What's the Typical Procedure for an Eye Exam?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/04/2021 - 15:08
Woman doing eye exam with optometrist in medical office

When you schedule an eye exam, what can you expect during your office visit?

Your eye doctor will be performing a series of assessments and tests, using a variety of methods and instruments to evaluate not only your vision but the overall health of your eyes.

Here’s what you can expect, and the ‘why’ behind it all!

Why do I need an eye exam, anyway?

Regular eye exams are important for several reasons! When it comes to your vision, there are many things that can have an impact on your ability to view things clearly. Age, medications, even the birth of a child can affect your vision, and an adjustment to your eyeglass or contact lens prescription.

Perhaps even more important is the need to assess your eyes for any issues that could be developing, and catch them early! Many eye conditions can be better treated or even corrected if they are caught early enough, which is why it’s important to have regular eye exams, and perhaps more often if you meet the following conditions:

  • You are over age 60
  • You were glasses or contact lenses
  • You have a family history of eye diseases or conditions
  • Take medications or have medical conditions that impact your eyes

What you can expect in the office.

Before your visit, write down any questions you may have so you don’t forget them. It may be a good idea also to bring sunglasses (in case your eyes are dilated) or ask the office if you may need to have someone drive for you.

Especially if this is your first visit with us, we will ask you a variety of questions about your vision and health and general to better understand all the factors in your life that may impact your vision.

Then, a variety of tests will be performed, which may include the following:

  • Visual Acuity Test

This is one that you are probably familiar with! You will be asked to cover one eye and read letters of descending size. Your eye doctor may also test your acuity while you look through different lenses to see which one is “better” or “worse”.

  • Visual Feild Test

This can be performed while the doctor moves his finger from side to side or with a computer program. The purpose is to determine how far to the left/right and up/down that you can see.

  • Color Vision Test

This test is performed to check for color blindness by showing you a series of colored dots. Inside of those dots, are numbers. If you can’t see the numbers in some of the dots, you may have a deficiency in this area.

  • Corneal Topography

This test uses a computer program to take a picture of and map your cornea. This is useful for contact lens wearers and to test for astigmatism.

  • Ophthalmoscopy

This is the test where your eye doctor will dilate your pupils with some eye drops so that they can get an unobstructed view of the inside of your eyes to look for any abnormalities or issues that may need attention.

  • Slit Lamp Exam

For this test, you will sit with your chin and forehead rested on the equipment, and your eye doctor will look through a microscope at your eyes. This can feel a little awkward, but isn’t painful.

  • Tonometry

This is another test that can feel awkward but isn’t painful. For this test, a puff of air is quickly blown at your eye and helps measure the pressure in your eye. This allows your eye doctor to evaluate issues such as glaucoma.

There may be other tests that are performed based upon what your eye doctor recommends or any conditions or concerns that you may have, but these are the most common.

What happens after my exam is complete?

Usually, you will get the results of your eye exam right away! The tests mentioned above have been used successfully for many years, and your eye doctor will understand what to look for and what questions to ask in order to get the most accurate results.

If your eye doctor has concerns or feels that you may need additional testing, you will most likely be made aware of this during your office visit, but make sure to let your doctor know if you have any questions or concerns about your exam that may not have been covered.

Is it time for you to get an eye exam? Let’s get you scheduled today!

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