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What exactly is a comprehensive eye examination?

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What exactly is a comprehensive eye examination?

When you schedule your eye examination at Ocean Optometry, you can be sure that we are going to take very good care of you and your eyes.  Many people may wonder what is involved in an eye examination and may even be a little nervous about it, so let’s try to demystify it a little.

We have designed our comprehensive eye examination to be a flexible approach to gathering a range of baseline measurements to best assess the health of your eyes, the best focus for your eyesight and lifestyle and to provide an opportunity to address any concerns that you may have.

To begin with we will ensure all of the basic information that we have for you is correct, for example your address and contact information and then we will take preliminary assessments prior to your time with one of our optometrists.

There are three main instruments that we currently use for our preliminaries: auto-refractor/keratometer; non-contact tonometer and the digital retinal camera.  This gives a range of information which is useful to gather for most people.  We tend not to use the auto-refractor/keratometer and the non-contact tonometer on people less than 20 years of age as it is not the most reliable way to gather this information on younger eyes.

When we gather any information as part of our eye examinations we want to ensure that the information is good quality information and we want to ensure that there is a real need/reason to gather this information.  Perhaps this is a good example, at a simple level, of what we mean by having a flexible approach.  There is little benefit in doing tests for the sake of doing tests, we are not interested in merely performing the test, but in the information that we gain.

Once the preliminary assessments are carried out, you will be introduced to whichever optometrist is scheduled to see you.  Optometrists Dr. Euan McGinty and Dr. John Wilson are not only our optometrists, but also the owners of Ocean Optometry.  With over 30 years experience in the whole “testing eyes thing”, they both have a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw on, however, they are not your stuffy/bossy doctors, so feel free to call them Euan and John.  We’re pretty relaxed here!

The first thing our docs will do is review all of the information so far and then have a chat about why you have come in for the eye examination, finding out if you had any specific issues needing addressed or have any specific goals that you’d like to achieve.

From here on in, things are really going to get personal!  We will generally ensure that we assess the quality of your vision and find the optimum focusing requirements for any spectacle lenses you may need. (refraction) We will assess the alignment of the eyes, the way they work individually and as a pair (binocular vision).  At times, however, this may not be appropriate to do at this visit and we will discuss this with you as well.

During your appointment we will also carefully assess the health of your eyes.  We will look at the front of the eyes under high magnification, all the time asking ourselves questions about how healthy they look? Are the eyelids working properly? Are the front tissues quiet and clear?

We will then carefully review the internal health of your eyes, looking at the crystalline lens, the fluids inside the eye and right back to the retina and the optic nerve head.  If this is your first eye examination with us we will be looking to establish baseline assessments for all of these features and considering if the appearance falls within the expected normal variations found within healthy eyes.

If it is not the first eye examination we will further consider how this compares to previous visits and look for any signs of change which could indicate any abnormalities with the eyes or even with your overall general health.  There are also indicators linked to neurological assessments which will be reviewed when we are examining your eyes – for example do the pupil reactions function normally?

Once we are satisfied with all of our findings, we will make appropriate notes and then discuss all of our findings with you, where possible sharing the findings with you when we can review it with our digital instrumentation.

We will make sure that any concerns that you came in with are addressed, that we have discussed any issues that we may have found during our examination and answered any questions which you may have.

Once we are sure that all of the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, all concerns and questions are covered we will then conclude the eye examination and advise when your next eye examination is recommended.  If it is within a reasonable time we will in fact schedule the appointment there and then, so we know that the clinical time has been set aside for you (don’t worry, we can always re-schedule down the line if we need to).

What many find surprising, however, is that John and Euan will then accompany you either to help you choose frames, or to discuss your spectacle requirements with our optician, Mike, or to make sure all matters are taken care of with our front desk.

Even beyond this, though, if you go home and think “Oh, I wish I had asked this …” then please send us an e-mail, contact us through our website, call us or drop in.

We like to consider that once you choose Ocean Optometry to take care of your eyes, then we’re going to take care of them exceptionally well and for a long time.  It’s not just about a quick “one/two”; “better/worse” rapid appointment every couple of years, or whenever you remember!  We’ll be your go to resource for all things eyes and eye-related!

For further information about our eye examinations, please visit this section of our website:

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