Why you need to have regular eye tests in Sudbury
4th December 2014
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I’ve just paid a visit to the optician’s. Do you know how long it is since I last went? Two years! When did you last go? I hope it’s less than that.
I’ve reached the age when I notice that I need longer arms; that is, I need to hold what I’m reading a little further away and still have to squint to focus on the words.
Booking an appointment at Wardale Williams has been on my to-do list for over 6 months.  I had read stories in the local press about how optometrists had spotted the signs of a brain tumour in a client when she had visited for a routine eye examination. I realise how important it is to have our eyes tested regularly. Good eyesight is something most of us take for granted but as we get older it may start to deteriorate imperceptibly. We don’t always realise it and deteriorating vision can be dangerous. Think about driving...
So, after filling out the various health forms, (yes, I drive, yes I spend more than 3 hours a day staring at a computer, exercise; yes, I cycle to the pub), I sat down with Senior optometrist, Will Norman.
The first test was to measure the pressure in my eyes. Puffs of warm air were blown into each eye. A really odd but not unpleasant sensation and a first for me. This test was to check for glaucoma; a serious eye condition with no early symptoms and no cure. Testing is the only way you will find out if you have it. If caught early enough, it can be controlled. It is hereditary and those older are more at risk. It's important to get it checked as it can lead to blindness

During previous eye examinations I experienced an up close and personal assessment of the health inside my eyes using a hand held device called an ophthalmoscope, but Wardale Williams have a less intrusive way of testing your eyes with a slit lamp, binocular microscope. It allows the optometrist to exam the same parts of your eyes, without such close contact
The most impressive part of the examination was the retinal camera. This allows amazing in-depth photos to be taken of your retina- which lines the inside of the back of the eye. For the first time in my life, I saw my own retinas. I was impressed. This enables Will to track any changes in your retina between regular tests. Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration can both be spotted and the latter, scarily,  is the most common cause of blindness in Britain and Europe.
The final part of the test was checking my actual sight. Donning those special glasses, with the changing lenses, I had to read the line of text on the screen (turns out, I can read small things from a distance) but as I suspected, reading small text is slightly more problematic. I have presbyopia. Sounds serious, but it's inevitable and happens to us all as we get older. My eyes are losing the ability to focus. As the lenses harden, the muscles in my eyes have to work harder to enable me to read. When I put on spectacles with the correct lenses, I can read the smaller text with much more ease. 
So, I'll be needing some new glasses, then. But after chatting with Will, and doing some research I know that looking after your eyes is so important, especially as we get older. Don't put off making that appointment and make sure you go to a good, reputable optician. Your eyes are important. Make sure they're looked after well.

About the Author

Penny W

Member since: 17th March 2014

Hello! I'm Penny from thebestof Sudbury, shouting about the best local businesses from Hadleigh through the Clare. When I'm not doing that, you'll find me knitting socks or tending to my 6 chickens

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