An eye examination involves both a visual and eye health assessment. The optometrist establishes a person’s visual difficulties and symptoms in order to determine a prescription for visual correction, or alternative remedies for the symptoms.
An eye health assessment is included in the examination and it is necessary in order to detect eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal disease, diabetic eye disease, squints and other eye muscle problems, dry eye, eye infections, inflammations, eye tumours and many other conditions. A person will be referred to an ophthalmologist if any diagnosis or treatment is required. Sometimes certain parts the eyes can show changes as a result of systemic diseases or as a result of side effects from medication. This emphasises how important an eye examination is as a part of a general health check-up.
Any person with symptoms such as blurred vision or double vision, unexplained headaches, eye pain, eye strain, redness, pressure or discomfort in or around the eyes should have an eye examination. Awareness of unusual flashing lights and/or floating spots in the vision should be investigated also.
Often people can require visual reports for job applications, VDU usage at work or driving, and these reports can be provided.
Even if there are no visual symptoms, an eye examination is recommended for anyone who has never had their eyes examined before or has a family member with eye problems. Regularly computer users should have an eye examination every 2 years.
For many people the eye exam can be free of charge.
- Medical card holders are eligible for the free eye exam every two years. Ask a member of our team how to avail of your entitlements.
- Self-employed and employees who pay PRSI can avail of the free eye exam under the treatment benefit scheme. Ask a member of our team how to avail of your entitlements.
- VHI members may be able to avail of a free eye exam and other benefits under VHI Vision Care. This benefit is included in some plans, so be sure to check your table of benefits on myvhi.ie.
Vision is tested using computerised randomised letter charts and automated lens devices called phoropters.
Eye health is assessed using a slit-lamp biomicroscope, an ophthalmoscope and OCT 3D imaging. The slit-lamp provides a highly magnified view of all anterior structures of the eyeball, including the tear-film, cornea, anterior chamber, iris and crystalline lens. Lids and lashes and the surrounds are also examined. With an additional Volk lens, the examiner can have a 3D natural view to the back interior of the eye which includes the vitreous, macula, retina and optic nerve head. With the OCT 3D imaging, images of the macula, retina and optic nerve head can be captured in 3D and computer analysed for abnormalities.
Eye pressure is measured as a part of the eye health assessment, using a Tonopen or Goldmann applanation tonometry. The Tonopen is a device that quickly and easily reads the fluid pressure of the eye without the person feeling anything.