Your Questions Answered...

A Few Questions & Answers Which Hopefully Are Useful. If Your Question is Not Here, Please Call Us & We'll Help...

What is the Difference Between an Optician and an Optometrist?... The term 'optician' covers all types of opticians: ophthalmic, dispensing and manufacturing. An ophthalmic optician is now known as an optometrist and is qualified to examine eyes, recognise disease, prescribe and fit spectacles and contact lenses (providing they are on the appropriate opticians register). A dispensing optician is qualified to fit spectacles, and may have done additional qualifications to enable them to fit contact lenses too (in which case they call themselves 'Contact Lens Opticians'). We are Optometrists.

Do I Qualify For an NHS Eye Examination?... You do if - You are under the age of sixteen or in full education under the age of nineteen - You are over sixty of age - You are registered blind or partially sighted - You have, or may be at risk of having, diabetes or glaucoma - You are over forty and have immediate family who have glaucoma - You have a valid HC2 certificate - You, your partner or your child receive certain Government benefits - please check with my Team for further information - If you have an complex NHS spectacle prescription.

What Causes a Child to Squint?... A squint may be caused simply because a child is long sighted and needs to accommodate to see clearly without their spectacles. The accommodation makes the eyes turn in without the child's spectacles, but they may not have a squint whilst they are wearing them. Alternatively, a squint may be caused by a muscle imbalance. Squints often run in families so if you have a family history of a squint it is important to have your child's eyes examined. Children can have their eyes examined at a very young age as detailed on our Young Eyes page.

What is a Lazy Eye?... A lazy eye is one that is healthy but does not see as well as it should, even with spectacles or contact lenses. It is caused when the eye does not have a clear image reaching the back of the eye when the patient is young (under 7 years of age). This can happen if the child has a cataract or a squint, or simply if they need spectacles but don't wear them. The degree of laziness can be reduced if the child has corrective treatment (such as wearing spectacles or patching the good eye to force the lazy one to work) when they are young. Children do not tend to notice if they have one eye that does not see as well as the other one, and if they do notice it they don't always realise that it is not normal (after all most people can write better with one hand than with the other, so why shouldn't a child expect that most people can see better with one eye rather than the other). This is one reason that all children, particularly those with a family history of similar eye problems in childhood, should have their eyes examined before they start school.

How do You Test for Colour Vision?... There are several tests for colour vision. You may be asked to look at different coloured objects or dots and identify a pattern which is in a different colour, or you may be asked to match dots which appear to be of the same colour. Some colour vision tests may involve you matching or distinguishing between lights of various colours.

Are Floaters a Sign of an Eye Problem?... Most people, particularly if they are short sighted, have some floaters inside their eyes. These appear as little black spots or 'flies' which appear to float around in front of your sight. They move when you move your eyes and are normally more obvious when you are looking at a plain pale background (like a cloudless sky). They are normally quite innocent, but if you get a shower of floaters, if you see lots of floaters after you have banged your head, or if you see flashing lights in your eyes or a 'curtain' or 'veil' in front of your eyes please call us and we will make an appointment for you to come in.

Can an Optician tell if I have Glaucoma?... Yes. Part of the reason for having an eye examination is to check the health of your eyes. An eye examination will include the tests for glaucoma. These are looking at the back of your eye (ophthalmoscopy), which is done on everybody; measuring the pressure inside your eye (tonometry) and checking your visual fields. Tonometry and visual field tests are recommended as good practice if you are at risk of glaucoma. From the results of these tests, I will be able to tell whether or not you have glaucoma.  If you have glaucoma you are normally unaware of it, as it is normally quite painless and affects your sight very gradually. It is therefore very important that you have your eyes examined regularly, particularly if you are at a higher risk of glaucoma.

What Causes a Dry Eye?... Dry Eyes can be either due to a problem with the quality of the tears or with the quantity of tears available. The differences may depend on age, diet, health, contact lens wear, atmosphere or occupation. Depending on the cause the treatment may be hot compresses or just the use of tear supplements. Please make an appointment to see us and myself or Clare will be able to advise what action is best after we have looked at your eyes.

What Vision Symptoms do Diabetics get?... People who are diabetic may find that their sight becomes blurry, so that they need a change in their spectacle prescription, or they may see parts of their vision missing. They are also more prone to cataract. If you get any of these symptoms please get in touch so we can assess you as soon as possible.

Can You Stop Short Sight Getting Worse?... Short sight is usually caused because the eye is too big or the cornea is too steeply curved. That is why it tends to happen during the growth spurt of puberty. Whilst you cannot control how large (or long) your eye becomes, some people believe that wearing rigid contact lenses may slow down the progression of the short sight by reducing how steep the cornea becomes.

Does Sitting Near the TV Affect My Eyes?... There is no evidence that sitting close to the TV causes any harm to the eyes. Television should be watched with the lights on, rather than off, as this should be more comfortable because otherwise it is like looking at a (big) torch.