Last Thursday (April 28th 2016), I went for an eye exam in Oakville Ontario at the Next Optical shop at 388 Speers Rd which is just off the QEW at Dorval St. It’s a stand-alone two story building on the south side with lots of parking.
Oakville is my former stomping ground so I was pretty thrilled to take a trek out there. I miss my old hangouts and wanted to take some detours, but we had an appointment – I know what you’re thinking, who makes an appointment at an optical shop? Well you do when you need an eye exam. Next Optical has an optometrist on site at the Oakville location, and also Brampton and Mississauga.
En route, I got to thinking how the last time I had my eyes examined was never. And maybe after years of total amateurs looking, maybe it was time to let a professional stare deep into my eyes.
Eagerly, I filled out my paperwork. Was I nervous? Maybe.
After you fill out the paperwork, a staff member issues you into a back room where they sit you in a chair facing a small table on which there are three similar shaped machines. Each breadbox-sized machine has a chin bar on one end, and monitor screens on the other showing pictures of eyeballs, my eyeballs in this case. In all three separate tests the staff member politely thanked me, and then asked me again to place my forehead in the bracket and stare straight ahead at the icon – a sketch picture of a house.
The first device was called an Auto-Refractor (& Auto-Keratometer) which estimates your rx and gives specific measurements.
The second is a Non-Contact Tonometer which tests the pressure inside your eyeballs for conditions such as Glaucoma. It’s a little startling as it issues a small burst of air directly at your eyeball.
And the third rig was a high quality retina camera which takes a picture of the inside back of your eye.
So in summary, before evaluating your vision, the exam checks for eye diseases and other problems that could lead to vision loss.
Finally after these rituals sciences were complete, and the test scores added to the blue clip board file for later analysis, I was allowed to enter the inner sanctum, and there sit in the presence of Oakville optometrist, Dr Ansar Ahmed where my eyes would benefit from his direct inspection,
The doctor and I immediately had a rapport and I was comfortable, even totally into taking the eye exam, maybe? I am blessed with great vision so I was happy to show it off.
One of my favourite pictures to be quite honest. I have always been into machines and robots. Geeeeek on fleek.
Dr. Ahmed showed me the biggest font available in the test 250, which I could read easily without any amplification. Most people could but in case you’re worried the answer is V B P – memorize it.
The letters appear huge here but through the binocular pinholes, very tiny, or blurry.
This is the smallest font I could read.
I did not have to take this test. Thankfully.
Then Dr Ahmed proceeded to run another battery of tests. This time I had to follow the laser torch light and the reason why Dr Ahmed does this is because he’s determining how well my eyes work together which is actually one of the things he’s getting known for.
Dr Ansar Ahmed was very thorough. I was impressed. Also impressive is that I can read that teeny tiny print.. so small, even the camera didn’t pick it up.
Along with testing my eyes for refraction and determining my prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, Dr Ahmed gave my eyes a thorough check for diseases, and a clean bill of health.
Now with my new prescription in hand, it was time to go shopping.
I’m not exaggerating. The Next Optical store has thousands of pairs of glasses on the first floor alone and another entire showroom filled with designer sunglasses upstairs.
These Dior frames were meant for me. I could not get over them.
Thinking of closing deals in fancy future boardrooms lol.
Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany’s much.
I am always drawn to classic, chic, cat eye lenses.
Next Optical is owned and operated by Bo Mahil with help from the rest of the Mahil family. They are wonderful people, but camera shy as most wonderful people are. You’ll have to go there yourself to see. While we talked other customers dropped in, and it became clear to me how important this family business is to the local community. It’s a good feeling to be needed and they sell a necessary product. After just twenty minutes in the room with the Mahils I felt like we had been friends for years. Friends with 2000 frames.