There are eye examinations and there are eye examinations. At Vision Excellence now in Norwest, we believe that an eye test should be comprehensive. A refraction is essential but it is just one part of the eye examination.
Binocularity, or eye-teaming is just as important. What is the point of making each eye see clearly if the two eyes do not work as a team? If the brain is getting information from two eyes that are not working together, this may result in double vision (diplopia) where one eye will see one thing and the other eye will be seeing something entirely different. Otherwise the visual system of the brain will ignore the signals coming from one of the eyes (suppression) which means that the composite vision is deprived of 50% of the information being provided by the eyes. This deprives a person of the richness of what we call stereoscopic vision. In children, suppression can result in amblyopia (often called “lazy eye”), a condition where one of the eyes does not develop properly and, if not treated by about age 6 or 7, can result in a permanent and irreversible deficiency in the clarity of vision.
At Vision Excellence, as part of your eye test, we will obtain an accurate refraction, ensuring that the two eyes are working together as a team, we then need to thoroughly check the health of your eyes. We don’t just check the pressure of the eyes and have a quick look at the central part of each retina. The equipment in our Norwest practice allows us to get a widefield image of almost all of the retina and if necessary we can get a three-dimensional scan of your macula, your optic nerve and other parts of your eye that may be at risk of disease. Our glaucoma assessment includes very sensitive tests of subtle changes to your eyes that occur well before you start to lose your peripheral vision so that we can initiate referral for early treatment to prevent blindness. We also screen for cataracts and have specialised instrumentation that quantifies risk and progression of macular degeneration and keratoconus. Of course we keep permanent records of your eye test including secure backups off-site locally, so we have baselines with which to compare later in your life allowing us to carefully monitor any changes to your vision as time goes on.
Our commitment to the health of your eyes is not just limited to taking measurements though. At Vision Excellence, we believe that an important part of the eye examination is to explain to our Hills District patients what the results mean and if necessary give advice about the best steps you can take to maintain your vision at its best now and into the future.