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Local Loughborough optician reveals the truth about eye tests at High street optician chains
Independent Optometrist Mohammed Bhojani of Visual Answers Opticians Loughborough explains why you need ‘advanced diagnostic eye screening’ and not just a ‘sight test’ as offered in most High St opticians chains and supermarkets in the UK.
What does this shocking discovery really mean for your eyes?
'Research shows over 40% of eye diseases start in your peripheral retina. This includes sight-threatening conditions like retinal detachments, eye tumours, retinal breaks and diabetes. Research also shows these conditions in particular, are far more successfully treated when they are detected sooner rather than later. In many cases these conditions can occur suddenly and at times, with few obvious symptoms, but are present in over 15% of the population'.
'On other occasions, you might notice symptoms such flashing lights or floaters only to be referred to hospital by your GP but nothing is found and your eventually discharged. The stress and distress for the person concerned, plus hours of wasted time in hospital waiting areas can be very frustrating. The NHS staff and administrators for the hard pressed NHS hospital deem this a wasted appointment too', said Mohammed.
Now however there is a quick and convenient way to check both your central and peripheral retina. The Optos Daytona is a new screening device that uses scanning laser ophthalmosocopes and a series of mirrors to scan over 80% of the retina in a single scan. It is non-invasive and normally does not require the use of eye drops to dilate the pupils either.
Is Optos Daytona screening available on the NHS?
'Your GP can refer you to the opthamology department of your local eye hospital or to eye casualty if you have visual symptoms, alternatively you could be referred privately to an eye specialist who will charge approximately £200 per consultation and charge extra fees for any additional tests or scans. A version of the Optos Daytona is increasingly used in hospital for diagnosis, but there is no specific eye screening offered with Optos Daytona’s on the NHS', replied Mohammed.
How long does the eye screening take?
'Each screening is done with your eye test takes about 1 hour in total. In you have package of screenings it may take slightly longer'.
At what age should I be screened?
We believe everyone should have this screening including children. This cutting edge technology was invented by an engineer whose young teenage son suffered from an undetected retinal detachment.
Do you offer other screening tests?
'Visual Answers optometrists have invested in excess of £120 000 worth of hospital grade diagnostic instrumentation that also includes a Zeiss OCT that also allows us to look below the surface of your retina and helps in the early detection of macular degeneration, vitreous detachments, macular edema, other retinal lesions. The OCT also aids in the early detection of glaucoma. You can choose each single screening for just £65 which will also include your eye test & field test that checks optic nerve from your eyes to the visual cortex in your brain.
The good news is you can get:
1) Central retinal screening
2) Peripheral retinal screening
3) Macular screening
4) Glaucoma screening
A combined package with all 4 screenings plus with your eye test and Zeiss FDT fields test included for the special price of just £149.
Call Visual Answers on 01509 416800 and Quote: iScience Diagnostic Eye Screening offer.
Another popular option available is to elect to go on a monthly Gold Care Plus Patient plan that gives all the screening tests every year from just £15.95 per month. This also includes having all your scans taken annually with your eye test plus 25% off glasses or sunglasses you may ever need plus many other benefits the Visual Answers offers.
Will you need any eye drops during the screening?
'The technology we use is so advanced all the tests are non –invasive, quick and painless. Most of our patients do not need eye drops, however in rare circumstances drops to dilate your pupils may still be required. Our expert optometrists will guide you on when this is necessary', said Mohammed
How are tests results obtianed?
'Our clinical optometrists will also review your scans with you on the same day. In the event we spot something serious, we’ll advise you on if we simply need to continue monitoring this ourselves, or we need to refer you to your Doctor or directly to Hospital. In these cases we will also discuss with you the most likely and best and treatment options too and also arrange an appropriate referral letter including options for private consultation if that is what you require. We will also keep all your scans as digital records so that we can review and compare them in the future to ensure the best your best on going care, added Mohammed
Why is what your offering seem so different from the large chains other High St. opticians and supermarkets?
'Its simple, most High Street opticians and supermarkets have a ‘business model’ that relies soley on the sales of glasses. Hence the reason they offer ‘free’ or reduced price eye tests and many other offers and gimmicks . The reality is that with the overheads, professional and staff costs, the true cost of an eye test becomes a loss leader and is made up for by the sale of glasses. This finding is also confirmed in the 2014 Which? Report.
The eye test carried out by most if not all chains last only 20 minutes and is normally the basic minimum required required by NHS and little else.
The Which? report also confirmed that ‘not all opticians are the same’ and despite the mass marketing of the chains the ‘best place to buy glasses was at your local independent opticians’ came top overall in all the factors Which?measured.
According to Mohammed, below are the 5 key questions you need to ask for before you have your eye tested:
1) How much time do they spend with me in the appointment?
2) How much of the back of the eye does the optician see in my eye test?
3) Do they always carry out a field exam?
4) Do they have an Zeiss OCT in practice?
5) Do they have an Optomap Daytona in practice?
Mohammed stated, 'We believe your eyesight is the most precious of your 5 senses & your vision is for all your life – if your optician does not give you the answers your eyes deserve to these questions, book for your diagnostic screening at Visual Answers today on 01509 416800 and ‘see what you’ve been missing’.
Visual Answers Opticians Loughborough