When was the last time you got your eyes checked by an optometrist? I took a long pause before answering because I could not recall exactly when I did so as it was ages ago, six years maybe? I believe most people don’t routinely go for eye checks if they don’t wear glasses or contact lenses, or if they only have minimal eyesight deficit like me.
We had the chance to have our eyes thoroughly checked a few weeks ago at W Optics through their new service called the W EYExperience. It is a comprehensive eye examination that will take you through a series of eye tests with various machines, some of which I have never seen before.
Before proceeding to do any tests, the qualified optometrist at W Optics conducted a thorough history taking session. He asked not only regarding my eye concerns but also go into details like my general health, personal lifestyle, and preferences. It felt almost like a doctor doing an assessment on me. After he got a good gauge of my background, it’s time to put those eyes to the real tests!
This test is commonly performed at conventional optical stores. Many of us might be familiar with this test where you see the image of a little red house at the end of a long road through a machine.
Subjective refraction test checks for myopia(shortsightedness)/hyperopia(farsightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia. This is the test where the optometrist will require you to read lines of alphabets and numbers. He/she will also keep changing the lenses to let you compare the sharpness of the images.
This simple grid can actually give you a provisional diagnosis of your central retina health within seconds. If you see any distorted/missing lines or squares, it suggests that you might have a problem with your retina and it is best to go through further checks with an ophthalmologist(eye specialist doctor).
SLIT LAMP BIOMICROSCOPY
For this test, the optometrist first looked at my eyes through the scope to look for any obvious abnormalities of my corneas and lids. Later on, he had to put some dye into my eyes to see how fast my tears evaporate to determine if I have dry eyes.
This test is also used for checking contact lens fitting.
Checks for intraocular pressure(pressure within your eyes), which can tell if you are at risk of glaucoma, a condition that may lead to irreversible blindness.
Small puffs of air will be blown into your eyes from this machine as part of the procedure to measure your intraocular pressure.
A fundus photography takes a photo of your whole retina and allows the professionals to look at the structures such as the optic disc, macular and peripheral retina close up to spot any abnormalities.
Other visual function assessments like colour deficiency, lazy eye, and squint will also be covered in the W EYExperience.
Besides the W EYExperience comprehensive eye examination, W Optics is also capable in customizing additional tests to examine severe eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma. These tests cost extra and they are performed on a needs-basis depending on the patient’s History Taking and assessment by their highly trained optometrist
From cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinopathy (due to diabetes) and several ocular ailments, the W EYExperience reveals what a naked eye cannot see.
I am not surprised to find that my eye acuity has evolved over the years, but I was taken aback when the optometrist told me I have some spots on my macula which I would not have found out otherwise. Because, to be honest, nobody would do a fundus photography examination at my age. Speaking of which, I think I really need to go get an appointment to have my eyes checked with a specialist soon.
So after going through the W EYExperience, the next step would be to choose a frame and make a pair of customized spectacles.
In the end I chose this sleek and classy pair from STEALER, coupled with Crizal Eyezen lens which helps to protect my eyes from harmful blue lights (dont we all need this!).
The W Optics flagship store at Suntec City is super huge, and they have a very wide range of spectacle frames that you can choose from. Islandwide, W Optics has 11 stores and they carry up to 52 brands of eyewear and 3500 types of designs. They also have 4 different brands of lenses to choose from, which the optometrist will suggest a suitable one for you based on your needs and the specialty of each different lens brand.
But hold up, that is not the most impressive thing about them yet. What makes them stands out is actually the full rounded optical services that they provide, and kids are included!
They are one of the few optic centers in Singapore to offer myopia control services for children, which I think is a really genius technology to prevent/control myopia. Basically, it is the use of orthokeratology(ortho-k) lenses, which are customized contact lenses, to shape the curvature of the cornea during sleep, thereby achieving the result of a corrected vision. You can find out more here. Essentially, the concept is the same as LASIK surgery where the cornea is flattened to correct vision, just the non-surgical way. Of course, it’s still debatable in terms of the sustainability of ortho-k lenses, but I feel that it is worth a try for parents who have children with myopia because it is definitely safer since it is non-invasive. As parents, I guess we would already have felt the guilt if our child gets their eyes spoilt from too much screen time, we don’t really want to let them bear the brunt by going through an invasive procedure.
The vibrantly set up kids’ corner allows children and parents to understand about myopia control and prevention through graphical illustrations in a comfortable setting.
They also have a forum space in the shop itself where public talks are held periodically.
Besides that, they even have an eye clinic within the shop(with a separate entrance though) where you can consult an ophthalmologist. LASIK surgery can also be done there.
Overall, I was very impressed that an optical shop can provide such comprehensive services. The W EYExperience cost only $80 and takes about 30 minutes to complete. You can book your appointment through their website or simply give them a call.
Follow W Optics online and social media:
Instagram: @woptics, #WOptics, #WEYExperienceSG
The video below will take you through the W EYExperience, watch it to get a better idea of what it is all about!