AppointmentsWe welcome both private and NHS patients, and our appointments system is flexible so that we can try to arrange an appointment at a time convenient to you, during our normal opening hours.
We usually allow ½ an hour for Eye Examination appointments however, if you feel that a longer appointment may be required for any reason then please let us know at the time of booking and we will do our best to arrange an extended appointment where appropriate. For example, longer appointments may be sensible for patients wishing to discuss trialling contact lenses, or for patients who have difficulties with mobility or communication. For patients with a family history of glaucoma we will usually allow a longer appointment, as additional tests are often needed.
Why Should I Have An Eye Test?Although nowadays we are more health conscious than ever, many of us still don’t realise the importance of regular Eye Examinations and think a visit to the Opticians is only needed when we can’t see very well.
In fact, the majority of tests carried out during an Eye Examination are health checks, and measuring for spectacles is actually a very small part of what an Optometrist does. Even if you feel you have ‘perfect vision’, it is just as important for you to have regular eye tests as for someone with glasses.
It is a sad fact that even today, there are people unknowingly losing their eyesight when in many cases this could be prevented by having regular Eye Examinations. Probably the most common example of this is glaucoma: patients with glaucoma often don’t realise they have a problem with their sight until about 50% of their peripheral vision has been lost, by which time it is unfortunately too late to restore it. An Eye Examination can detect glaucoma in the very early stages so that early treatment can be initiated, and the loss of vision can often be dramatically slowed or even prevented altogether.
Regular Eye Examinations are also important in looking after your general health. By examining the eyes we can pick up undiagnosed medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, and very occasionally even urgent life-threatening conditions.
An Eye Examination with us will provide you with the chance to discuss any concerns about your vision, and can offer reassurance and peace of mind.
NHS Eye ExaminationsWe offer free eye examinations under the NHS for those patients who qualify on age-related, income-related or medical grounds. To find out whether you would be eligible, you can check on the NHS website by clicking here.
Help With Eyecare Costs
NHS Optical VouchersSome patients who qualify for an NHS funded Eye Examination may also be entitled to an NHS Optical Voucher. This voucher covers a significant part of the cost of your glasses or contact lenses, but leaves you free to choose any frames or lenses you wish rather than being restricted to a set ‘range’. Full details of your entitlement can be found if you click here.
VDU UsersAnyone who regularly uses a VDU or Display Screen Equipment as a significant part of their normal work is entitled to regular Eye Examinations, funded by their employer. We participate in the both the Accor Eyecare Vouchers scheme and the ASE Corporate Eyecare Plan. If your employer does not participate in such a scheme we can issue you with a receipt to reclaim the cost of your Eye Examination.
Children’s Eye ExaminationsWe are often asked about the age that children should have their first eye test. When it comes to children’s eyes the simple answer is that it is never too early to start having eye examinations, and we would certainly advise a first examination by the age of 3.
In fact the earlier children can be examined the better, as if there is a serious problem with their eyesight there is a much better chance of treating it effectively at an earlier age, so they can have ‘normal’ eyesight in later life.
Many parents assume that their child’s eyesight will be checked at school, but unfortunately this is now not often the case as there is no national vision screening programme in schools. It is unfortunately common for children to struggle with schoolwork and fall behind with learning, simply because of eyesight problems that have gone undetected.
There are many simple tests we can do for children, and we can get useful results even if they aren’t familiar with letters or would struggle with the usual adult tests. We can tailor the eye examination to their level of understanding, for example by using pictures or matching games, or even without them really having to participate much at all if necessary!
Common Eye ConditionsFor further information on many common eye conditions, the RNIB website provides an excellent guide, click here.
What To Do If You’re Worried About Your EyesIf you have noticed something unusual about your eyes or your vision, you should never ignore it in the hope that it might get better by itself, please arrange to consult an eye professional as soon as possible.
There is no point in trying to guess what might be wrong; things that appear terribly worrying to you can turn out to be nothing much, and vice-versa. Some symptoms can occur in a number of eye conditions from the very minor to the very serious; your Optometrist will be able to use their expertise to investigate the problem properly for you and advise you on what to do.
If ever you experience pain in the eyes, unusual redness, loss of vision or strange effects such as floaters or flashes of light, please try to see an Optometrist the same day or otherwise contact your local hospital eye department or A&E immediately.