What To Expect During Your Eye Exam
It is recommended to have an eye exam at least once a year to detect any vision conditions, eye diseases or other problems early on. At your exam, you will be asked to provide a medical history regarding vision and other pertinent health information. If you have prescription glasses or contact lenses, please bring them with you to your consultation.
A routine eye exam should last between 20 minutes and 1 hour during which a sequence of tests will be performed. The types of test and the duration will be largely dependent on what the optometrist finds. Besides for your prescription, we will check for eye disorders and corneal irregularities such as keratoconus (when the cornea becomes thinner and bulges forward, causing potentially significant vision loss).
Right when you check-in, our technician will run the auto keratometer to measure the curvature of your eyes. This will give us more information than just your prescription. We will also check the pressure of the eyes. The Swept Source Topcon OCT, one of the newest pieces of technology in the field, will be used to screen your retina and check your neuro-fiber layer. Depending on the patient, we may also use digital retina imaging and/or a glaucoma screening.
We will then review your medical history as well as visual acuity (by using the eye chart), and check your intraocular muscle function, confrontation visual fields, and the visual skills of both eyes. Our optometrist will determine your prescription and perform a health and wellness check of the eyes, including the front and back of both.
Routine testing should include the following:
The test for visual acuity involves the Snellen chart that is comprised of a variety of letters in different sizes that you will be asked to read to the optometrist when pointed out. This test is to evaluate vision sharpness using a wall chart for distance and a hand-held card to evaluate near vision. If the letters are blurred and difficult to identify, please inform your doctor.
This test is designed to determine how well your eyes work jointly to focus on an object. You will be asked to cover one eye and then the other while focusing an object at a distance. The test will then be repeated with an object nearer to you.
Few people are aware that they are color blind unless they are tested because there are varying degrees of color blindness. Color blindness may be caused by ocular health problems but are normally due to a genetic predisposition. The test is to determine if the condition can be contributed to a health condition.
This test is to determine whether you are near or farsighted or if you have astigmatism. A machine called phoropter is used to perform the test, and different lenses will be used to focus on letters or images. As the lenses are changed, you will be asked which is better.
A slit lamp is a microscope that allows the optometrist to examine both the internal and external elements of the eye up close. The test is mainly used to detect any infection or inflammation of the eye that could be a result of eye disease.
This is a slightly more specialized test that doesn’t normally form part of a routine eye exam. The test allows the doctor to view the optic nerve and blood vessels at the back of the eye to look for any problems.
Your optometrist in Raleigh, NC may refer you to a specialist, such as an ophthalmologist, for further testing if he deems it necessary. Remember to ask questions regarding any diagnosis or treatment options throughout the eye exam to stay informed.