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What to Expect From an Eye Exam

Optometry
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Which eye exam or series of eye exams your optometrist chooses to give you will depend upon the symptoms you are experiencing and also your age. If you feel you should be having a test that your optometrist has not administered, feel free to discuss it with him and he will give you his opinion on whether you need the test or not. Here is a rundown on the different types of eye exam available.

Visual Acuity Tests

These are the first tests that are administered in any conventional eye exam. The purpose of visual acuity tests are to measure the clarity and sharpness of your vision. During these tests you will be asked to read from a wall chart to measure your visual acuity at a distance and from a hand-held chart to measure your acuity at close range.

Refraction Test

This type of eye exam is usually conducted after the visual acuity test, and assesses the need for corrective lenses. There are two common types of refractive errors; farsightedness and nearsightedness. These occur when light entering the eye cannot be focused in the correct place on the retina. Refraction problems cause blurring of vision and can easily be corrected with prescription lenses.

Color Tests

This is a screening test that is performed to rule out color blindness.

Visual Field Test

This type of eye exam is conducted to test for spaces in your peripheral vision (side vision). Your complete visual field is what you see with both eyes at the same time, including what you see straight ahead and the rage of detail form the sides of your eyes.

Cover Test

In this eye exam the optometrist examines one of the patient’s eyes and then the other while the patient focuses on an object in the distance. The aim is to see how the eyes work together and if they have the correct alignment.

Retinoscopy

Your optometrist may recommend this eye exam to get a general idea of the eyeglass prescription you need. In this test the lights are dimmed and you will be asked to look through an optic machine and focus on a large target. The eye doctor will then alternate the lenses in the optic machine while shining a light in your eyes. The optometrist will be able to make a close assessment of the prescription you need based on the way the light reflects from your eyes.

The Glaucoma Test

This type of eye exam is designed to measure the pressure in your eyes to see if you have a developing glaucoma. During the test a puff of air is blown in to the eye from a machine. The machine will measure your eye’s resistance to the air and calculate your inner eye pressure.

If you are having problems with your vision you should consult an eye doctor as soon as possible.

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