Eye exams are the best way to detect vision problems before they become severe. They also help see medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers.
Your optometrist will conduct many tests during your comprehensive exam. Some of the most common include visual acuity, depth perception, and pupil function.
Visual Acuity Tests
During your exam, your doctor will perform several tests that evaluate how well you see. These tests include visual acuity and eye focusing.
Visual acuity refers to seeing objects clearly at a specific distance. During this test, your doctor asks you to identify letters of the alphabet, numbers, and pictures on a chart or screen positioned some distance away.
The Snellen visual acuity test (also called the Snellen chart or Herman Snellen chart) is frequently used during this exam. It consists of rows of letters that get smaller and larger as you move down the chart.
During this test, your doctor will cover one eye and ask you to read each row of letters until you can no longer see them. You will then repeat the same process with your second eye.
Slit Lamp Exam
A Slit Lamp Exam is a type of visual examination that can reveal signs of various eye conditions. The test is performed during your regular eye doctor’s visit and is a quick, painless procedure.
The optometrist will use a microscope with different lenses to look at your eyes in detail. They’ll examine the front parts of your eyes, such as the cornea, iris, and sclera, to identify eye disorders like dry eye or a buildup of abnormal material in the eye.
The slit lamp lets the doctor see the back part of your eye, where your retina sits. This can help detect macular degeneration, glaucoma, and retinal detachment.
Your eye health is an integral part of your overall well-being. Regular eye exams can help detect health problems before they progress.
During a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist may use several tests to evaluate your eyes’ health and performance. For example, your optometrist may use an indirect ophthalmoscope to observe the back of your eyes and examine your retina.
This exam involves resting your chin on the faceplate of an eye-scanning machine while looking at a tiny target a distance away. It helps your doctor assess how well your pupils adjust to different amounts of light and determine if they are in the correct position and aligned correctly.
Your optometrist will also check the size, shape, and color of your retina and lens to help them identify any changes in these areas. Additionally, your optometrist can take digital images of your retina to record the health of your eye year-to-year.
Regular eye exams are essential not just for finding a problem but also for preventing it. That’s why your optometrist will likely do several tests to check for eye problems, including glaucoma.
First, your doctor will do a test called tonometry. This uses eye drops to numb the eyes, then a small device or a warm puff of air is used to measure the pressure in your eyes.
Tonometry measures a person’s eye pressure in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). If your pressure is higher than average, it may indicate that you have glaucoma.
Another test, called gonioscopy, shows the doctor if the angle where the iris meets the cornea is wide and open or narrow and closed, which can indicate glaucoma.
Your optometrist may also use a tool to examine the optic nerve, where information about your vision is sent from your eye to your brain. During this exam, your optometrist will also test your peripheral vision to see whether you’ve lost areas of your sight due to glaucoma.