Eye Tests Bridgnorth | Sight Tests by Liage Opticians
A Sight Test specifically achieves two things. It determines if your eyes require any optical correction to improve your vision and it checks the internal health of your eyes.
This internal health check is also a window into your body’s health and can help identify bodily ailments such as hypertension (blood pressure), high cholesterol, diabetes and even brain tumours.
Generally though the optometrist is looking for signs of glaucoma, cataracts, macula degeneration (within the Retina) or other numerous less common anomalies, and has an array of equipment to diagnose these.
In fact equipment falls into two categories, screening and recording. Obviously the screening equipment is the most important aspect of any arsenal at the optometrists disposal as it enables him to identify any possible anomalies before they become a problem. Prevention is better than cure and that is what a sight test is all about. Typical equipment in this category is tonometers (which measure the pressure in the eye), field analysers (measure your peripheral vision), bio microscopes (for close magnified inspections), retinoscopes (to determine the optical anomalies), ophthalmoscopes and volk lenses (to look inside your eye). These are all the normal contingent of instruments for your optician.
Other equipment is generally either Fundus cameras or Optical Coherence Tomography scanners (OCT).
The former makes a pictorial record of the Retina (as has been seen by the optometrist during your eye test), while the OCT scans through the layers of the Retina (the image receiving layer) within the confines of a narrow strip, which can identify specific disorders.
However, due to advancements in technollogy, there is now another option. The Ultra-Widefield Optomap scanner, which views 80% of the Retina in a single scan. This equates to a viewing angle of some 200º, compared to the limited view of (up to) 30º with the other equipment.
This presents the optician with a greater field of view further into the periphery of the eye, enabling the identification of anomalies which are not even apparent to the patient and ensures early intervention and treatment where required, to help prevent premature loss of vision.
This system also creates a visual record for future reference and can also identify stress within the Retina down to a cellular level, giving another early warning facility.
Liage are pleased to announce the first (& only) installation of the Ultra-Widefield Optomap within Shropshire and believe it will revolutionise eye screening and recommend its use for all sight tests.
However, the most important part of the testing room is the optometrist as he/she is the one who interprets the information and diagnoses any problems. This is why Liage will only employ competent qualified individuals who are trained to use all of our equipment and can identify any anomalies that may be of concern.
Glaucoma is the build up of pressure within the eye due to nutrients entering the eye in the blood stream, but the drainage of waste products being blocked. This increases the pressure within the eye, like filling a balloon with water. The consequence of this is the pressure can become so great that the bloodflow is restricted preventing nourishment (including oxygen) getting into the eye. The eye therefore dies. This is a fairly common condition for people over 40 but can be easily treated if diagnosed early enough.
Cataracts are when the lens within the eye becomes cloudy, reducing the light falling on the retina at the back of the eye where the image is recorded and sent to the brain. Within the capsule of your lens you have the cells you were born with and all their descendents. Apart from becoming very crowded in your lens you have some very old cells that can become like a bad apple that taints the rest. Your optometrist will diagnose this oncoming event and refer you for treatment.
Macula degeneration occurs when the macula within the retina (the part of the retina that sees fine detail) becomes damaged and the sensory cells die. This means it becomes very difficult or impossible to read or see detail. There is a very rapid form (wet macula degeneration or WMD) which is treatable if diagnosed early enough and a slow progressing form (age related macula degeneration or AMD) which may benefit from supplements if diagnosed early enough.
Most visual or health problems within the eye occur very slowly and are easily missed by the sufferer. This is why a regular sight test is always a good idea as the optometrist can see the signs that you may be missing and compares your vision to specific standards.
Childrens Sight Tests
Invariably children have no experience of what their vision should be like and accept the vision they have. The visual connections from the eye to the brain are malleable and can be altered or corrected up to the age of eight. The earlier any problems are diagnosed the better the visual outcome is likely to be. After the age of eight the vision will be pretty well fixed. This can mean that a child with a ‘lazy eye’ will lose the opportunity to improve the vision in that eye if it is not diagnosed early enough.
Usually a sight test around four is recommended as they are old enough to give a good response to questions and are young enough to have the time to correct any problems. However, if you are concerned about your child you can bring them in for a sight test before the age of four as the optometrist can still determine if there is a visual problem without their response.