What happens during an eye test?

Did you know that you should have an eye test every two years even if you don’t think you have problems with your vision?

Eye examinations aren’t just about testing eyesight; your eye test will also include checks on the overall health of your eyes to give an early indication of any eye problems, or even other health conditions.

An eye examination will typically involve an optometrist asking you some questions about your vision and lifestyle along with a series of tests on your eyes.

Here is what happens during an eye test and what to expect when you visit Optomeyes or your optician.

What questions will I be asked in an eye test?

To get a picture of your current eyesight and health, your optician will ask you a few questions about your eyes and your lifestyle.

Health questions may include any medication you take, whether you have a family history of eye problems, and if you have any issues or concerns with your current vision, glasses, or contact lenses – so if you have glasses, it’s useful to bring them along with you.

At Optomeyes, we also like to find out about your lifestyle so that we can understand how you use your eyes and how we can maximise your vision to help you fully enjoy the things you love doing.

What tests are done in a sight test?

All tests done in a sight test are pain-free and there is no right or wrong answer to the questions the optometrist asks you so it’s important to answer them as accurately as you can. These are the tests typically carried out during your eye test at Optomeyes, but they may differ slightly depending on your needs and at different optician’s practices.

Sight test

The chart sight test is what most people would associate with an eye test – it analyses your vision and how well you can see.

Your optometrist will ask you to look at a sight test chart displaying lines of letters – big at the top and getting smaller at the bottom – and ask you to read the smallest line of letters that you can. They will then test each eye by putting different lenses in front of the eye (usually by using a phoropter – a pair of glasses where the lenses can be interchanged) and asking you if the letters are clearer with or without the lens.

For children and those unable to read we can use symbols and colours instead of a letters chart.

If your sight test shows that you need help with your vision, the optometrist will provide a prescription so that you can choose some glasses or contact lenses to help you see more clearly.


An autorefractor is a machine used to measure the refractive error in the eyes and how well your eyes are able to focus on things.

You will be asked to look into the machine and focus on a picture; the autorefractor will measure how well your eyes are focusing which will help to indicate the vision prescription you may need.


A tonometer tests the pressure inside the eyes (intraocular pressure) and helps to detect glaucoma. Your optometrist will use the tonometer tool to puff a small amount of air into each eye which should only take a few seconds for each eye.


An ophthalmoscope is a small torch that the optometrist will shine into your eye to see the back of the eye and make sure the optic nerve is healthy.

Slit lamp

A slit lamp is a biomicroscope used to examine the surface of the eyes. You will be asked to look into the machine and your optometrist will look into your eyes through the slit lamp to check for damage or problems with your cornea. Your optometrist may put drops in your eyes to help make any abnormalities more visible.

OCT scan

In addition to your eye examination, it may be recommended that you have an OCT scan.

An OCT scan uses light waves to give an enhanced examination of your eyes allowing your optometrist to see up to 80% of your eye providing a detailed insight into the health of your eyes.

At Optomeyes Eyecare we have a state-of-the-art camera called an OCT (Ocular Coherence Tomography) which is used to scan the eyes. If you have booked a sight test with an OCT scan, the scan is completed during your appointment by your optometrist who will talk you through the results of the scan.

How long will my sight test take?

Your appointment is for a minimum of thirty minutes but there is no time limit – you can feel relaxed and take the time you and your optician needs to thoroughly answer any questions or concerns you may have.

If you are also going to have an OCT scan, we will allow an additional 30 minutes for your appointment.

How often should I have an eye test?

We recommend you have a routine eye health check every two years to check both your vision and overall eye health, even if you don’t think you have problems with your eyes or vision.

If you are under 16, over 69, or have a family history of eye disease, we advise to have your eye test annually.

If you have any concerns about the health of your eyes don’t wait until it is time for your routine eye test, check in with us anytime for advice about eye care.

How much does an eye test cost?

The cost of a standard eye test at Optomeyes Eyecare is currently £55 (June 2023). 

Alternatively you may choose to join the Optomeyes Eyecare Deluxe Membership . The membership plan provides consistent care for your eyes and saves you money along the way including free eye examinations, free OCT scans, and savings on glasses.We are pleased to offer free NHS eye examinations at Optomeyes to those who are eligible.

Keep an eye on your eye health

Optomeyes has a team of qualified and experienced optometrists and dispensing opticians available to help you with your day-to-day eye health and vision as well as advising with any concerns you may have.

Get in touch today to book an eye test in Lee-On-The-Solent or Wickham with one of our experienced optometrists.

Alternatively, email lee@optomeyes-eyecare.co.uk or wickham@optomeyes-eyecare.co.uk and one of the team will call you back to book your appointment.

Find out more about eye tests at Optomeyes

Find out more about children’s eye tests at Optomeyes