I was invited down to Leighton’s Opticians in Putney recently for an “ultimate eye exam”. That sounded pretty epic, and I was well overdue an eye test, so I eagerly read up about what the ultimate eye exam would entail, and booked in as soon as I could.
A Brief History of My Vision
I’ve been short-sighted with astigmatism for as long as I remember, although I only started wearing glasses at the age of 12, then quickly switched to contact lenses. When I was given my first pair of glasses I literally couldn’t believe how clear everything was! I don’t how I’d lived that long without knowing what good vision was like. Reading the whiteboards at school were pretty much impossible without squinting and trying to focus for ages, and the colour red was particularly bad, because it wasn’t as pigmented and kind of blended into the board. Having a few teachers who liked to sit us alphabetically (damn you Chemistry class), I always ended up at the back of the classroom, which made matters worse. Not to mention the fact that whenever I asked to be moved forwards, or said that I couldn’t read the chemical equations (even while wearing glasses or contacts), I was told to stop attention-seeking and disrupting the class. Let’s not even talk about how bad I was at sports!
Anyway, my eyes got progressively worse throughout my school years, my right eye in particular, which gave me migraines several times a week. I desperately wanted laser eye surgery, but everyone I knew (including my biology teacher), would tell me horror stories about people getting blinded etc. I still want laser eye surgery one day, but I can’t afford it at the moment, and my vision hasn’t been stable for long enough yet. Now I’m 21, I thought my vision would have settled down by now, but unfortunately, I’ve noticed it getting worse again over the last year. It’s a good thing I don’t drive!
The Ultimate Eye Exam
Jay at Leighton’s in Putney conducted my eye examination, and he was great. He explained all of the procedures and what they were for, and was very friendly. I’ve had years of eye tests, so I was familiar with a lot of the methods, but there were a few that I’d never had before.
The Optical Coherence Tomographers (OCT for short) helps ‘detect sight-threatening issues up to 5 years before traditional testing methods, and many years before you notice any change in your vision yourself’. WOW. It works like an ultrasound for your eyes, showing the tissue behind the retinal surface. It can spot signs of:
- Macula conditions, including Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
- Diabetes – by detecting Diabetic Retinopathy
- + more
The most important thing to understand about the ultimate eye exam, and why you should have eye tests generally, is that they aren’t just for people with bad vision. They also reveal any health issues with the eyes, or behind them. Weird timing, but my mum found out recently that she has a lump in her eye due to UV damage, thankfully it won’t affect her vision or anything, but it highlights the importance of getting your eyes tested.
Both of my eyes are slightly more short-sighted, with my right worse than the left. No wonder my headaches were creeping back again! I’ve got a new prescription now, so I’m waiting on a pair of new glasses I ordered, and I’m trying to use up my old contact lenses before getting new ones (#studentlife).
Since moving to London three years ago, I’ve had issues with my eyes getting irritated / stinging / watering randomly, which conveniently happened during my optician appointment. Jay had a look and said it looks like a mild allergic reaction, probably to pollution, which makes my eyes really dry. Thankfully that’s an easy fix – I’ve just got to get some eye drops.
I also got to see some High Definition 3D images of my optic nerve, and other cool things! I’d 100% recommend the Ultimate Eye Exam at Leightons Opticians, it’s only £69 for everything, including the OCT and retinal photography.
Would you get the ‘ultimate eye examination?’
*I was offered an Ultimate Eye Exam at Leightons for this review, but it is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own.