Gardiner Opticians, Burgess Hill > Eye Examination > Equipment



We are proud to be investing in some of the latest, state of the art, optometry equipment within the practice.

We’re often asked by patients what the kit does.  So here’s a brief explanation and we’re more than happy to offer a guided tour of the equipment during a consultation – just ask.

The Retinal Camera

Retinal photography is used by an optometrist to view the back of the eye in order to detect the early signs of an eye health problem. By taking photographs of the retina at each eye examination we can keep a permanent and accurate record of the condition of the retina. This allows us to detect any changes in the eye between each examination which might indicate:

  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • Age related macular degeneration

Use of retinal photography allows you to see what we see – your optometrist will show you the image of your retina and discuss the findings with you.

Gardiner Opticians have invested in the latest retinal camera equipment. We recommend that retinal photography is carried out for all patients over 40 or if a patient’s medical history indicates it may be suitable.

Visual Fields Analyser

Any condition that affects the nerve of the eye or the brain like strokes or trauma can result in a loss of areas of peripheral vision. Therefore, we do carry out routine check on most people over 40 and others who are potentially at risk of loss of side vision.

Slit Lamp

The front of the eye may look like a clear window and although it is just half a millimeter thick it has in fact many layers which are impossible to see with the naked eye. The slit lamp is a high powered microscope with a very intense light source that provides a very detailed examination of these layers. Since there are many conditions which result in a “red eye”, only by detailed examination with this equipment can an accurate diagnosis be made.

Electronic Letter Chart

While everyone is familiar with the old ‘eye test chart’, it is not as effective for children who do not know their letters, those whose English is poor or those who have other learning difficulties.  Our computer based chart can offer pictures, letters, numbers, coloured images in a line or singly to reduce confusion in understanding the nature of the test. The chart is equally lit across its surface and each letter has exactly the same level of illumination thus avoiding the problems associated with having a variable level of light falling across the chart.

Eye Tests for Children

A common question is ‘at what age should I bring my children in for an examination?’ Our answer is ‘any age’.  For children who cannot read or even respond to any question we use a Retinoscope which gives us an objective assessment of the prescription. This tells us whether there is any significant error that needs early correction and in most cases reassures us everything is within normal limits.

As children get older they can match letters on a card to different sized letters we show them. Older still and we can show them pictures of common objects – cars, boats, aeroplanes and so on.

On top of all that there are other sensitive tests to check both eyes work together and that colour vision is within normal limits.


The eye is filled with fluid that comes in at the back of the eye and out near the front. Sometimes the drain gets blocked up for unknown reasons and the pressure inside the eye rises. If it rises too high it can compress the small nerves in the eye resulting in a loss of side vision (see visual fields for how this is tested). We test the pressure with one of two instruments; one requires us to anaesthetize the eye with drops before touching the surface with a very sensitive probe, the other uses a puff of air to measure the pressure of the eye but requires no drops.

Dispensing Tools

We are investing in the latest iPad-based dispensing tools to help our Dispensing Opticians offer you the best possible service. We will be able to show you exactly how your lenses will look before you buy and clearly demonstrate the vision through your varifocal lenses to help you make the best informed choice regarding your lenses. We will also be able to take images of you with a selection of different frames and compare them – making the selection process that much easier when you cannot see yourself properly without your glasses on. Watch this space…