The eyes are a window into your body, it is the only part of the body you can see the blood vessels, nerves and alike anatomy at work without cutting it open. That is why a well trained optometrist can pick up many diseases like blood pressure, diabetes, strokes and even certain cancers to name a few. Ocular disease is what our optometrist specialise in, having further accreditations in glaucoma, cataract, macular degeneration and PEARS (primary eye care acute referral scheme). The latter qualification allows local GP’s to refer eye problems to us direct rather than hospital for a quick diagnosis, from here our accredited optometrist will decide whether they can manage the problem in house with medication or advise, if not then a direct referral to the eye department can be arranged. PEARS is not a pathway you will find the local multiple opticians have.
A full professional eye examination is made up of different tests some of which we have listed below;
Symptoms & History: Our optometrists will ask the patient if they are having any problems associated to the eyes, sometimes these are not obviously related to the eyes like head aches, nausea and giddiness. Many eye problems are not obvious to the patient until they are in a later stage but the eye test can pick them up early, preventing permanent sight loss. You will also be asked about your general lifestyle and occupation as well as any medication you take because this will all affect the final outcome advice.
Measurement of vision and acuity: This is done with our digital chart using different panels to asses what you can achieve with and without correction, our optometrist can tell you whether you need glasses for driving or other specific tasks. Not all bad vision is due to need of glasses and may be to do with fatigue or too much use of computers, you can then be advised on best way to control the issue.
O.C.T: Ocular Coherence Tomography is a very special machine we have invested in. It is usually only available in hospital eye departments for early diagnosis of eye problems as it give a very detailed 3d image of the structures of the eye at microscopic level, but here at Our Thamesmead Branch we have brought it to the high street.
Not only do we offer unconditional care and attention to our patients needs, but we will certainly go that extra mile too! Here's a few things about our exciting OCT machine!
What is a OCT Machine?
OCT is an extremely advanced 3D scan of the eye for people of all ages. It works in a similar way to ultrasound but uses light waves rather than sound waves. This allows us to illustrate the different layers that make up both the front and back of the eyes.
How does OCT work?
Using light reflected from the front or the back of the eye, the OCT creates a highly detailed picture in two or three dimensions.
We can review the images on a PC screen and pin point areas of concern by digitally peeling back the layers until they define any areas requiring further investigation.
Having an OCT scan taken is a quick and easy process. Nothing comes into contact with the eye and it is completely pain free. You will be asked to look at a target and the scan will be taken in less than a minute, much like getting a photograph taken.
What conditions can be detected with a OCT Scan?
We can detect a number of key eye conditions, such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic eye changes during a routine eye examination.
Oculomotor assessment: These tests will determine the binocular function of the eye muscles. if your eyes are not working in unison (compensated) then this can lead to various symptoms from minor eye strain or head aches to double vision, if this is the case prisms can be incorporated into the spectacle prescription to alleviate the problem.
Also uncompensated binocular vision can be related to some more sinister body or brain disease.
Refraction: This is the part of the test where your prescription is decided. Our optometrist will start with retinoscopy which is a special torch shone into the Eye to have a starting prescription, retinoscopy done correctly is very accurate and is often used to give a final prescription in children, learning disability or non communicative patients. Following retinoscopy, the optometrist will use his trial lens set with the different panels on the digital chart to expertly finalise the prescription.
Ophthalmoscopy: Here a special torch is used to look straight into the eyes observing structures at different depths from the cornea through to the retina. this part of the test can pick up ocular and systemic disease. More often than not it tells us you have healthy eyes which is really what the optometrist enjoys telling his patient. It can also show up cataracts.
Ocular pressure test: This test checks the internal eye pressure, if it is high than it can lead to a blinding eye disease called glaucoma. If caught in time the disease can be arrested or slowed down significantly. It is thought 2% of the population have glaucoma with 1% of them not knowing they have it. Here at our opticians we have different tests for eye pressure, the puff test which is good for screening and the applanation test which our accredited optometrist uses where a probe is used with an eye anaesthetic to directly measure the pressure very accurately as they do in hospital. This gives us less false positives, so the patient and hospital time is not wasted.
Slit lamp: This instrument is a microscope an optometrist examines the external structures of the eye. It can be used to assess simples things like dry eye syndrome or infection (conjunctivitis) to more complicated inflammatory problems. A good assessment leads to the correct diagnosis and hence treatment to follow.
Visual fields: Peripheral vision is as important as central vision and this is what this instrument checks, certain eye and brain stem lesions will show specific field loss patterns and this is what your optometrist is qualified to interperate.
Final results and advice: At the end of the eye examination the optometrist will take their time and explain to the patient in lay man terms the results of the tests. Explaining the health of the eyes and any weakness in the vision. If spectacles or contact lenses are required they will advice on the best type of lens for you also.
Our Optometrist have been chosen for their clinical skills. They have attended further courses in diabetic screening, cataract & macular degeneration referral, glaucoma screening, dry eye syndrome, paediatric eyecare,elderly eyecare and more.
If you have any more queries or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us! We're here to help!!