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People are required to attend regular eye tests to maintain their eye health and vision. An eye test is performed by an optometrist that has been qualified and regulated under the General Optical Council in the UK or other regulatory bodies around the world.
An eye test most commonly known for assessing vision dependant on how the eyes focus on the objects at a distance or nearby. This is an important part of the test however the most essential part of the test is the check on eye health, most eye diseases are undetectable to the individual and is likely only to be discovered during a routine eye test.
Some eye diseases are treatable if diagnosed early, however those that do not have regular eye tests or ignore symptoms relating to the eyes find that diagnosis is of certain eye conditions are made too late, and as a result total or partial vision loss can occur.
An eye test is not merely limited to the eyes, it can provide signs to other general health problems and also detect signs of tumours or other problems relating to the brain.
The Optometrist, will ask you a series of questions to ascertain any previous eye conditions, close relatives with health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure or glaucoma, he will also ask if your are having any problems with your eyes at the moment.
What Eye Tests?
An eye test consists of several tests, the tests performed will differ widely depending on what the optometrist has ascertained from the case history provided.
The common tests that are nearly always performed during an eye test are:
The Optometrist will check the external and internal parts of the eyelid, the iris and the cornea.
Visual Acuity – Using a Snellen Chart
The standard of visual acuity is the famous 20/20 vision or 6/6 in the UK and Europe. If a “person with normal vision” can see an object at 20ft/6mtrs away they are said to have 20/20 or 6/6 vision.
An Optometrist will use a Snellen chart to measure vision, this chart consists of letters, numbers, colours and dots to check vision in different ways.
Visual Field Test
This is a test to check peripheral vision, this is what people see from the sides of central vision. Peripheral vision is not as detailed as the central vision but is important for a person to have a full picture of their surroundings.
This test is performed by an ophthalmoscope, which magnifies the image to check the back of the eye. This test is performed in a dark room to dilate the pupil to increase the amount the optometrist can see.
A slit lamp shines, usually, a long thin vertical or horizontal line in the eye to check the eye structure and the dryness of the eyes, the optometrist may insert dye in to the eye before performing this test.