We at Optometry Ireland believe that good sight is for very important to leading a full life and that access to regular eye care is vitally important to preserve our sight and keep our eyes healthy.
From the instant we are born and right throughout our lives, our eyes send information to the brain that is vital for our survival. 80% of our world around us is processed through our eyes. This makes vision our most important sense. Our eyes use 20% of our body’s energy to process what we see. This makes our eyes one of the most energy demanding organs in the body. Tired eyes that have to work too hard will affect all aspects of our quality of life.
Studies show that problems with our vision lead to an increased risk of falls, problems with work performance and difficulties with most day to day activities.
Did you know that up to 75% of vision problems are reversible with early diagnosis and treatment? This is why regular eye examinations with your optometrist are vitally important to maintain optimum eye health.
So for us here at Optometry Ireland, we are passionate about eyecare because your vision is in our hands! Sight for life, vision for the future.
- What happens during an eye examination?
- Other vision tests commonly carried out by optometrists
- Optical Benefits. Does the state cover my eye examination?
- Long covid and vision
- Sight loss and visual impairment
What happens during an eye examination?
When you attend for an eye examination, we know you are concerned about keeping your eyes healthy. Just like any branch of healthcare, regular eye examinations are the key to preventing vision problems. For this reason, we like to see you every 2 years, but it may be necessary to see you a bit more frequently if we are monitoring a potential vision issue.
So we can get good clear focus on what your vision needs, your optometrist will need to ask you a series of questions about your medical and family history as well as your current signs and symptoms of any vision problem you may be experiencing. You will be asked questions about your health, your lifestyle and your vision. This may be in the form of a questionnaire which you might be asked to complete before the examination, over the phone or while you are in the practice. This information helps us to determine what may be going on with your eyes, what your specific visual needs are and where your risks for potential sight threatening eye problems lie. In the examination room, the optometrist will check your vision to assess what you are able to see and then perform a series of tests using lenses to determine what, if any, glasses you may need. These tests include evaluating the strength of lenses you need to see and investigating your binocular vision, which is important to how your eyes work together to help you see. All this information helps the optometrist make a decision on your prescription is; and this is the strength of the lenses and the type of lenses which are best suited to your lifestyle and visual needs.
The health of your eyes is then checked. This is done by looking at your eyes using different special instruments. Some of the health conditions your optometrist will check for during a routine eye examination include
⦁ Glaucoma and checking the pressure in your eye
⦁ Dry eye
⦁ Red eye
⦁ Age Related macular degeneration (AMD)
⦁ Side effects of medications or health conditions you may have which are known to affect the eyes and vision.
Some of the amazing high tech instruments that optometrists use to examine your eye health include
⦁ Slit lamp
⦁ Fundus camera
⦁ Visual Field Analyser
Sometimes we may ask to you to return for further tests if we feel something needs further investigation.
Other vision tests commonly carried out by Optometrists
Optometrists may be required to carry out other tests for you, to evaluate your vision. These tests are often a little different to the routine eye examination you might expect. Such tests include –
- Colour vision testing
- Driver licence eye sight reports
- Diabetic eye health checks
- Dry eye evaluations
- Contact lens fittings
- VDU or workplace sight testing
- Low vision testing
- Post cataract surgery examinations
Optical Benefits Does the state cover my eye examination?
If you hold a medical card or pay PRSI, you may be eligible to have your eye examination paid for by the state. Certain tests are not covered under optical benefit. Your optometrist can help you with this. If you have an eye examination covered by optical benefit but require further tests or more frequent tests, this may not always be covered. In such cases, you may have to pay a small fee towards certain types of tests if they are not covered by optical benefit. Again, your optometrist can explain this to you.
Long Covid and Vision
As we learn more about covid increasing scientific evidence shows that the visual system is significantly impacted by covid. Signs of visual problems post covid include,
⦁ blurred vision,
⦁ near vision problems,
⦁ double vision,
⦁ visual fatigue
⦁ visual field defects
If you have concerns about your vision post covid, you should arrange to see your optometrist.
Sight loss and visual impairment
Sadly, not all sight loss and visual impairment is preventable and if you have been affected this way, your optometrist is still here to support you. Your optometrist will ensure that even if your vision is impaired, we will endeavour to help you keep your eyes healthy and seeing the best that you can. We can also refer you to support groups to help meet your changing visual needs and maintaining a quality of life.
The groups that optometrists collaborate with include
⦁ Ireland’s sight loss agency NCBI
⦁ Fight for Sight
⦁ Fighting Blindness
⦁ Irish Guide Dogs
Eye Health for everyone
Your eyes deserve the best!