Optometrist practices are capable of conducting comprehensive eye examinations by means of advanced instruments and technologies
Most global visual impairments and 80 per cent of blindness can be prevented by regular eye examination, especially with advanced diagnostic instruments and technologies.
“If the eye condition is detected late, it would be too late to treat an irreversible, severely affected eye. However, if we pick up the eye conditions at an early stage, we would be able to manage, treat or slow down the progression,” said optometrist Mary Chong, the founder and owner of Eye & Glasses Optometrist.
Chong has been in the industry for 22 years. She started as a sales executive at an optical shop in 2000 and later opened her optical practice after obtaining her optician diploma.
“It was just a typical optical shop, where we check eye power and make glasses. I found it hard to help certain patients with some visual problems.
“Therefore, I decided to take up an optometric course and with my optician diploma, I applied to Cardiff University’s optometric school in the UK.
“After completing my optometric course, I joined Optimax Eye Specialist, where I got to observe and learn about more eye problems and practice my clinical skills. After a few years, I left and opened my optometry practice, Eye & Glasses, in 2016.” She has an outlet each in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
“At Eye & Glasses, our motto is, a world without avoidable blindness, and we want to prevent blindness that can be avoided.”
She therefore urges the public to go for regular eye examinations and not miss the golden period for early detection and prevention.
Equipment used in eye examinations
Diagnostic instruments and technologies help optometrists to examine eye health and detect eye problems. And a comprehensive eye examination usually takes about 45 to 90 minutes.
“If we do not have these technologies, we will only be able to address the eye problems and disease after the symptoms manifest themselves, and this would sometimes be too late.”
Eye & Glasses, she shared, offers an advanced eye examination package, which uses state-of-the-art equipment and consists of 21-point test ranging from physical eye checking to detailed microscopic imaging.
Eye & Glasses outlets are equipped with the latest instruments and technologies. Each piece of equipment has its functions and is essential when conducting a comprehensive eye examination.
Chong described some of the equipment used in her practice. “Autorefractor is the most common equipment used to measure eye power and refractive errors.
“Then we have the slit lamp, which allows eye care professionals (ECPs) to check the anterior and posterior of the eye. With a digital slit lamp, we can capture the image of the eye condition and show and explain the conditions to patients.
“Next, we have the tonometer, which is used to measure eye pressure. And keratometer is used to measure the cornea’s curvature and assess astigmatism’s extent and axis. Meanwhile, the biometer is used to measure the eye’s axial length.
“OCT scan is used to examine the cross-section of the eye, and we can check the retinal layers. Without this advanced technology, traditional equipment only allows us to check the front surface of the retinal layer through the pupil.
“We also have a 3D scanner which allows us to scan the patient’s face and create a digital avatar. We can then find and customise suitable frames for the patients by trying out the frame designs on the avatar.”
Apart from the instruments and equipment, corrective eyewear products also undergo continuous development.
“Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Vision Care’s Acuvue contact lens products are an example of the latest eyewear innovation,” shared Chong.
“Most of my consumers, especially women, have been wearing contact lenses for a long time and dislike using glasses. As they enter the presbyopia stage, they start having reading problems.
“About a decade ago, they would have been required to use contact lenses and glasses alternatively to correct their far and near distance. But now, with the Acuvue multifocal lenses, they can correct their far distance and near distance with the same eyewear.
“Apart from the multifocal feature, Acuvue also has innovative materials used in its contact lenses which ensures patient experience comfort all day.” – The Health