Eye Exam

What to Expect at Your Eye Exam ?

What to Expect at Your Eye Exam ?

During your Eye Exam:

Visual Acuity Test

You’ll sit in front of an eye chart, with letters that get smaller as you read down each line. You cover each eye in turn and, using the other eye, read aloud, going down the chart, until you can’t read the letters anymore.

Eye muscle movement test:

To assure that the eyes are normally aligned, the doctor will ask you to visually track a target in different directions and observe your eye movements.

Cover Test

This is a check for how well your eyes work together. As you stare at a small target some distance away, the doctor will cover and uncover each eye to observe how much your eyes move, watching for an eye that turns away from the target (strabismus). The test may be repeated with a target close to you.

Preparing for Your Eye Exam:

External exam and pupillary reactions:

The doctor will watch the reactions of your pupils to light and objects at close distance. At the same time, the doctor will check the exterior eye, looking at things such as the condition of the white of the eyes and the position of your eyelids.

Refraction testing:

For your exact lens prescription, the eye doctor will ask you to look through a device called phorophter to view images through a series of different lenses. At this point, you may be asked to respond to questions such as, “Which is better, one or two?” Your answers help your doctor to narrow down the lenses to give you the sharpest vision, ensuring you to get the prescription that allow you to see the best.

Slit Lamp

(biomicroscope): The slit lamp magnifies and lights up the front of your eye. The eye doctor uses it to detect several eye diseases and disorders by examining your cornea, iris, lens, and anterior chamber.

Retinal Examination (Ophthalmoscopy)

Using an ophthalmoscope the eye doctor examines the back of your eyes: retina, retinal blood vessels, vitreous, and optic nerve head.

Pupil dilation (enlargement):

With your pupils fully enlarged, the eye doctor will examine the inside of your eyes with different instruments and lights. The pupil-enlarging drops for this part of your eye exam start to work after about 20-30 minutes, making your eyes more sensitive to light and blurring your vision. These effects may last for several hours or longer so it’s important to bring a pair of sunglasses to your exam for the ride home.

What age should you have the first eye exam?

  • According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age.

    Children then should have additional eye exams at age 3, and just before they enter the first grade — at about age 5 or 6.

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