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What happens during an eye test?

Our eyesight shouldn’t be taken for granted, and just one of the ways we can look after our eyes is by attending regular eye tests.

However, according to an eye health survey by Guide Dogs earlier this year, approximately 5 million adults in the UK have never had an eye test.

A routine eye test helps to assess your sight, detect any changes to your vision, and can even reveal underlying health problems that need your attention.

But what happens during an eye test? Our Formby opticians here at Silver & Rose reveal all!


The first stage of an eye test usually involves a pre-test.

Your optician will ask you a couple of questions to get to know more about your lifestyle and the history of your eye health. This is also the perfect opportunity for you to discuss any problems you’ve been experiencing.

After this, the optician will cover one eye at a time whilst asking you to read from an eye chart. This helps to root out any discrepancies between your left and right eye.

Once this assessment is complete, your optician will use a couple of tools to gain better insight into your eye health[AG1] .

The tonometer

This tool is used to test the pressure inside each of your eyes.

It sends several small bursts of air against the eyes, which slightly flattens the front part of the eye, aka, the cornea.

The time it takes for this to happen is converted into an accurate measurement of the pressure inside your eyes.

It may feel a bit strange, but this test is important when it comes to detecting the early stages of glaucoma.

The autorefractor

This piece of equipment helps to determine how well your eyes focus.

The optician will make sure your eyes are in full view of the machine and you’ll be asked to focus on a series of images or points of light. They’ll then take a quick measurement to determine an approximation of your prescription.

The ophthalmoscope

This is a handheld tool that will give your optician a clear view of inside your eye.

A light will be shone into your eye so that they can assess your pupils and the back of your eye.

The slit lamp

If you’re a contact lens wearer, this tool is particularly important.

An illuminated microscope is used to examine the outer surface of your eyes, which allows your optician to see how well your current contact lenses fit or if there are any abnormalities.

How long does an eye test take?

The answer to the question is different for every patient.

Typically, young, healthy patients with no apparent problems can be in and out of their appointments within 30 minutes.

For an older patient, perhaps suffering from high blood pressure or cataracts, the test can take much longer.

You won’t have to wait to find out the results or findings of your eye test.

At the end of the examination, your optician will discuss whether you need to wear glasses or lenses, if there are any changes needed to your prescription or if they’ve detected any issues and explain if further testing is required.

Book an eye test with the team at Silver & Rose

If you’re looking for a new optician, consider us your go-to team here at Silver & Rose.

As an independent team of opticians in Formby, we’re immensely proud of the reputation we’ve built for ourselves in the community – and this is reflected in our client base.

We see lots of familiar faces day after day, along with a host of new customers looking for a more personal, bespoke service that some of the larger chain opticians are unable to provide.

If you have any questions about what the eye test process involves, or you’re concerned about your eye health, get in touch with our friendly opticians in Formby.

Give us a call on +44 1704 831117 to chat with us directly, or send your enquiry by email to and we’ll get back to you.

+44 1704 831117