicators of possible glaucoma, retinal detachment or inflammation of the eye. It is a quick painless test. It’s a gentle puff of air on the front of your eye. Usually we check your eye pressure from age 40 yrs. old. Some people prefer not to have the gentle puff of air and we can do an eye pressure measurement by a different method ( contact tonometry click here link)
A tonometry test measures the pressure inside your eye, which is called intraocular pressure (IOP). This is a test to detect glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye condition where a build-up of the eye pressure can damage the optic nerve permanently.
Contact tonometry at C Murray Opticians involves having eye drops to numb the surface of the eye and a drop of fluorescein (yellow) dye on the surface of the eye. A tiny probe gently touches the surface and Carmel is able measure the eye pressure using an applanation tonometer.
This type of tonometry measurement is very accurate and is often used to measure eye pressure after air puff tonometry finds an increased IOP.
At Murray Opticians we routinely check your eye pressure from age 40 years onwards.
Digital Retinal Photography
Here at Murray Opticians, BT15, we use a Topcon digital camera to capture fundus photos of our patient’s eyes. The retinal photos are high resolution colour and monochrome images of the retina and anterior segment of the eyes. Retinal photos are taken usually every 1-2-years or more often if necessary. This enables Carmel to carefully monitor your eye health and helps detect early signs of eye problems such as cataract, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments and many other eye conditions. It also gives Carmel the opportunity to show each patient their retinal/ fundus photos and discuss their individual management. The whole process is pain free, quick and provided at no additional fee.
Visual Field Screening
As part of your comprehensive examination at Murray Opticians, Belfast, BT15 we check your peripheral, or side vision is normal using a visual fields screener. This test of your peripheral vision gives the optometrist valuable information about how well the nerve of vision is working in each eye. The test is usually performed with your reading glasses. It is especially important to check this for people who drive as there are DVLA regulations relating to field of vision (click link www.gov.uk/driving-eyesight-rules ). It is a useful way of detecting glaucoma and can be used to monitor whether glaucoma is progressing. Other health problems that can affect the optic nerve can be detected by visual field screening.
It is essentially a test where you have to spot little flashes of light ( generated by the test)in your side vision whilst looking straight ahead in the visual fields equipment. It is pain free and usually takes a few minutes to test each eye in turn.
When the eye examination is finished, Carmel will explain her findings and advise when you should return for a follow up examination. She will take time to answer any questions you may have about your eyes. Carmel adds “ I take into consideration the patients occupation, hobbies, lifestyle and lens prescription results to make a personalised recommendation to each patient of the most suitable lenses and frames for them” . There may be no change in your vision but you might like to update your look with new frames. At C Murray Opticians, Belfast BT15, our wide range of frames are competitively priced and designed to suit every budget.