Explanation of Eye Examination

Joseph Dispensing Opticians Malta
Eye Examination Step by Step

- Arriving at the Optician shop for an Eye test.
On arrival at the Optician's shop the client is welcomed by the optical assistant. He / She ensures that the customer's records are accurate and updated. It is highly recommended to remove contact lenses in ample time prior to the examination in order to obtain accurate results.

- Patient Data & Focimetry
During Eye examination, the first think that the optometrist will do is to ask a few questions which regard the client's health in general, family's health, lifestyle and work. It is very important for the Optometrist to have a clear idea of your vision needs, especially if a specific problem is the reason for your visit. The patient is asked also for his current prescription. If this is not available the Optometrist will measure the spectacles provided using a special instrument called a Focimetre. This is very helpful, so further deterioration of the vision can be detected.

- Nidek TONOREF (Auto Refraction, Keratometre and Tonometre)
After taking the history of the patient, the Optometrist will ask you to sit infront of an instrument. Normally you will see an air balloon (sometimes it will be clear and sometimes it will be blurred). Here the patient is not required to say whether it is blurred or not, the instrument will do everything itself. Afterwards the instrument is changed in the Tonometre version. Tonometre is an instrument that measures the Intra ocular pressure of the eye. With this instrument we can detect any sign of glaucoma. It blows a few puffs of air into each eye in turns. This test is very important because if undetected glaucoma can be a sight threatening disorder.

- Retinoscopy
This is a technique where it does not require any patient input and is used for all patients especially infants and those who are unable to communicate. This instrument also provides information about the clarity and regularity of the ocular media and hence the anticipated level of vision.

- Testing for Distance and near vision
From both results of retinoscopy and auto refraction, the Optometrist can select the appropriate lenses for you. These will be put in a special frame. The patient is asked to read the letters on the distance vision chart and by making changes in the power of the lenses the optometrist will gradually achieve your best vision. When checking the distance vision, this is followed by the near vision. After the age of 40 there is greater chance that near vision spectacles are required because he/she may begin to experience difficulty in reading. If this is the case then near Addition must be determined.

- Ophthalmoscopy
The optometrist uses an ophthalmoscope to examine the retina at the back of the eye, including the blood vessels and the front of the optic nerve. This important test can detect changes which can indicate diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

- Slit lamp examination
The slit lamp is a powerful, illuminated microscope that is used to examine the anterior surface of your eyes, the cornea, the iris and the lens.

- Photography of the eye.
Your optometrist or ophthalmologist may want to record the appearance of your eyes so that comparisons can be made at future visits to see if there have been any changes in your condition. Photographs of the outer eye will be taken with an ordinary camera mounted on the slit lamp. When it is necessary to photograph the inside of your eye, a digital retinal photography is used. This particular type of photography is needed for certain conditions that affect the retina, such as diabetes.

- Discussing your needs.
At the end of the Eye examination, the optometrist will explain the findings and if there were any changes both from the health point of view of the eye and also in the prescription. The patient is encouraged to put forward any queries which he/she may have or which are unclear to them. If the optometrist considers that you would have better vision with a change of prescription, he will recommend to change the lenses accordingly.

- Choosing your glasses.
When the Eye examination is concluded, the Optometrist will handle the patient with his new prescription to the Dispensing Optician. Then the Dispensing Optician will advise the patient what frame is recommended and he will do the necessary setting and frame adjustments.

Schedule your eye examination today!

You can easily schedule an eye examination online today. You'll be able to select the store and time that fits your schedule, right from your keyboard. Annual eye exams are an important part of maintaining your health. Just as you see your family doctor for an annual physical, you should also see your optometrist for an eye exam. Call +356 2155 0099 or find the location closest to you to schedule an eye exam online now.

Laser Eye Surgery

What is LASIK Eye Surgery and is it painfull?

In most cases, laser eye surgery is pain free and completed within 15 minutes for both eyes. The results – improved vision without glasses or contact lenses. This can usually be seen in as little as 24 hours.

What does laser eye surgery correct?

LASIK solves myopia and hypermetropia by correcting the corneal irregularities that cause it. In cases of myopic patients, it ablates central cornea area causing central flattening. From the other side in hyperopes, it ablates the mid peripheral corneal area causing net steepening centrally.

How long does it take to recover from surgery?

The majority of patients resume normal activities one to two days following surgery, but it may take 1 to 2 months for your vision to fully stabilize. Although everyone is a little different, the vast majority of our LASIK patients achieve legal driving vision or better, the very next day.

Can you get laser eye surgery if you have astigmatism?

Depending on the type and severity of astigmatism, the condition can often be treated with laser eye surgery. Laser assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is a type of laser eye surgery that reshapes the inner layer of the cornea to correct astigmatism.

