8 things you should expect at your eye test (and 2 you should not)

8 things you should expect at your eye test

1. The optometrist takes time to listen to and understand why you’ve come for an eye examination and what issues you are having with your vision in everyday life. This should include them getting a clear picture of the visual demands of your life at work, rest and play.

2. Before or during your appointment you should expect to have the pressure in your eyes measured, a visual field assessment, pictures and measurements of your existing prescriptions.

3. You should be guided through the findings of the health checks carried out. This should, at the least, include being shown pictures of the back of your eye (and ideally front too) with explanation of which bits are healthy, any areas of concern and advice about maintaining eye health.

4. The optometrist should check your vision with your existing specs (if worn) and then do tests to look at how the eyes work together at different distances and looking in different directions.

5. After the bit when the optometrist determines your optimal prescription (ideally with a modern automated device in front of your eyes – instead of the really dated, uncomfortable little frames) you should be told whether your prescription has changed and by how much.

6. You should understand what your glasses are correcting and whether you are myopic (short-sighted), hyperopic (long-sighted), astigmatic and/or presbyopic – and the implications of each of these conditions.

7. You should have all the visual correction options explained to you (specs and/or contact lenses), so you can make an informed decision with the optometrist about which ones suit the different visual requirements of your life.

8. You should be handed on to the optometrist’s colleague with a brief summary of your requirements and a choice of whether you want to look at specs or not. You should definitely be supplied with a copy of your prescription – it is the law.

And 2 things you should not expect

1. Being in and out of the room in 15-20 minutes. you can’t do the above properly in that amount of time.

2. The optometrist up-selling of lens coatings, more expensive varifocals and hearing tests.

Karl Hallam