A trip to the optometrist isn’t uncommon; many people visit their optometrist for either regular eye check-ups or more specific reasons like eye vision problems or complications. Is this your first optometry visit? Here’s what you should expect from a comprehensive eye exam:
Discussing Your Eye History
If this is your first visit, your optometrist will likely explore your eye history to get a better picture of your current eye care needs. They may ask if there’s a specific reason you’ve chosen to visit for an exam, like whether or not you’re visiting for a routine check-up or you’re experiencing problems with your eyes. If it’s the latter, the optometrist will ask you about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing and if it’s something that’s recent or if it’s an on-going issue. Your doctor will also discuss your general health history with you, like asking questions about if you’re taking any current medications, experiencing headaches, or if you have relatives with a history of eye problems.
The Eye Exam
Next, your optometrist will perform a series of examinations and tests on your eyes. Your eyes will be examined thoroughly, both on the surface and within. This is a way for the doctor to assess the health of your eyes and check for any signs of underlying health issues you may have. Most times, your optometry may first require you to take a couple of pre-exam tests using small machines to measure your eye prescription and the glaucoma test, which measures the pressure in your eyes.
The inside of your eye will be examined with a special torch light called an ophthalmoscope that is used to shine light through the pupil, giving your optometrist a clear view of the internal structures of your eyes. At the same time, your optometrist will use the light to test your pupils’ abilities to dilate and shrink in response to light.
The doctor will also test your vision to check for any current or potential problems with your sight with a visual acuity test that involves reading an eye chart with different magnification lenses. This will test both your near-sighted and far-sighted vision.
Another test the optometrist will perform involves assessing how your eyes co-ordinate with each other and move. This test will reveal whether or not your eyes are working together while assessing the strength of your eye muscles. Often times, the test will involve your optometrist covering each of your eyes as you focus on different objects. They may also ask you to move your eyes to follow a target.
After the Exam
After the examination is over, your optometrist will either prescribe glasses or contact lenses—depending on your preference or if you’re eligible for contacts—if the exam revealed you need vision correction. Otherwise, the doctor will confirm that your eyes have perfect vision, and do not require correction.