Oculase Articles

Common eye tests

Mr Tariq Ayoub - 11 Aug 2023

Eye tests look for problems and conditions that may affect your eyes. At Oculase, we offer a range of eye tests to help us accurately diagnose your condition and provide you with treatment options. The test we suggest will depend on your concerns and your symptoms. Find out more about the symptoms of common eye problems here.

Common eyes tests at Oculase

What are the common eye tests we offer?

Each eye test looks for specific things to help us find the cause of your problem and treat it. We will do some of these tests for every patient we see. Some tests will depend on your symptoms and what condition we think you might have. The tests we may need to do and why we do them are explained below.

Physical eye examination

A physical eye examination can help us determine your eye health and/ or your general health. Before we do this test, we will ask you questions about the problems you are having with your eyes, your general health, family history and lifestyle history. The next step involves us examining the outside and inside detail of your eyes. We may also need to assess your eye movements.

We do a physical eye examination for all eye problems, including if you have symptoms like blurred vision, eye pain or red eyes and eyelids.

 

A vision test (eye chart test)

This test will determine your visual acuity (how well you can see). Our specialist ophthalmologist will ask you to read letters or shapes on a chart with and without glasses and using a pinhole occluder. We will also use focimetry to check your current glasses prescription and auto-refraction to check your current eye prescription.

We will always do a vision chart test, especially if you have problems like blurred vision or loss of vision. It can also help us diagnose conditions such as refractive errors.

 

Slit lamp examination

A slit lamp is a microscope with a bright light source that shines through a slit to helps us look at your eyes in further detail. A slit lamp examination shows the structure of your eye including the the eyelids, cornea, anterior chamber, iris and lens. For this test, you are sat down with the slit lamp in front of you. You will be asked to look into the bright light for a brief time for us to do the assessment.

We will perform this test to diagnose all possible conditions, especially if your symptoms are blurred visioneye pain or loss of vision. This will help us determine the cause of these symptoms.

To look at the retina and optic nerve using a slit lamp, a special fundus lens is required, so this type of slit lamp test is called fundoscopy. We discuss this test in more detail below.

 

Tonometry (eye pressure test)

If your eye pressure is too high or too low, it can affect your vision. A tonometry test will assess the pressure level in your eyes. There are three main ways of doing a tonometry test:

  • Goldmann Applanation Tonometry (GAT): with this test, you will have numbing drops put in your eye then one of our ophthalmologists will gently touch your eye to determine your eye pressure.
  • Icare (or rebound) tonometry: this test uses a handheld device to take multiple measurements in a short space of time. Numbing drops aren’t used and there’s no pain.
  • Air puff: you might be familiar with this method, as it’s often used by high street opticians. A puff of air is used to indirectly measure the pressure in your eye.

At Oculase, we only use Icare and, sometimes, GAT. This is because we find these methods are more accurate and our patients don’t enjoy the feeling of air puffing in their eyes.

We perform an eye pressure test on everyone we see. If you have symptoms like blurred vision or loss of vision, we will want to rule out high pressure. A tonometry test is also useful to screen you if we suspect you are at risk for glaucoma.

 

Fundoscopy (retinal assessment)

Ophthalmoscopy, also known as fundoscopy or retinal assessment, is a test that helps us look at the back of your eyes. We use a fundus lens with the slit lamp for this test, which provides a lot of detail. This consists of a light and a few small lenses that we look through to examine your eye. This test is not painful or uncomfortable.

You might need this test if you have symptoms like blurred vision or loss of vision. It may also be performed if you have a condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, as this can affect the blood vessels in your eyes. We may also do this test to screen for certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, or damage to your optic nerve.

 

Eye dilation drops

Eye drops may need to be used to dilate your pupils before some of these tests to help us see clearly. A complete retinal assessment, for example for floaters and flashing lights and for assessment of diabetic eye disease and macular degeneration, requires your eyes to be dilated.

These may make your vision blurry for a few hours. They can also make your eyes sensitive to light. Your ophthalmologist might advise you bring sunglasses to your appointment to protect your eyes after. We also advise that someone else drives you home and you should not operate heavy machinery after your test.

Please let us know if you have any allergies, medical conditions (like glaucoma) or if you are on any medications as we need to take this into consideration before using these eye drops. There is a small risk you might have an allergic reaction to these eye drops but we will discuss this with you before doing any procedures.

 

Why choose Oculase?

During your initial consultation, one of our expert ophthalmologists will assess your symptoms. The tests we perform will depend on what the cause of your problem might be. We will only recommend tests you need. Your test results will help us diagnose your problem and suggest a treatment.

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About the author

Mr Tariq Ayoub
Mr Tariq Ayoub, Consultant Ophthalmologist

Mr Ayoub has been rated as one of the top eye surgeons in the UK. He is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon in London, based at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, where he is also the Lead for the Emergency Department at Western Eye Hospital.

0330 128 1616

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