Regular eye examinations are important not only to ensure clear and comfortable vision, but as a health check too. The optometrist will check for eye-related conditions such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. Other conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes can also be detected.

The optometrist will discuss a few different things with you, ask about your lifestyle, medications, general health and if you’ve noticed any changes in your vision. They will then use a series of diagnostic tests to asses your vision and the health of your eye.

eye test chart

Test Chart

This shows letters, and sometimes symbols, at different sizes. During the test you will be asked to read from the chart to determine the accuracy of your eye sight.


This essential bit of equipment is used to measure the pressure inside your eyes, based on their resistance to a puff of air. It provides valuable information about the health of your eyes and can highlight more serious vision problems, such as glaucoma.

eye test on tonometer
glasses on the eye test chart

Visual field screener:

This is used to determine if you have any ‘blind spots’ within your peripheral vision. During the test, you’ll be asked to look at a spot in the centre of the machine and respond to the lights flashing around this central target.


By observing how the eye processes a beam of light, the retinoscope can determine if you are nearsighted, longsighted or have an astigmatism. It also helps your Optometrist determine the proper prescription of any corrective lenses that might be needed.

patient holding disparity testing tool

Fixation disparity test:

In some cases, eye sight can vary between eyes. To measure how well your eyes work together we do a fixation disparity test. This determines how much correction may be needed to balance your eyesight, which is done with a prism in the lenses of your glasses.

The Ophthalmoscope:

Using a bright light to shine into your eyes, the optometrist examines the retina. This is an important test as it can show up early signs of diabetes or high blood pressure.

a female patients eye test on slit lamp

Slit lamp/volk lens:

By shining a thin sheet of light into the eye, these two instruments provide a magnified and detailed 3D view of the eye structure, from the front right to the optic nerve at the back. They are often used in conjunction with a hand-held ophthalmoscope.

After your test

Your Optometrist will discuss the findings of your test, and discuss whether there have been any changes in your vision. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have.