Here’s how to check the health of your eyes in less than an hour

Most of us are proactive when it comes to our general health. Be it through regular visits to the doctor, hygienist or gym, staying fit and healthy is always at the forefront of our minds. But despite this, the health of our eyes, arguably one of our most important organs, is often forgotten about.


I’m aware that my eyes are deteriorating at an alarming rate, being extremely shortsighted, my glasses are, at this point, an extension of myself. Without them, I basically have to wade around at slow loris pace, tripping over inanimate objects and missing insurmountable turnoffs because I can’t see the signs. Basically, I’m a danger to society and myself.


While my glasses are of utmost importance as a result, making sure my eyes are healthy, and my prescription isn’t changing drastically is crucial, so I make sure I never miss my biennial Specsavers checkup.


In the name of phenomenal eye health, I went to Specsavers St Lukes last week to put the latest in eye test technology to the test. If you’re like me and have never heard of an  OCT scan, don’t worry, your capable Specsavers optometrist will talk you through every step of the way, giving instantaneous feedback on the health of your eyes. To put it in the most basic way possible, the OCT scan is like an ultra-sound that uses light instead of sound to see fine details at the back of the eye. This acuity allows a revolutionary ability to detect vision-threatening eye diseases in their most preliminary stages, often before there are any other symptoms.


My optometrist Sima tested my eyes and identified my astigmatism right away. Which, for those who don’t know,   is; “when the cornea (the clear front cover of the eye) is irregularly shaped because of the curvature of the lens inside the eye.” This affects my vision and I need glasses with a prescription to treat it.


As a part of the eye health check, she also tested my vision (read these letters, which is better A or B, you know the drill) where she discovered that my prescription had in fact changed, though not dramatically, and she gave me some technical insight into why this may be the case. Lifestyle factors mainly, like the fact that I stare relentlessly at my screen for eight hours a day, and she gave me some helpful hacks and hints into how to best mitigate the damage. Did you know that the best way to balance staring at a screen all day is to look away for 20 seconds at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes? Sima called it the 20:20:20 rule.


While having your eyes checked may seem like a daunting task, whether it’s the procedure itself, or what you might discover; in reality, if you visit the experts, it's a quick and painless process. While the quality of your vision is a key component to an eye test, it is equally (if not more) important to also distinguish whether or not you may have underlying eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration.


Once the testing was over, I got to choose a pair of stylish frames from Specsavers’ selection of international brands such as Marc Jacobs, Kenzo and Balmain to name only a few. After settling on a pair of Marc Jacobs, I got my new spectacles fitted perfectly to my face in store. This ensures that when I wear my glasses, they correctly fit my prescription and my astigmatism.


The thing I found most helpful about my eye test was not only the clear level expertise the team all had, but also how quickly and easily the information was discovered. I can rest easy knowing that despite my vision, which can only be described as God-awful, I don’t have any underlying issues or reason for serious concern. I’ll be back in two years to make sure that’s still the case then. From start to finish the entire process took no longer than an hour, and the optometrist checked not just my vision but also my overall eye health - you’d be crazy not to visit your nearest Specsavers to protect your vision.

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