Nervous of eye tests or opticians? Let us help
During a recent Radio Kent phone in that Alisdair was answering questions for, one listener explained how she was nervous of the opticians and asked what could be done. This is actually a common thing we see. People can be nervous for a number of reasons. Let me tell you how we can help.
Concern 1) You don't want to find out something is wrong with your eyes.
In reality the chances of us finding a sight or life threatening condition is very small. The idea of the tests we do is to try and prevent sight loss not just to find it when it's happened. Having regular check-ups can prevent problems like glaucoma, dry eye, diabetes or cataracts from effecting your vision. And if we do find a problem it can normally be treated so the sooner we find it the better the prognosis. That's why we recommend regular check-ups with OCT eye scans so we can reassure you everything is OK.
Concern 2) You don't want to get the test wrong or give the wrong answers.
I'll let you into a secret, as a slightly indecisive person I hate having my eyes tested, all that 'better with or without?' 'One or two?' The good news is that although your input into the fine tuning of the lenses is helpful it is not the only way we measure you for lenses. Due to our advanced equipment and experience we can even measure babies and those who can't communicate at all so don't panic. The extra time we give you for an examination is also helpful. Unlike most high street opticians where you are rushed out in 20mins or less, our 40-60minute appointments mean you will be guided by the Optometrists and never rushed.
Concern 3) You don't like not being able to see when we ask you to take your spectacles off.
Don’t worry you will not be asked to move around without your spectacles on. When it comes to choosing new spectacles we can take photographs or pop in some comfortable soft contact lenses temporarily to allow you to see whilst you look. We will also guide you in your spectacle choice to help you achieve the best look.
Concern 4) You are worried about understanding the jargon we use.
Whilst trying to give you as much information as possible about your eyes we endeavour to try and explain things in terms you will understand. We allow plenty of time to answer your questions and are always on the end of the phone if you think of any questions when you are at home. Our website also has a lot of information about various eye conditions to give you some background about various eye concerns.
Concern 5) You don't like the bit when the optician gets really close to you to look in your eyes with that bright light.
Thanks to advancements in technology we have not relied on this method of examining your eye health for many years. We now use far less invasive techniques to look at the health of your eye.
Concern 6) The puff of air made you jump/ hurt last time.
Some puffs of air (to measure the pressure of your eye) can be quite strong and uncomfortable for some. We do not use these older machines. The new tests are quicker, much more comfortable and do not hurt at all. If you would rather we can avoid the puff at all and use a completely different method of examining your eyes- just let us know.
Concern 7) You're nervous around new people.
All our staff have years of experience in helping people from all backgrounds and ages. Our Optometrists have specialised in children's and elderly eye care as well as working with those with learning or physical difficulties. Therefore everyone is welcome to the practice. Because we are a small practice we only employ 6 members of staff and we do not use locum or temporary staff. You will therefore always see the same receptionist, dispensing optician and optometrists. We therefore get to know you and your eyes and can build up a trust and rapport. Because we offer longer appointments and only run one clinic at a time the practice is never full of people, allowing you to relax in your own space in our comfortable lounge area. Gentle music and refreshments will also help you to relax. If you have a favourite person to see when you come in please ask and we can book you to see them each time.
If you have any questions prior to your examination please call us on 01634 757227 to ask.