Why is an eye examination so important?
Your eyes are precious and need to be taken care of. Regular eye examinations will ensure that both the health of your eyes and your vision can be monitored and any problems detected at an early stage.
How often should I have a Sight Test?
At HBD we recommend that you have your eyes examined at least every 2 years. Certain medical conditions require monitoring on a regular basis, and yearly examinations are recommended in these cases. Should you wear contact lenses, yearly appointments are obligatory to renew your annual contact lens prescription. These recommended intervals assume that you are not experiencing any discomfort or visual change.
Will my sight deteriorate if I start wearing Spectacles or Contact Lenses?
Wearing a prescription does not make your vision deteriorate. When putting on your spectacles for the first time, you may be surprised at the sharpness of the detail you are seeing – this is because the retinal image is now perfectly focused on your retina and your brain is able to interpret this as a high definition mental picture. Objects were seen with this clarity previously until the change in your prescription brought about a ‘soft focus’ to your vision. Removal of your spectacles can give you the impression that your vision has got worse, when in fact your brain is now in a position to compare the high definition picture through your spectacles with the previously soft uncorrected picture without. Both nature (your genes) and nurture (life’s influence on you) will play a part in how your eyes change with time.
What does the eye examination involve?
By carefully interpreting any symptoms or history you may have, an Optometrist is able to carry out a series of examinations and measurements to determine your optimal prescription and general health of your eyes. Should it prove necessary, further equipment may be used to assess your eye pressures, visual fields, colour vision status. Retinal Photography allows detailed examination of your retinas, and provides a permanent record for future reference.
What is the difference between 20/20 and 6/6 vision?
No difference! Both these fractions denote perfect sight. 20/20 is the imperial version measured in feet whilst 6/6 is the metric equivalent measured in metres.
Driving Related Questions
What is the legal vision requirement for driving?
You must be able to read a standard number plate on a motor vehicle, in good light, from a distance of 20.5 metres (67 feet). The minimum field of vision for safe driving is defined as 120 degrees wide and 20 degrees both above and below the horizontal. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that these requirements are met and to inform the DVLA if they are in doubt. Regular eye examinations are therefore recommended.
Which frames are best for driving?
You should choose a style that does not restrict your field of vision eg. Frames with thin rims or rimless, combined with sides fitted to the frame above eye level.
Which lenses are best for driving?
Plastic lenses are recommended, as they are lighter and safer should you be involved in an accident. Anti-reflection coated lenses reduce glare and reflections from oncoming lights, especially car headlights at night.
Are tinted lenses suitable for driving?
Tinted lenses are suitable for daytime driving under normal weather conditions. However, it is not recommended that they be used either at night, or in poor driving conditions.
I work all day on a VDU, which lenses should I choose?
Choose lenses with an anti-reflection coating – they will help to reduce glare from your computer screen.
Should I wear my glasses when I use the VDU?
If you wear glasses generally, your eyes will feel more comfortable wearing your glasses on a VDU provided you have the recommended distance vision breaks away from your screen. Inform your Optometrist that you are a VDU operator and they will be able to offer you advice.
How will I know that I need an eye examination if I use a VDU?
You should visit the Optometrist if you suffer from persistent headaches, eyestrain, squinting, blurring of vision, double vision, dry eyes, watery eyes or excessive blinking. You should ensure that you have an eye examination every 2 years – this is particularly important if you are a regular VDU user.
Do I need spectacles if I wear contact lenses?
The key to successful contact lens wear is to incorporate rest days without them. This is particularly important at the first signs of discomfort, blurring of vision or early signs of infection. Examples include: itchy eyes due to hay fever, if you have a head cold, sinus infection or flu, signs of conjunctivitis or if you are taking a course of medication not compatible with contact lens wear. It is recommended that contact lenses are not worn while flying, and definitely not when sleeping on a plane. This is why no contact lens wearer should be without a pair of spectacles. All too often contact lens wearers have omitted to update their spectacles to the current prescription or modern styling, resulting in a pair of spectacles that are not worn due to poor vision and cosmesis. Ensure that your spectacles are comfortable, provide equivalent vision to your contact lenses and are aesthetically pleasing.
Look good, feel good and see well!
Is it possible to get contact lenses for occasional use only?
Yes. Many spectacle wearers are happy using their glasses but want the option of contact lenses for certain occasions, eg. Playing sports and holiday breaks.
At HBD, your Optometrist will advise you of the best contact lens system to meet your requirements. Generally, daily disposable soft contact lenses are the most convenient when travelling.
How soon can I get contact lenses?
At HBD our extensive range of trial lenses allows us to fit and supply you with suitable lenses to commence wear on the same day. If you are new to contact lenses, a practical handling session will be provided to ensure that you are able to insert, remove and take care of your lenses before commencing wear. Our instructors are very patient and will spend several sessions with you if necessary, so you do not feel pressured and can take your time as you enter the new world of contact lenses.
Is it OK to sleep in my contact lenses?
Unless our Contact Lens fitter has specifically said that your contact lenses are suitable for regular overnight wear, the answer is NO. Several designs are suitable for occasional overnight wear, but check with your Optometrist first.
Can I wear contact lenses?
Yes – in most cases you will be able to use contact lenses. Certain individuals with unusual prescriptions or poor health may not be suitable.
How quickly can you make up my spectacles?
As we assemble our spectacles in our own workshop, they may take as little as 1 hour to make up. Certain specialised jobs require extra care and may take a little longer. Lenses and frames that need to be ordered from the manufacturers may delay the process, but our Dispenser will advise you of the likely timescale before we proceed.
How thick will my spectacle lenses be?
This depends on your prescription, the type of lenses you choose and the frame style. Generally, the higher the prescription the thicker the lens will be. Use of high index materials, reduction in lens diameter and choosing a frame with a full rim around the lens are all methods of keeping the lens thickness to a minimum. Ultra thin 1.74 index plastic lenses are now available to bring the thickness of plastic lenses more in line with the thinner glass lenses. Our HBD dispensers will be happy to advise you on the best frame and lens choices to suit your prescription.
What are the advantages of plastic over glass lenses?
Plastic lenses are lighter and have 3x the impact resistance of glass lenses. Glass lenses are generally thinner, are more durable to scratches and have slightly higher light transmission than standard plastic lenses.
What are photochromic lenses?
These are lenses, both in glass and plastic, which change from a relatively clear state to dark sunglass tint when exposed to sunlight and UV radiation. Typical brand types of these lenses are Reactolite and Transitions.
What are polarised lenses?
These are specialised tinted lenses that eliminate reflected light from surfaces in addition to direct glare from bright objects. This is very useful for fishermen who have to see through the surface of the water, while having to ignore annoying reflections. They are also of benefit to skiers and sailors.
These lenses can be made up with or without your prescription.