Laser Eye Surgery

Saint James Hospital for more information, use the useful link below and contact us if further information is required.

Abnormal Ocular Conditions

Dry eyes

These are caused by the tear gland producing insufficient tears. If the patient have too few tears, your eyes feel gritty and they look red. In such cases the optometrist will prescribe artificial tears in the form of eye drops and these may be used as often as you want. They act as a lubricant to the front of the eyes. When having dry eyes it is recommended:
a) To reduce the dryness atmosphere caused by central heating by using a dehumidifier.
b) Do not drive with the car heater on especially if it is at face level.
c) Do not sit infront of direct heat from a gas or electric fire.
d) Certain activities like watching television, long hours of computer use and reading may make your eyes more painful as the patient tends to blink less when concentrating. It is highly recommended to use your artificial tears and remember to keep blinking regularly.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This is the term for the complications of diabetes that affect the retina. It is a major cause of serious visual loss and is the most common cause of blindness in the under 60's. There are various classifications of Diabetic retinopathy.
: Background retinopathy
This consists of microaneurysms , haemorrhages and hard exudates. This may be present for many years and provided the macular area is not involved, does not require treatment.
: Pre proliferative retinopathy
This is marked background retinopathy with the addition of cotton- wool spots and irregularity and tortuosity of the blood vessels.
: Proliferative retinopathy
This is a stage in which new blood vessels grow. The walls of these are weak and may cause haemorrhaging into the vitreous, perhaps leading to retinal detachment.
: Diabetic maculopathy
This is the most common cause of serious visual loss and it occurs when retinal haemorrhages, hard exudates or oedema involve the macular area.


Glaucoma is a group of diseases in which the intraocular pressure is raised causing damage to the retinal nerve fibres at the optic nerve head producing visual field loss.
Types of Glaucoma:
: Open angle glaucoma
This is the most common type of glaucoma. Patients most at risk are high myopes, those of Afro Caribbean origin and sufferers from diabetes or high blood pressure.
: Closed angle glaucoma
This is caused by the iris blocking the trabecular meshwork. It often occurs as acute attacks and people with small eyes are most at risk.
: Congenital glaucoma
This is a rare condition occurring in new born infants. The intraocular pressure is high before or soon after birth, causing stretching of the globe.
Testing the Intraocular pressure
The are several methods, the gold standard is by using a Goldmann Applanation Tonometre. In this method an anaesthetic eye drops are put in the eyes and the instrument is touched to the cornea very lightly. Another popular method involves an instrument which does not touch your eye but instead puffs a small jet of air at the cornea. This technique does not require a local anaesthetic.
Treatment of Glaucoma
The aim of treatment is to lower the eye pressure so that the level is no longer dangerous. Treatment is either with eye drops or by operation. Most ophthalmologists start with medical treatment of eye drops and only recommend surgery if these fail.

Cataract Surgery

What is a cataract?
A cataract is a cloudiness or opacity in the lens of your eyes. It is caused by a change of the lens protein which becomes opaque.
Types of Cataract
: Senile
: Nuclear
: Congenital
How will a cataract affect your vision? The main symptom is reduced visual acuity, initially only slight, but progressing to cause significant handicap. Glare in early cataracts, caused by the scattering of light in the lens may cause discomfort in bright sunlight or when driving at night. Cataracts in the central region of the lens cause reduced acuity in bright conditions when the pupil is small, but are less troublesome with low illumination when the pupil is dilated. Coversely, cortical cataracts affect the periphery of the lens, allow better acuity in bright conditions than in dim light. Some types of cataract produce a myopic change in prescription causing some hypermetropic patients to be able to see better for distance vision without their glasses.
What are the visual benefits of doing cataract surgery?
: a better quality of life
: less dependence on glasses
: more independence
: improved colour vision
: safer driving
: reduction in falls
: improvement of vision

Dispensing Optician – Optometrist – Ophthalmologist
What is the difference?

Dispensing Optician

Dispensing Optician helps to fit glasses and contact lenses, following prescription from optometrists and ophthalmologists. They also help customers decide which frames or contact lenses to buy.


Optometrist is a person who has been trained to examine your eyes for focussing errors, to recognize diseases and to prescribe glasses or contact lenses. The optometrist cannot treat diseases except to give exercises for weak eye muscles. If the optometrist suspects an eye disease, you are referred to an ophthalmologist for treatment.


Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specializes in eye and vision. Ophthalmologists differ from optometrist in their levels of training and in what they can diagnose and treat. Ophthalmologists diagnoses and treats all eye diseases, perform eye surgery, prescribes and fits glasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems.