How do I know I need an eye test?

Regular eye examinations are more than just a careful examination of your vision. They’re an essential check on the health of your eyes.

Even if you feel like your eyesight is perfect, and whether or not you wear glasses, it’s recommended to have an eye test at least every one to two years.

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Regular checkups

We recommend that every adult and child should have their eyes examined by an optometrist every one or two years, regardless of whether you’re experiencing any vision difficulties, as most eye problems that can cause problems in the long term present with few initial symptoms.

A comprehensive eye test takes about 20 – 30 minutes. If you feel you have very complex requirements for your eyes, it would be advisable to let us know when you book your eye exam, and we can ensure additional time is allocated.

Your eye health

If you’ve had problems with your vision or your eye health, it’s advisable to be tested more frequently.

It is also advisable to have more frequent check ups if you have health problems which affect your eyes, such as diabetes, or if you have a family history of eye health problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts or strabismus, or even a history of many people wearing glasses in the family.

Signs that will indicate you need an eye test

If you are experiencing vision problems, then you should have an eye test as soon as you can to discuss the issues with your optometrist.

If you notice any of the following symptoms you should make an appointment:

  • Blurry vision at any distance
  • Headaches when reading or looking at your computer screen
  • Having trouble reading, or seeing the computer screen or television
  • Getting double vision
  • Difficulty with colour discrimination
  • Difficulty when driving
  • Difficulty with glare
  • Difficulty with night vision
  • Mobility problems especially bumping into or tripping over objects, particularly those on one side
  • Any other change in your vision or eye health

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What happens during an eye test?

Firstly, your optometrist will have an in-depth discussion with you regarding your vision concerns and your visual requirements. There will also be questions about your general health and any previous eye issues. As some eye problems run in families, your optometrist will ask you if there is any family history of eye problems with your parents and extended family.

Your optometrist will take into account your day-to-day needs, determining your eyesight needs in relation to your work and leisure time. Your vision will be assessed through reading charts at varying distances. If you currently have glasses or contact lenses, they will also check how they are performing for you.

Your optometrist will determine the lens prescription that gives you the clearest, most comfortable vision possible. They will also assess how your eyes focus and work together. You may need more than one prescription for different tasks, such as reading, working at a computer and for looking at things in the distance (such as driving).

An eye test also provides a thorough examination of your eye health, and gives us vital insights about your general health. Many eye conditions may be symptom-free for some time – making an eye test vital for early diagnosis.

Depending on your individual eye and family history, additional tests may be needed to enable a full understanding of your eye health. Such tests may include:

  • Taking scans and images of the back of the eye.
  • Putting drops in your eyes to enlarge the pupil allowing a better view of inside the eye.
  • Tests for glaucoma, for example, measuring your eye pressure and peripheral vision.
  • Tests for binocular vision, that is, how well the eye muscles work together as a team.
  • Some of this testing may need to be carried out at a separate consultation.

At the end of the consultation, the optometrist will discuss:

  • Your vision and eye health results.
  • What your results mean for you and your day to day vision.
  • A recommendation tailored to your personal needs.
  • Glasses, prescription sunglasses and contact lenses that may be suitable for you, if necessary.

George and Matilda optometrists collaborate with ophthalmologists, general practitioners, and allied health care professionals to ensure you get the best possible eye care. If your eyes need additional assessment, we can refer you to an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon).

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