A comprehensive eye exam includes various tests and procedures to examine and assess the health of your eyes and the nature of your vision. These tests run from simple ones, such as having you look at an eye chart, to complex tests, such as using a powerful lens to examine the health of the tissues inside of your eyes.
This test helps your doctor get an objective estimate of your eyeglass prescription. For retinoscopy, the room lights are dimmed and an instrument containing wheels of lenses (called a phoropter) is positioned in front of your eyes. You will be asked to look at a chart across the room (usually the big “E”) while your doctor shines a light from a hand-held instrument at you from a safe distance and changes lenses in front of your eyes. This test is especially useful for children and non-verbal patients who can’t precisely answer the doctor’s questions.
This is the test your doctor uses to decide your correct eyeglass prescription. During a refraction, the doctor places the phoropter before your eyes and shows you a series of lens choices. He or she will then ask you which of the two lenses in every decision (“1 or 2,” for example) make the letters on the chart look clearer. Based on your answers, your doctor will decide the measure of nearsightedness, farsightedness or potentially astigmatism you have, and the eyeglass lenses required to correct these vision problems (which are called refractive errors).
The visual field test is a subjective measure of focal and peripheral vision, or “side vision,” and is utilized by your doctor to analyze, decide the seriousness of, and screen your glaucoma. The most well-known visual field test uses a spot of light that is presented very quickly in various areas of your peripheral vision. It assesses vision loss because of glaucoma, harm to the visual pathways of the brain, and other optic nerve diseases. At the point when glaucoma is diagnosed, the visual field information is utilized to decide the seriousness of disease.
While there are numerous ways for your eye doctor to check how your eyes work together, the cover test is the simplest and most common. During a cover test, the eye doctor will have you focus on a small object at near and will then cover each of your eyes with the other hand while you stare at the object. As he does this, your eye doctor observes how much every eye has to move to see the designated target. Cover tests can recognize extremely subtle misalignments that can interfere with your eyes aligning correctly (binocular vision) and cause amblyopia or “lazy eye.”
Also called a biomicroscope, the slit lamp gives your doctor a profoundly amplified perspective of the structures of the eye, including the lens behind the pupil, keeping in mind the end goal to completely assess them for signs of infection or disease. The slit lamp is basically a lit up binocular microscope that is mounted on a table, which the doctor uses to approach and examine your eye closely. With the assistance of hand-held lenses, your doctor can also use the slit lamp to examine the retina (the light-sensitive internal covering of the back of the eye).
Tonometry is the name for an assortment of tests that can be performed to determine the pressure inside the eye. Increased eye pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve in the back of the eye. The most accurate method to measure the pressure inside your eye – called your intraocular pressure (IOP) – is applanation tonometry, gauging how much force it takes to flatten the cornea over a fixed surface area. Since glaucoma is regularly the result of an increase of pressure inside the eye, these are important tests for ensuring the long term health of your eyes.
Your comprehensive eye exam may incorporate the use of dilating drops. These eye drops widen your pupil so your doctor can examine more of the inside structures in the back of the eye. Dilating drops usually take 20 minutes to start working. At the point when your pupils are enlarged, you will be sensitive to light, because more light is getting into your eye. You may also have trouble reading or focusing on near objects. These effects can last for up to several hours, contingent upon the strength of the drops used. Dilation is important for individuals with risk factors for eye disease, because it allows for a more intensive assessment of the health of the inside of your eyes.
For regularly scheduled eye exams, hope to discuss any changes in your therapeutic history since the last time you saw your eye doctor. Also, if this is your first time in another practice, you’ll be asked to give a more detailed medical history, including a list of medications you’re presently taking, and any vision problems in your family history.
What’s more, you’ll experience a series of vision and eye tests that decide the general health and nature of your vision. These tests also watch that your present prescription glasses or contacts (in the event that you have one) is still meeting your vision needs. Your eye doctor will also check your eyes for signs of any potential vision problems or eye diseases. In many instances, your pupil might be widened (opened) using special drops so that your eye doctor can better see the structures of the eye.
You’ll then have a discussion about your eye health and vision, and your eye doctor may “prescribe” vision correction for you as eyeglasses or contact lenses. Any health concerns or possibly serious vision complications will also be discussed, including the following steps you must take to preserve and secure your sight.
When finished, an eye exam will last less than a hour depending on the number of tests.
Annual eye exams are recommended.
Visiting the eye doctor as a result of a vision screening is common, however: vision screenings offered by health clinics, pediatricians, and government funded schools or nearby charity organizations are not a substitute for comprehensive eye exams. Be sure to share the findings from your vision screening with your eye doctor—it’s an effective approach to start the discussion of your eye health.
For eye doctor visits that result from eye pain, eye discomfort or vision problems, try to have the issues addressed during the exam. There might be some extra tests required as well, so it’s important—especially when suffering pain or discomfort—to allow as much time as possible for a comprehensive eye exam.
If you feel you are in a crisis situation with your eyes or your vision—don’t wait. Immediately call your RI optometrist.
Whether you, a friend, or family member are having a first eye exam, a follow up eye exam, or seeing a new eye doctor; there are common questions you can anticipate.
There are any number of factors in your medical history that can add to present or potential vision problems. Understanding your lifestyle and describing any visual problems you’re having helps to point your eye exam in the correct direction. Furthermore, there are medical conditions, medications and circumstances that can put you or a relative at a higher risk for certain eye diseases.
There are processes and procedures required at an eye exam but your exam is tailored to you. The process of examining your visual acuity (sharpness) after that using instruments and procedures to examine your eyes, is a very personalized process.
Over the years, your vision and general health changes. This is the reason there’s a general method to use during an eye exam, and why it’s important to visit your eye doctor. Without eye doctor exams, these changes in vision and eye health may go unnoticed.
Beyond what you have to know before the exam, realize that visiting your eye doctor is a process you should do regularly to maintain eye health and good vision. You can expect an eye doctor visit to last around an hour, contingent upon pupil dilation.
Your eye doctor visit starts with a survey of: your eye exam history, changes in your sight, lifestyle, and any changes in your medical condition that may influence your vision. This includes knowing all medications you’re taking.
You’ll experience simple visual acuity tests designed to check your general vision, near vision, and side vision. These tests may uncover vision errors that need adjustment; errors that usually coordinate your exam toward special equipment used to precisely decide your prescription.
Be that as it may, expect significantly more out of your visit to the eye doctor—because correcting vision and keeping up great eye health requires regularly-performed tests.