Importance Of The Eye Test
Eye tests evaluate the vision and health of the eyes. They determine whether a person requires spectacles for the correction of their vision, both for distance and near objects. They also help in the detection of eye and eye related disorders, many of which can be treated but often go undetected until too late if the eyes are not regularly examined.
Convenience Of Eye Tests At Home
Home Eye Tests, or domiciliary eye tests are invaluable for the elderly and infirm who are often unable to get out to their high street opticians. The Home Eye Test involves the use of portable equipment and most of the examinations available in a practice can be performed in a person’s home, or in a Care Home. If spectacles are required then the optician carries a range of frames from which the patient can choose. These can be delivered and fitted to the patient in their home.
Recommended Frequency Of Eye Tests
Children from about the age of 3 should have their eyes tested regularly, every 6 – 12 months depending on the optometrist’s recommendations. From the age of 16 most people should have a check up every 2 years. Diabetics are advised to attend annually, as are those over 40 with a family history of glaucoma. All patients over 70 are advised to have an annual eye test due to the increased likelihood of developing sight threatening conditions such as cataract and glaucoma.
Common Eye Related Disorders
The following are examples of eye disorders which can be detected from the Eye Test:
. Refractive Error: Refers to myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatism.
. Amblyopia: Commonly referred to as a ‘lazy eye’.
. Strabismus: Refers to an eye that turns inwards, outwards, up or downwards.
. Cataract: A very common eye disorder that involves the lens inside the eye becoming gradually opaque and misty. A simple operation relieves this condition by replacing the human lens with a plastic implant.
. Glaucoma: A fairly common eye disease that is caused by raised pressure of the fluid within the eye and leads to peripheral loss of vision if not treated. Nowadays there are many effective ways to manage glaucoma, usually involving the ongoing application of eye drops.
. Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD): There are 2 types – Wet and Dry. This eye disease affects the elderly and leads to loss of central vision. Dry AMD is more prevalent and generally progresses slowly. Wet AMD tends to advance more rapidly and many cases can be treated effectively with regular injections of Lucentis (or Avastin) if caught early.
. Diabetic Retinopathy: Diabetics are at risk of developing abnormalities of the small blood vessels in the retina in some cases leading to heamorrhages and other complications. These can often be treated using a special laser.
. Systemic Diseases: Like high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
What Are The Tests Done?
The following are examples of some of the more common tests performed during an eye test:
. Visual Acuity: Measures how clearly each eye sees, with or without spectacle correction.
. Preliminary Tests: Includes evaluation of depth perception, colour vision, etc.
. Refraction: Determines the appropriate lens power required to correct any refractive error.
. Oculomotor Testing: Determine how well the eyes move and work together.
. Eye Health Evaluation: Involves the external and internal examination of the eye.
. Intra Ocular Pressure: Measuring the pressure of the eyes is useful for the detection of glaucoma.
. Supplementary Testing: Are the additional tests done to confirm, clarify or carry out in-depth analysis of the previous findings.
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