The Spectator

Article: World Class Eye Examinations

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Derbyshire Life puts us through our paces!

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An eye test for £100… What? One hundred pounds, I hear you say.... Well, it isn’t really an eye test. At The Eye Place it is a complete eye examination. If you were to go in and ask for an eye test you would very quickly be corrected and educated as to the difference between a ‘test’ and an ‘examination’. Everyone who books an appointment at The Eye Place knows the importance of a proper eye examination and of having one on a regular basis. Owner Alex Kemp is so confident about what his opticians offer that he will refund the difference to anyone who can get a more advanced examination for less anywhere in the world. Having recently acquired yet another piece of equipment for recording anterior eye health, The Eye Place is one of only a handful of opticians in the country to offer all of the below.

So what does one expect when they visit an opticians? To be sold a new pair of specs OR given an advanced eye examination?

At The Eye Place once your personal details have been checked and updated you are taken through to the pre-screening area, where the Optomap Daytone, OCT, Visual field screener, Auto-refractor and tonometer (the Tono-Ref) are situated. If you have already attended the Eye Place for an examination you will probably already know the meaning and uses of all of these pieces of equipment and need read no further. Although daunting, these are standard procedures at The Eye Place.

The Optomap Daytona at the Eye Place, one of less than 50 in the country, allows Alex Kemp and his team to examine an 85% view of the retina, without the need for eye-drops. Those of you who have endured drops will be well aware that these take half an hour to work and cause blurred vision for the rest of the afternoon. The Optomap also gives us a digital record for future comparison, which is invaluable, particularly compared to the old-fashioned short-hand brief notes on a record card. This is advised for all patients, whatever their age, in fact Alex states that the youngest retina he has imaged is that of a 2 year old and the oldest a lady of 102.

Visual fields screener – this is not routinely undertaken on all patients, however, when necessary this plots one’s peripheral vision, areas of which relate to certain specific parts of the brain. So if attending with a headache, very high blood pressure and glaucoma or a family history of glaucoma this test will be used.

The Tono-Ref – this is a computerised instrument that takes a very accurate reading of the eye pressure and spectacle prescription.

OCT or Ocular Coherence Tomographer: in simple terms this instrument not only allows the optometrist to map the retina in 3D and see the important layers beneath the surface, but also measure the thickness of the different layers. This enables the much earlier detection of diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. It uses light, not x-rays, to gather the retinal data and the computer processes this information into images for easy interpretation and microscopic measurements.

Once these measurements have been taken, you will then be introduced to the optician and taken through to the eye examination room which contains an automated phoropter, high magnification slit lamp and the newest piece of equipment, the Oculus slit-lamp anterior eye camera.

The Phoroptor is an instrument that you, the patient, will look through, it contains all the lenses required to produce your accurate spectacle prescription and is linked directly to tono-ref in the pre-screening room and at the push of a button loads up the measurements already taken next door. This links to a very special screen that houses over 20 different test charts. These different charts and automated control of lenses allow a more comfortable experience for both patient and optometrist.

The slit lamp is a high magnification microscope for looking at the front and inside of the eye, using an additional lens called a Volk. We use this microscope for detailed viewing of the retina and also the front of the eye. Its high magnification and clarity allow easier detection of diseases and infections that can cause eye problems, from dry eye to certain types of glaucoma. Mr Kemp has just equipped all of these slit lamps with Oculus cameras to allow patients to see their own eye and if they have any conditions, to discuss the condition and provide an accurate record for comparison.
Once in the testing room and with these further procedures undertaken, the optometrist explains all the results and scans and you have plenty of time to ask any questions. The above sounds like this may take all day, however time is precious and all this actually only takes 45 minutes.

The Eye Place is an independently owned and operated by Alex Kemp, a third generation optometrist. Other than being your local optometrist, he is keen to embrace any advancements in tech-knowledge, to upgrade the run of the mill eye test to an advanced eye examination that allows him and his team of optometrists to view fully and detect much earlier any eye disease and associated systemic eye diseases. This allows early diagnosis and means any cause for concern can be acted on rapidly. Alex describes himself not only as an optometrist but also as a data collector, and the more accurate his data then the earlier he will find any changes that might occur.

The Eye Place also offers dedicated appointments for:
Dry eyes : monitoring and caring for patients who suffer with mild to severe dry eye. These clinics involve advice on maintaining the eye lids and also techniques for improving tear quality without the need of drops, with the aim of reducing dry eye symptoms or even curing them.

Children’s appointments, we all want the best for our children in every way possible. Good vision plays an essential part in a child's physical educational growth. Most children have healthy eyes, but many disorders can lie undetected, and regular eye exams from an early age allow early detection and treatment to be prescribed.

Contact lens clinic: The Eye Place is also a contact lens centre of excellence, specialising in all forms of contact lenses from daily disposables to advance fittings of Ortho K lenses. Ortho K is a specialist contact lens that is worn at night and removed during the day. It moulds the cornea at night and allows clear vision during the day without the need for spectacles or contact lenses.

The Eye Place not only offers one of the most advanced eye examinations that money can buy, it also probably has Derbyshire’s biggest collection of spectacles and sunglasses. It can cater to any budget, colour or style. Even though it favours the boutique approach, Alex employs fully qualified dispensing opticians in all branches to aid and advise on both spectacle lenses and styles. However, if you are not in the market for a new frame then we also offer frame servicing - whether yours are broken, a little tired and worn or just in need of a re-vamp - by our on-site lab technician.
The Eye Place’s latest collections include Rolf wooden eyewear, Mykita Mylon and Someday Somewhere.

For a new eye experience and to start the collection of your eye data, call or email for more information or to make an appointment.