Mincher-Lockett Opticians - Providing eye care since 1969

Eye examination

What to expect at your eye examination
Eye tests are carried out by our trained staff, who take you through each stage of your eye test and are happy to answer any of your queries.

A standard eye test appointment takes between 20 and 40 minutes depending on individual needs.

Most adults are recommended to have their eyes tested every two years, for people over 70 tests should be carried out every year. Your optometrist may recommend more frequent eye tests.

A private eye examination costs £30, contact lens check or fitting costs £25, eye examination with contact lens check costs £40, macular pigment screening costs £25 and retinal photography costs £15. Free NHS eye tests are available for people under 16, under 19 and in full-time education, aged 60 and over as well as other groups.

Pre-screening - this screening is carried out by a trained member of staff and usually involves two tests. They measure how well your eyes can focus and the pressure within each eye, which is part of the screening for glaucoma.

Consultation – the qualified optometrist (ophthalmic optician) takes details about your vision, your health and medication, your family and personal history and lifestyle to gain a better understanding of your eyesight and particular requirements.

Refraction eye test
Refraction eye test - the optometrist uses up-to-date computerised testing equipment to discover whether you are long or short-sighted and if you have astigmatism - see glossary of terms.

The optomestrist can determine whether lenses can be prescribed which will help you to achieve sharper or more comfortable vision.

They can also assess how well your eyes work together and if exercises or prism lenses are needed to improve your binocular vision.

Your ability to change focus from far to near vision tasks will also be checked, to determine whether you would benefit from help with this.

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Clinical eye test – using specialist equipment the optometrist examines the interior and exterior of your eye to check for any abnormalities that may require further investigation.

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Retinal photography
Retinal photography
– as a result of the clinical eye test further testing may be advisable such as retinal photography.

A digital photograph can be enhanced with computer software to give the optometrist a better view of the back of your eye. 

We can keep your retinal photographs to be looked at on future visits. This means the optometrist will be able to check for much more subtle changes in the appearance of your eyes than is possible within the standard eye examination.

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Macular pigment screening
Macular pigment screening - a special piece of machinery is used to test for a reduced density of pigment in cells in the macular area of the retina, a risk factor of macular degeneration. The screening is especially useful for people who have a family history of age-related macular degeneration.

The screening involves detecting when a light begins to flicker.

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Visual field screening – this checks for any areas in your visual field where your vision may be impaired. It is used to screen for glaucoma among other conditions.

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Results - At the end of the eye test the optometrist will talk you through the results and explain if you would benefit from glasses or a change of glasses and the type of lenses which would be most suitable for your needs. They will also advise you if any further investigations are recommended.

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Children's eye tests - eye examinations for children differ slightly from the adults' eye examination, depending on the age of the child.

We have tests for determining how well children can see, before they can read and even before they can talk.

It is a good idea to have your children's eyes checked at around two to three years old. At this age we can pick up significant visual problems, which could lead to a squint or lazy eye if left undetected until after the child is at school.

Children will rarely tell you if they have a problem with their eyes, as they don't know what they should be able to see. Even the most observant of parents can be totally unaware if their child is unable to see with one of their eyes. The optometrist at Mincher-Lockett Opticians, Jan Goodwin, is a mother-of-two who is experienced at dealing with children and will make the experience as comfortable as possible for your child.

An eye examination for children does not hurt. It mostly involves looking at pictures and playing simple games. At the end of the examination the optometrist will use a special torch, called an ophthalmoscope, to look into the child's eyes to check that they appear normal and healthy. Small children will be rewarded with a sticker.

The NHS will pay for an eye examination with a qualified optometrist at least once per year, or more frequently if the optometrist advises it, for all children under 16. Children under 19 and in full-time education can also claim for an NHS eye examination. If your child would benefit from glasses, they will be entitled to an NHS voucher towards the cost. Many glasses are completely free with the NHS voucher, but we also have a wide range of frames such as Bratz and Star Wars, to tempt the reluctant wearers. The old pink and blue NHS specs are very much a thing of the past.

Many children can also be fitted with contact lenses. This can be extremely useful for sport lovers. Rigid gas permeable lenses can also help to control the progression of short-sightedness. We take good care of all our contact lens wearers, but especially children.

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