13th June 2020
4 minute read
Categorised under:
Eye Health

Why you should have regular eye tests and other health issues eye tests can identify

Eye tests are vital because you may not feel any pain or discomfort when something is wrong with your eyes. A visit to your optician for an examination is an important health check that may detect initial signs of eye conditions before you’re aware of any symptoms. It is important to remember that many eye conditions can be treated if found early.

People are often unaware that a sight test can pick up early signs of eye disease. An eye test can also help identify other health conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke.

Optometrists and ophthalmologists recommend that most people should get their eyes tested every two years.

However, in some situations, they may recommend more frequent tests, for example, if you:

  • have diabetes
  • are aged 40+ and have a family history of glaucoma
  • are aged 70+
  • are a young child wearing glasses

20 Other Health Issues An Eye Test Can Identify

Eye tests are more than just about the health of your eye. An eye test can also lead to early detection of various health issues that may be affecting your body. Here are 20 health conditions that can be detected during a comprehensive eye examination:

  1. Aneurysm
  2. Brain tumour
  3. Cancers of blood, tissue or skin
  4. Diabetes
  5. Giant cell arteritis
  6. High blood pressure
  7. High cholesterol
  8. Lupus
  9. Lyme disease
  10. Medication toxicities
  11. Multiple sclerosis
  12. Myasthenia gravis
  13. Rheumatoid arthritis
  14. Sarcoidosis
  15. Sexually transmitted diseases
  16. Sickle cell disease
  17. Sjögren’s syndrome
  18. Stroke
  19. Thyroid disease
  20. Vascular disease
  21. Vitamin A deficiency

How Long Does An Eye Test Take?

An eye test usually takes around 30 minutes.

What Happens During An Eye Test?

Eye tests are governed by law and will identify:

  • your level of vision
  • if you need glasses to correct your sight
  • your eyes and the area around them will also be examined – to look for signs of injury, disease or abnormalities
  • your retina will be examined
  • your level of visual acuity will be assessed
  • the pressure inside your eye may also be measured

Some health conditions can affect the eyes. It is important to tell your optician if you have diabetesmacular degenerationglaucoma or dementia. This list is not exhaustive, so please advise your optician of any conditions which may influence your eye health.

During your appointment, you may see more than one practitioner. An optometrist or ophthalmic medical practitioner will test your sight to check the quality of your vision and your eye health, and you may also see a dispensing optician, who will fit your glasses.

If you already wear glasses or contact lenses, remember to take them with you to your sight test. You will be asked to wear them during the test.

During an eye test, you may need to discuss your age, lifestyle and medical history.

What Happens After A Sight Test?

At the end of your sight test, your ophthalmic practitioner will discuss the results with you. They will tell you whether your sight needs correcting or if you need to be referred for further investigation. They will also give you an optical statement or prescription to guide your next steps. You can take your prescription to any provider to have your glasses made up.

Who Is Entitled To A Free Eye Test?

Over 30 million people in the UK are entitled to free eye tests on the NHS. If you’re entitled to an NHS optical voucher, this will also be given to you after your NHS sight test. You can take your voucher to any supplier to buy glasses or contact lenses, providing they accept optical vouchers.

Children under 16 and individuals who are registered blind or partially sighted can only have their glasses or contact lenses dispensed by, or under the supervision of, a registered medical practitioner, registered optometrist or registered dispensing optician.

It’s important to remember that you don’t need to wait if you suspect there may be a problem with your eye health. If in doubt, get it checked out.

Where Can I Get A Free Eye Test?

Follow this link to find an optician near you.

Getting Treated At SpaMedica

To make sure our patients receive the best care, we work in partnership with thousands of community optometrists and our patients are able to receive their post-operative assessments from their local optometrist.

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