Your Eye Exam Explained

When you visit an Eyesite practice for an eye examination, you will be looked after by one of our qualified optometrists who will carry out every aspect of your test. We endeavour to treat every patient as an individual at Eyesite, so whatever your needs, we will tailor your eye exam accordingly.

The following information provides a guide to our eye examination process, so you can better understand what it involves and how we use your eye exam results to recommend reliable solutions to future-proof your vision and eye health.

Our Eye Examination Process

A comprehensive eye exam at Eyesite will involve several different stages during which your optometrist will fully assess every aspect of your eye health and vision. Depending on the type of eye exam you have, it will last anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour.

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History & Symptoms

At the start of the examination, your optometrist will discuss your vision and eye health to pinpoint any potential areas of concern. They will also ask questions about your general lifestyle, health, and medical history. This will involve finding out more about:

  • Any medication you are taking.
  • Whether you have any close relatives with a history of eye problems.
  • Your vocation and leisure activities.
  • Any previous spectacles or contact lenses you may have been wearing.

This information will help your practitioner to make an accurate assessment of your needs, gauge the general health of your eyes and your ability to see before starting the examination.

Examining the Eye

Your eyes will be examined both externally and internally to assess their health and identify any other underlying medical problems.

Depending on the examination you are having, your optometrist will use various instruments to examine and record the state of your eye health. Our most advanced eye examinations include specialist, high-tech equipment such as our Optomap Retinal Scan or our Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Scan which provide a thorough view of the eye and vision performance. We also take high quality digital images of your central retina to keep on record for future comparisons.

OCT Scan

OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) is a new imaging technique that offers a ‘high-definition’ detailed cross-sectional image of the back of the eye. The OCT works in a similar way to ultrasound. It’s able to take 128 individual scans and create a 3D view of either the optic nerve (the nerve that sends a signal to the brain)or the macula (central vision area). This enables us to understand, detect and monitor eye problems easily. The scan is completely painless, quick to perform and nothing touches the eye.

The OCT is useful in the diagnosis and management of many conditions including

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Glaucoma

Optomap Retinal Scan

Optomap Retinal Scan picture of the eyeThe Optomap gives a wide angle digital scan of the retina. This enhances our ability to detect even the earliest signs of disease and health issues including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and strokes. The scan causes no discomfort, nothing touches your eye and is recommended for all patients including children. The digital image is captured in seconds and is immediately available for your optometrist to review.

Fundus Photography

State-of-the-art digital retinal photographs are used to record images of the central portion of the retina each time you visit us. This enables us to compare the results from previous tests and detect any tiny changes quickly in the future.

To find out more about the type of eye tests we offer here at Eyesite, click here.

Testing Your Vision

Your vision will be measured both with and without spectacles or lenses to check for any problems with your eyesight. Your optometrist will assess your distance vision (for TV, driving and walking around), your near vision (for reading, computer and close work) and your vision at other points, depending on your specific lifestyle needs.

Your Eye Examination Results Explained

At the end of your eye exam, your optometrist will have detailed knowledge of the condition of your eye health and vision. They will discuss with you and ensure you have a full understanding of your results and what preventative measures – if any – need to be taken to protect your eyesight.

They will then make recommendations of the best eye care solutions for you individually before handing you over with a clear and thorough explanation to a Dispensing Optician or Optical Advisor who can help you with spectacles or contact lenses if required.

If you do require spectacles and/or lenses, we will need to take more measurements once you have selected your frames. This is because we’ll need to ascertain several different measurements including the distance from the spectacle lens to the centre of eye rotation, the distance between your pupils and the height that your pupil sits in the frame. This information will allow us to further improve the precision of your spectacle lenses to ensure optimum performance and eye health.

Your dispensing optician will take these measurements as part of the dispensing process and will explain how we can use a process called Eyecode to make your vision as sharp and clear as possible. They will also discuss other spectacle lens options and benefits to suit your lifestyle needs.

Eyecode Technology

Using the unique, revolutionary Eyecode technology, at Eyesite we can offer you spectacle lenses that are an astonishing five times more precise than ever before.

As lenses are traditionally manufactured to give optimum vision when looking straight ahead, your vision may not be as sharp when you look sideways or down. Eyecode measures your individual eye rotation centre so that we can digitally manufacture your spectacle lenses to work better for you, giving you precise vision at all times.

Eye Test FAQs

The following questions and answers should provide further understanding of eye test results, and the examination process we follow here at Eyesite:

Q: How long will my eye examination take?

The length of the examination will depend upon the examination type, your age and your ocular history. Our Introductory Exam and Advanced GOLD exam take 50-60 minutes. The Advanced exam is 40 minutes. Extended is 30 minutes and NHS only is 20-30 minutes.

Q: I’m nervous about people going near my eyes – how can you help make me feel comfortable and relaxed?

All of our optometrists are friendly, helpful and experienced. They will talk you through all aspects of the exam and answer any questions you may have to help you feel at ease. We allow time for them to talk to you in a calm environment so you won’t feel you are being rushed. You can bring along a friend or family member if you feel this may help. You can speak to other members of our teams before and after your exam and we can use our knowledge to draw on other people’s experiences that might help you.

Q: Am I entitled to a contact lens prescription in addition to a spectacle prescription?

You can have a contact lens trial as part of your exam. This is when an optometrist will show you a contact lens and talk through the contact lens process with you to see if it’s something you may be interested in. If you would like to try contact lenses we can book you in for a contact lens fitting which will get you wearing lenses and teach you how to apply and remove them and care for them. For further details visit our contact lens page.

Q: How often should I have my eyes tested?

A: You should aim to get your eyes tested every two years, or more frequently if you are recommended to do so by your optometrist. By visiting regularly, we can detect even the smallest of changes to your eye health and vision. If any problems occur, we can have them treated and managed as soon as possible.

Q: How old does my child have to be before they can have their eyes tested?

Children can have their eyes tested at any age, and we strongly recommend your child visits one of our optometrists before they start school. Click here to find out more about our eye examination services for Under 19s.

Q: Why is an advanced eye exam better than a standard sight test?

A: Our advanced eye examinations offer all the benefits of a standard sight test, but they go one step further to provide detailed information on the very first signs of certain conditions that can affect your vision and eye health. Our specialised scans allow us to better detect and manage eye problems in individuals of all ages.

Q: How much does an eye examination cost?

This depends on the type of exam you have. Our Advanced GOLD examination is £94 for a comprehensive 50-60 minute appointment that involves our high tech scans to fully assess the condition of your eyes. Our Advanced exam is£66 and lasts for 40 minutes, whilst our Extended examination is a 30 minute appointment that costs £42. If you qualify for a free NHS eye test, we are happy to provide this service in our practices. For more information on our different eye examination offerings please check out our eye examinations page.

Q: Do I need to prepare for an eye exam?

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you will need to bring them with you. Also make note of the names of any tablets or medicine you are taking and the name of your GP so you can pass these onto your optometrist beforeyour eye exam. If you have any special needs, such as hearing loss or mobility issues, please let us know before you arrive for your eye test so we can make the necessary arrangements to make you feel as comfortable as possible.

If you are under 16 years of age you should attend with a parent or guardian and if you are 16-19 in full time education please bring the name & address of your school or college.

More information on eye tests can be found on our dedicated Ask An Expert page.