Eye Exam

1 What is an Eye Exam?

A series of tests to evaluate your vision and check for eye disease are involved in an eye exam.

Your doctor may shine bright lights directly at your eyes, may use a variety of instruments or will ask you to look through an array of lenses.

Each test in an eye exam will evaluate your eye health or different aspect of your vision.

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2 Reasons for Procedure

The main reason for an eye exam is detecting eye problems at an early stage when they are treatable mostly. You should have regular check-ups to ensure that you do not have problems in your eyes.

Factors such as age, health, and risk of developing eye problems may determine how often you need an eye exam.

Some of the guidelines are:

  • children, 5 years and younger – for kids under the age of three your pediatrician will first take a look at your eyes, your child may undergo a more comprehensive eye exam between the ages of 3 and 5
  • school-aged children – before entering the first grade you should have your kid’s eye checked
  • adults – if you are healthy and have no symptoms you should have your eyes checked every five to ten years in your 20s and 30s, every two to four years from 40-45
  • every one to two years from 55-64, every one to two years after the age of 65

Have your eyes checked more often if you:

  • wear contact lenses or glasses
  • have a family history of eye disease
  • have a chronic disease that puts you at risk of eye disease

3 Potential Risks

Here you can find out more about the potential risks of eye exam procedure.

There may be a temporary effect of blurred vision if your doctor dilated your eyes but will wear off in a few hours. Avoid driving after an eye exam.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

There is no need for preparation before your eye exam.

Three kinds of specialist may perform an eye exam:

  • An ophthalmologist who will give you full eye care and will give you a complete exam and can perform eye surgery.
  • Optometrists who will evaluate your vision and can prescribe you lenses or can diagnose a common eye disorder.
  • The optician who will fill prescriptions for eyeglasses and can also sell contact lenses.

You may want to bring your glasses or contact lenses in your appointment. Your eyes will be dilated as part of the exam.

5 What to Expect

Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your eye exam.

At first, you will be asked about your medical history and will check the health of your eyes by using several lights to evaluate your eyes.

Your doctor will dilate your eyes with eye drops to examine the inside of your eye.

There are several test that your doctor may perform during an eye exam such as:

  • eye muscle test to evaluate the muscles that are controlling the eye movement
  • visual acuity test to check how clearly you can see
  • refraction assessment to determine a lens prescription that can give you the most comfortable vision
  • perimetry to determine if you have difficulty seeing in any areas or your overall field of vision
  • color vision testing to check if you have poor color vision
  • slit-lamp examination to examine the eyelids, lashes, iris, cornea and fluid chamber between your iris and cornea
  • retinal examination to evaluate the back of your eyes including the retina
  • screening for glaucoma

6 Procedure Results

Your doctor will discuss the eye exam results at the end of the exam including an assessment of your vision if you have eye disease and will tell you about the preventive measures to protect your eyesight.