Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it true that wearing my glasses all the time will make my eyes lazy and I will become dependent on them?

A: No. When people wear the correct lenses they realise they can see more clearly and comfortably. What they may have considered normal and acceptable before is now inferior in comparison.


Q: Is an optician the same as an optometrist?

A: The term ‘optometrist’ came into use in 1987 to replace ‘ophthalmic optician’ in the same way as ‘pharmacist’ replaced ‘chemist’. An optician can be ophthalmic, dispensing or manufacturing. It is the optometrist who is qualified to test your eyes.


Q: Are paper tissues suitable for cleaning my glasses?

A: If you have plastic lenses in your glasses then dry tissues will scratch them. It is best to use a damp tissue or use soapy water and a soft cloth. Lenses with anti-glare coatings should be cleaned with a special cloth and spray.


Q: At what age does a child have their first eye examination?

A: Any age really. A child’s eyes finish developing by around the age of eight years old. Many health authorities screen children in their area at around three years of age, but if you are concerned or if members of your family have eye problems, then it’s best to have your child’s eyes tested early.


Q: I am diabetic. Does that affect my eyes?

A: Yes. Diabetes can cause several problems with your sight. It is really important that your eyes are thoroughly checked every year, preferably with drops to dilate the pupil so that the retina (back of the eye) can be examined.


Q: If there is a history of glaucoma in my family, am I likely to inherit it?

A: You are more at risk of developing glaucoma if a close relative has it. Glaucoma can be treated effectively if it is diagnosed in time so regular eye examinations are essential.


Q: How long does a sight test take?

A: It depends on the patient. A young, healthy person with no eye problems should take around 20 minutes. Someone older, with diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure or other medical problems could take much longer. The optometrist will determine which clinical tests are required to provide the correct information for new glasses or contact lenses. If necessary they may refer the patient for a medical opinion.