What is Done During a Routine Eye Exam?
Protecting your vision begins with a simple, yearly examination to check the health of your eyes. After selecting an eye doctor and setting up your appointment, your next steps include preparing for what is done during a routine eye exam.
Typically, you will be asked to fill out forms regarding your medical history including whether you currently wear prescription lenses or contacts or have had vision correction surgery. Many doctors will begin with an optional glaucoma test referred to as an intraocular pressure measurement. An intraocular pressure test measures the pressure created by the fluid in your eyes. An abnormal level of eye pressure can be a warning sign of glaucoma. The machine will send a quick puff of air at your open eye. The puff of air makes most people jolt slightly because they are surprised and then your eye reacts by closing. The machine then measures your eye pressure based on your reaction and your eye’s resistance to the pressure from the air puff. Another machine-based test, called a keratometry test, measures the shape and curve of the cornea. This test is used to determine astigmatism.
Routine eye exams offer a variety of standard testing that includes a visual acuity test, peripheral visual field test, refraction test and a retinoscopy. The visual acuity test is the standard eye chart where you can expect to read letters one at a time, typically one line at a time, to determine how clearly you can see from a distance and how your current vision compares to 20/20 vision. A peripheral visual field test allows the eye doctor to determine and identify any gaps in your peripheral vision, how you see objects on the sides of your field of vision as well as the size of your field of vision. A refraction test and retinoscopy go hand in hand. A retinoscopy uses a phoropter, a machine with various lenses and dials along with lights, to help your eye doctor to approximate your optimal lens prescription. A refraction test then determines your prescription. Most people are familiar with an eye doctor asking them “better or worse” or “option 1 or option 2” while testing different lenses. This is common practice for the refraction test.
Although some of these tests are optional, consult with your ophthalmologist to determine which tests you would benefit from. Because most people only have 1 appointment a year with their eye doctor, it is recommended to opt for all available vision tests to rule out or treat any underlying issues as some eye related issues do not show symptoms until they reach an advanced stage. Some of these include glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.
Annual eye exams are painless and are usually performed in less than an hour. To gain firsthand knowledge of what is done during a routine eye exam, give Pendleton Eye a call at 760-758-2008 to schedule an appointment or book conveniently online at WEBSITE.