Eye Check-up

What is an eye check-up?

An eye check-up is an eye examination to evaluate your vision and test for eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Your doctor will also check to see if your vision needs correction with prescription lenses. If you already wear glasses or contact lenses, your prescription will be checked to confirm if there are any changes since your last vision test.

Your eye doctor will likely use specialised instruments, shine bright lights into your eyes and examine your eyes through different lens equipment. This helps them check on your eye health and detect problems that can develop over time.

Types of eye checks

There are several types of vision tests:

  • Visual acuity test and refraction, which measures how clearly you can see. This is a common eye examination where you are asked to identify different alphabets or numbers on a chart on the wall. It tests whether you have myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) or astigmatism.
  • Colour vision test where you will be asked to pick out numbers and shapes from within multi-coloured dot-pattern diagrams. If you have trouble distinguishing the numbers, you may have colour deficiency.
  • Tonometry (glaucoma test), which measures eye pressure. Your specialist may administer it in one of 2 main ways:
    • You will be given eyedrops with anaesthesia. During the test, the specialist moves the tonometer to touch your cornea and record the eye pressure. It will not hurt because your eye is numbed from the anaesthesia.
    • Alternatively, the technician or eye specialist may use a tonometer to blow a puff of air into the eye to estimate the intraocular eye pressure. You will not need anaesthesia for this.
  • Visual field test, which tests your central and peripheral (side) vision.
  • Dilated retinal examination, which allows your doctor to evaluate the back of your eyes, including the retina, optic disc and blood vessels. It is used to assess if you are at risk for conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular holes and macular degeneration. You will be given eye drops to help your pupils dilate when light is shone into your eyes.

If your test results show that you may have an eye condition, your doctor may recommend more specialised tests for a better diagnosis.

Why do you need an eye check-up?

Regular eye check-ups help detect eye problems at their earliest stage and give clues to your overall health. They also allow your doctor a chance to intervene early to help you manage your eye health and correct any eye conditions.

How often to get your eyes checked

If you are healthy with no symptoms of vision problems, we recommend having a complete eye health check-up at age 40 when vision changes and eye diseases are likely to start. Based on the results, your doctor can recommend how often you should return for subsequent eye examinations.

People who are 60 or older should go for eye check-ups every 1 – 2 years.

You should also have your eyes checked more often if you:

  • Wear glasses or contact lenses
  • Have family history of eye disease or loss of vision
  • Have a medical condition that increases your risk of eye disease, such as diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Take medications that may have side effects on your eyes, such as steroid medications
  • Have had previous eye surgery
  • Work in a job that can cause eye injury

What are the risks and complications of eye check-ups?

Eye check-ups are generally safe diagnostic tests with low risks.

Why choose Mount Elizabeth Hospitals

At Mount Elizabeth Hospitals in Singapore, the gift of eyesight is one we aim to protect and regain for our patients. Our team of ophthalmology specialists is experienced and skilled in testing, diagnosing and treating eye conditions to preserve your eye health and improve your quality of life.

Our ophthalmologists

Our skilled team of eye specialists is experienced in testing, diagnosing and treating eye conditions. They will guide you through the various eye test procedures with care and patient-centred service.

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