You're making your customers cry!

Fri, 26 Jan 2018

With a focus on providing the best eye test experience for the consumer, a survey of almost 1,000 consumers has highlighted how they feel about having their eyes tested and their reaction to the key procedures involved. 

Mainline Instruments supplies ophthalmic instruments and accessories to opticians throughout the UK and asked members of the public to describe their overall experience at the opticians. More than two thirds (69%) described it as a ‘good experience’ which is positive news as charities, health practitioners and opticians campaign to increase the take up of eye tests as a vital part of health screening for all age groups.

However, 26% said they found it made them uncomfortable at times, with a relatively small 5% saying the experience made them feel uneasy or on edge.

Of the different elements of the test, half said they found the air puff test the most uncomfortable, with people getting up close and in their personal space disturbing 26% of respondents. A further 14% described the field test as their least favourite part of the examination and 10% dislike wearing the heavy trial frames.

Thankfully, these concerns are not putting most people off from booking a test, with only 23% saying it would definitely or sometimes deter them from booking or attending an appointment.

Simon Hawkins, director at Mainline Instruments comments: “The technology that supports eye tests is improving all of the time and can, in some instance, help to overcome some of these barriers.

“Having an eye test is extremely important and we would encourage everyone to commit to booking at test with their optician at least once every two years.

“The number one bugbear for respondents is the eye puff test. In our survey, 61% of the 956 respondents said they would prefer an alternative testing option. The good news is that the technology already exists to provide this.  

“The iCare 100 Tonometer, launched last year, is a comfortable test that has been designed to overcome concerns about the air puff test, and encourage increased take up of this important part of the eye examination which specifically tests for glaucoma.

“As glaucoma has no early symptoms, it is vital that those at risk, especially those aged over 40, have regular eye health checks. Early detection and treatment is very important as any damage caused to vision by glaucoma can’t be repaired.”

According to the International Glaucoma Association, there are an estimated 64 million people with glaucoma worldwide and an estimated 600,000 people living with the condition in the UK of which 300,000 are undiagnosed. Raised eye pressure can sometimes indicate glaucoma and in fact is the only modifiable risk factor for glaucoma, so the organisation has been campaigning this year to educate people about the importance of eye pressure as part of a regular eye health check. If detected early, glaucoma can be managed and useful sight can usually be maintained throughout life.

Icare tonometers are portable devices that can quickly and easily test for glaucoma and are commonly favoured by opticians as an alternative to the traditional ‘puffer test’ which some patients dislike. Also eliminating the need for anaesthetic eye drops, the ic100 is based on a rebound measuring principle. Intra-ocular pressure (IOP) is measured by using a very light probe to make momentary and gentle contact with the patient’s cornea. This makes the Icare ic100 tonomoter suitable for use with all kinds of patients including the very young, the frail and those that may not fully understand what it is happening.