Comprehensive Vision Examinations

We believe in comprehensive service. Your examination is customised to meet your needs, and 45 minutes in duration so we have time to find the best solution for you.

We routinely assess and develop custom management plans for conditions such as glaucoma, cataract, retinal disease, diabetes, or squint. Many of these conditions are treatable when detected early. We have a number of state of the art instruments which we use in the management and detection of eye disease.

Do I need a vision examination?

We recommend examinations every 2-3 years. Some conditions, such as glaucoma, have very few or no symptoms. We can however, detect changes and signs of early disease at comprehensive vision examinations.

We usually send out an examination recall every 2-3 years. We do like to see certain people a little earlier, such as those who have existing eye disease or a family history of eye conditions.

What are the most common visual symptoms?

Most visual problems have associated symptoms. Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Blur in the distance or at near
  • Headaches when close work
  • Rubbing the eyes
  • Children with an active avoidance or dislike of near work
  • Angling of the head when viewing objects
  • Closing one eye when viewing objects
  • Frequent blinking
  • Holding books very closex
  • Reading only with a finger to mark place
  • Sitting close to the TV
  • Red eyes
  • Pain or discomfort in and around the eyes

What happens during a comprehensive vision examination?

During your examination, our Optometrists perform a sequence of tests to measure the strength of prescription lenses, if required, for sharp comfortable vision. They assess your eye health, examining both the internal and external structures of the eye. From this the Optometrist develops a tailored management plan for you. Some common outcomes are:

  • Spectacles
  • Contact Lenses
  • Eye Surgery
  • Low Visual Aids
  • Visual Therapy
  • Dry Eye Management
  • Myopia Control
  • Medical Eye treatments
  • Tinted & Coloured Lenses
  • Sports Vision Enhancement
  • Further in-depth assessment and monitoring
  • Referral to other Health Professionals

Below we have included a list of steps we commonly take during a comprehensive vision examination. We customise every examination to meet individual need, so may spend longer on a certain area depending on the situation.


We take a comprehensive history including:

  • A reading of your current spectacles or contact lenses
  • Your personal eye history
  • Your family eye history
  • Your general health and medications
  • A discussion of your visual requirements and goals

Acuity testing

Your vision will be examined up close and at further distances. You will be asked to read an eye chart with one eye at a time. If you can read very small letters you have a higher visual acuity than someone who can only read larger letters. We test your ocular muscle balance, examine how well your eyes work as a team and also on their own.


During the refraction your Optometrist determines your prescription. This essentially means we determine the strength of lenses required to help you see at a given distance.

Microscope Examination

A thorough examination of the external and internal structures within the eye is paramount when diagnosing disease. A slit lamp biomicroscope is the tool we use when assessing the eye in detail. In doing this, we can check for irregularities. Some areas we examine include your eyelids, lashes, tear film, conjunctiva, ocular lens, anterior chamber angles, punctum and the meibomian glands.

Glaucoma Pressure Test

We use a tonometer to measure the pressure within your eye. High pressures can cause eye diseases such as glaucoma. Should your intraocular pressure increase, this generally occurs without any symptoms. This is why we recommend regular vision examinations.


Your Optometrist may recommend topography if we need a computer generated map of your cornea. This can help us diagnose corneal eye conditions, or to find the best contact lens fit for your eye.


An ophthalmoscope allows your Optometrist to examine the internal structures of your eye. This includes your retina, your central macula, optic nerve, blood vessels, the vitreous chamber and your intraocular lens. An examination of your retinal examination is very important and can tell us a lot about your general health. For example, those who have abnormally shaped blood vessels or bleeds can have high blood pressure or diabetes.

Pupil Dilation

We dilate the pupil when we need an enhanced view of your retina. We do this for patients with certain symptoms or conditions. We recommend having a driver take you home if you are dilated, as you may have slightly blurrier vision and be sensitive to light. This returns to normal after a few hours.

Retinal Photography

The retinal camera takes a photograph of the posterior surface of your eye. Over time, we can compare retinal photographs, and detect subtle changes which may indicate eye disease. Retinal photographs are complimentary in every comprehensive vision examination at Hawera Eyecare.

Field of Vision Testing

In a visual field exam we use a computer to analyse your peripheral or side vision. Reasons we may recommend an automated field of vision exam include:

  • A Family history of Glaucoma (grandparents, parents, blood relatives or siblings)
  • Suspected early glaucoma
  • Unusual or unexplained headaches
  • Applications for a New Zealand Driver’s Licence
  • To provide a baseline for future comparisons
  • Unexplained visual issues
  • Poor Vision
  • A recent stroke

Visual field Analysis can help to diagnose or manage certain conditions such as:

  • Glaucoma
  • Neurological problems
  • Retinal problems
  • Stroke

Visioffice Dispensing System

This is a highly specialised piece of equipment we use to determine parameters for your lenses. A computer models the movement of your eye within 3D space. Using this information we can generate highly accurate spectacles customised just for you.

The Visioffice also models vision across numerous lens designs. We can demonstrate visually how changing a lens design will affect your sight. We can also model changes in lens thickness or weight that occurs when you change lens material. If you have trouble seeing without your glasses but want to select a new frame, the Visioffice takes a number of photos for you to later view and compare.