What To Expect On Your First Eye Test

Alastair Lockwood Alastair Lockwood
Tuesday, 12 March 2019 Share this blog: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Copy link Copy Link

Before you purchase contact lenses, it is important that you have your eyes examined by an optician. In this blog post we run through what you can expect on your first eye test.

An eye test is quick, simple and painless. The objective of an eye test is to determine the overall health of your eye and whether you have any refractive errors that are hindering your eye sight.

How do I get an eye test?

To arrange an eye test, simply make an appointment with a local optician and ask for a convenient time to be seen. When you arrive, an optician will examine your eyes closely with specialised equipment. The optician will then place magnified glass slides in front of your eyes until you find a lens that gives you the best vision. An eye test will be able to diagnose the most common refractive errors such as myopia (short-sightedness) hyperopia (long-sightedness) astigmatism (which will require toric contact lenses) and presbyopia (which will require multifocal lenses). If your optician spots anything more severe, they will usually refer you to a more specialised eye care practitioner.

What To Expect On Your First Eye Test

How often should I get an eye test?

Ideally, you should get an eye test once every 1 – 2 years, or anytime you feel you have an issue with your eyesight. Examining the eye can also help spot early signs of other underlying health issues. If you are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma, such as having relatives with glaucoma, you should be having an eye test at least once per year.

Is a contact lens test the same as a glasses test?

A contact lens test in not the same as a test for prescription glasses. It is important that you specifically state that you want a contact lens fitting. Contact lenses and prescription glasses require two different prescriptions, therefore, require two different tests. A standard eye test will only give you a prescription for glasses if you have asked for that. As contact lenses sit directly on the eye, they require specific measuring and fitting.

Can you get an eye test when you are pregnant?

Yes – it is perfectly safe to get an eye test when you are pregnant, although you may not receive an accurate picture of the condition of your eyes. Hormonal changes and possible pregnancy-related swelling of the retina or optic nerve means that your eyesight may experience changes during pregnancy. While it is okay to seek medical advice if you experience changes during pregnancy, it is also best to seek a second test after to see if the changes subside.

What To Expect On Your First Eye Test

Should you get a second opinion eye exam?

If you feel unsatisfied with your initial test, or that you did not receive the quality of care that you expected, there is nothing wrong with getting a second test and opinion from another optician. You would, however, have to pay for this.

Is there such a thing as a completely computerized eye exam?

There are several online companies and apps that claim to offer online eye exams, although the validity and effectiveness of these tests has come under scrutiny. They are unable to examine the eye fully and spot more serious eye conditions cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration.

A computerised eye exam is not a substitute for seeing a qualified eye care professional and even if you choose to have a computerised eye exam, it is still vital that you are examined by a qualified optician.

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