Ophthalmologists and optometrists use various procedures and tests to examine the eyes. The tests typically range from the more basic types, which includes reading eye charts, onto the more complex tests like the use of high-powered lenses that visualize the small structures inside the eyes.
Comprehensive eye examinations can take on average an hour or sometimes more, dependent on your doctor, along with complexity and number of tests needed to evaluate the health and vision of each eye.
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Below is a list of vision and eye tests that are usually included in comprehensive eye examinations:
- Visual Acuity Tests
The first test that is usually performed in an eye exam will include a visual acuity test which measures sharpness of vision.
This test is typically performed with the use of projected eye charts that measure distance visual-acuity along with a hand-held and small acuity chart that measures near vision.
- Color Blindness Test
Screening tests that check color vision are performed earlier on in the comprehensive exam in order to either rule out or pick up color blindness.
For the purpose of detecting a hereditary color-vision deficiency, these tests will also alert the eye doctor about any possible health problems with the eyes that can affect your color-vision.
- Cover Test
While there may be a number of different ways to check on how the eyes are working together, cover tests are still the most common and easiest.
In the cover test, you will be asked to look at an object that is small on the other side of the examining room by covering one eye at a time while staring at your target. This test will then be repeated when focusing on an object from close up.
During this test, the doctor assesses whether your uncovered eye is forced to move in order to locate the target. This may be an indication of strabismus or a binocular-vision issue that is more subtle that is causing eye strain or a condition known as amblyopia which is better known as “lazy eye.”
- Ocular Motility Or Eye Movement Tests
Ocular motility tests are performed in order to determine the ability of your eyes to follow moving objects or/and to move quickly between and then accurately focus on 2 separate targets.
The test for smooth-eye movements is a bit more common. This will involve the eye physician holding your head in a still position and then he or she will ask you to only use your eye to follow the slow movements using a hand-held light. When the fast eye movements (also known as “saccades”) are tested, the eye doctor may ask you to move the eyes in a back and forth motion between 2 targets that are positioned a set distance away from one another.
Issues with any eye movements can result in eye strain that can affect your sports vision, abilities to read, along with other skills.
- Stereopsis Or Depth Perception Tests
Stereopsis is a term that is used for describing eye teaming which enable normal appreciation and depth perception of 3-dimensional natures of an object.
In a common type of stereopsis test, the eye doctor will give you “3D” glasses to wear where you will then look through a book that features test patterns. Every pattern has 4 small circles. You will be asked to indicate which circle out of all the patterns appears to be the closest over the other 3 circles. If you are able to identify the right circle in each of the patterns, you probably have great eye-teaming skills that offers you a way to experience depth perception that is normal.
Learn what else is commonly addressed in a comprehensive eye exam in our next article.