Are Private Eye Tests Better than NHS Sight Tests?
Many people are eligible for free NHS sight tests, but anyone who doesn’t meet the criteria must pay for a private eye exam. The question is, which is better?
One of the biggest differences between an NHS sight test and a private eye examination is the thoroughness of the examination itself and the number of different investigative tests and assessments carried out during the examination.
NHS Sight Test
During an NHS funded sight test, the optometrist will also take a history of your health and vision. They will check your vision using a sight test chart and carry out an examination of your eye. If clinically necessary you will also be offered a visual field screening test to check your peripheral vision,a check of your eye pressure and the optometrist may also take a photograph of your retina.
NHS sight tests take between 15 to 20 minutes and you will be issued with a prescription. If eligible you will be given an optical voucher to help with the cost of your glasses.
Going Private and Advanced Optometry
During a private eye examination this initial process is similar to an NHS sight test, but what follows is a more detailed examination of the eye. All the private eye exams at Allegro Optical take between 45 – 60 minutes and include fundus photography, which captures a digital photograph of the inner surface of your eyes.
Further tests including eScoop, for Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), tear film assessments for dry eye, Colorimetry for visual stress, migraine and dyslexia may also be required.
Our Advanced Optometry eye examinations are more bespoke and give clients the opportunity to tailor their eye examination to their concerns. Eye exams can include a 3D OCT eye scan, similar to an ultrasound scan. 3D OCT scans reveal the many layers that make up the back of your eyes which cannot be seen using the traditional methods used during an NHS sight test. 3D OCT scans can detect early changes in the eye allowing us to detect some conditions up to four years earlier than traditional methods.
In addition to the 3D OCT, clients are offered an extended visual field examination often including a binocular Esterman Visual Field test, similar to that required by the DVLA. This is a 120 point test and allows us to plot both your central vision and also your peripheral vision. It also checks for any scotomas (blind spots) reduced fixation or areas of reduced sensitivity.
Allegro Optical is the only optical group in the area to offer Saccadic eye-tracking for binocular balance and ocular dominance issues.
At the end of the eye examination you will be issued with your prescription, and an eye health report including your OCT scan, field plots and your eye tracking report if required.
Eye exam Upgrade
Throughout April and May Allegro Optical is offering everyone an eye exam upgrade. Those eligible for NHS sight tests will be offered a free upgrade to a private eye examination and those who pay privately will be offered the Advanced Optometry eye exams for the same price.
If you are due an eye exam and would like to upgrade free of charge book your eye exam today call Meltham on 01484 907090 or from mid April you can visit our new practice in Marsden by calling 01484 76888