What to Expect at An Eye Exam?
While many dread visiting the Dentist, few should worry about visiting an Optometrist.
Optometry eye exams are often interesting and fun and often leave you happier than when you started!
Who doesn’t like some new fashion or seeing better than before?
Here’s what to expect at an eye exam at an Image Optometry clinic!
- First, you’ll be admitted: The front staff will discuss your chief complaint (why you made the appointment). This is to insure that you’re particular concerns are dealt with. They may ask about any medical conditions and your current health status.
- Then they will verify all the contact information, (home address, phone numbers, email addresses) and make sure Medical Care Cards, and Vision benefits information are up to date.
- For people who prefer to use a language other than English an interpreter can sometimes be provided. You may request an interpreter to be with you during your admission and at any stage of your visit.
- The admission staff may conduct some basic tests commonly referred to as pretesting to gather vital information and to insure your eye exam results have the most accurate outcome.
- Pre-Testing may include:
- Autorefraction Tests:
Gathering basic refractive parameters of your eye. (These include collecting basic facts about your eyes length, corneal curvature and refractive status – whether you’re far or nearsighted or have astigmatism) with an instrument called an “autorefractor”. Autorefractors are computer-controlled devices that measure how the eye processes light. The patient sits in a chair, resting their chin on a small platform, while focusing on an image inside the instrument. Technicians collate readings and measurements as the image moves in and out of focus. Autorefractor measurements can predict a person’s eyeglass or contact lens prescription with good accuracy. However, patients don’t receive eyeglass or contact prescriptions based solely on autorefractor tests, it only serve as a starting point for the doctor whom will determine you exact prescription that will address your exact vision needs.
Another pretest duty often performed by optometric technicians is auto-lensometry. The patient’s current eyeglasses prescription is determined to see if the doctors new prescription is actually any different than the patient’s current glasses, and whether or not a new pair of contact lenses or glasses is needed; this doesn’t require the patient’s participation. Autolensometers also will determine if you have single vision, bifocal, trifocal or progressive lenses.
- Color vision test:
Color vision defects are common, especially for males. The most common color vision problem involves confusing varying shades of reds and greens. Some individuals may also have problems with colors in the blue-yellow spectrum. The standard test for assessing color vision defects is the pseudoisochromatic plates test.
The pseudoisochromatic plates test is contained in a book, computer screen or even on a wall mounted frame and consists of a variety of color plates. The plates have different patterns such as numbers, letters, figures, or winding paths within a series of dots that vary in hue and brightness from the background. To a patient with normal color vision, they are easily distinguishable but to someone who is dichromatic (two colors appear to be the same like red and green) no figure will be seen or depending on the test, a hidden number that only they can see appears. ‘Color normals’ actually can’t see that number – this can be somewhat of a diagnostic test to exactly what type of color anomaly the patient has.
- Air Puff Tonometry:
The test requires patients, while seated to lean toward a machine that emits a small puff of air into each eye. Tonometry tests measure the approximate pressure of the eye by using the technology of “non contact applanation” (flattening) of the cornea. The pretester then estimates intraocular pressure using electro-optical systems that scan and measure the cornea. The test doesn’t hurt and is performed in microseconds. This procedure may sometimes be performed several times to get a reliable reading due to reflex blinking, and anticipation of the air puff. Tonometry can also be performed manually requiring the expertise of the optometrist rather than a technician, who uses specialized equipment to lightly press against a patient’s cornea while the eye is anesthetized or numbed with an eye drop. This procedure is used when more definitive values are required and is more accurate than the air puff method.
- Fundus Photography (photography of the inside of the eye):
Fundus photography involves capturing a photograph of the back of the eye i.e. fundus. A fundus camera records digital color images of the condition of the interior surface of the eye, in order to document the presence of disorders and monitor their change over time. A fundus camera or retinal camera is a specialized low power microscope with an attached camera designed to photograph the interior surface of the eye, including the retina, retinal vasculature, optic disc, macula, and posterior pole (i.e. the fundus). The retina is imaged to document conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, age related macular degeneration, macular edema and retinal detachment. The test requires patients, while seated to lean toward a machine that photograph the back of each eye. This greatly serves the doctors ability to record a snapshot in time of your eye health and allows to see any changes over time. Most clinics will charge $20 – $150 for this procedure, but Image Optometry’s philosophy is that if the test is truly necessary, then it shouldn’t have an additional fee levied.
- Automated Visual Field Screening:
The Pre Test Tech often conduct automated visual field screening tests. Automated visual field screening requires patients to look into a computerized screen and respond to visual stimuli, such as flashes of light or pinpoint lights that blink in the patient’s peripheral vision. The results show if a patient’s peripheral vision is compromised in any way. This could indicate that eye diseases such as glaucoma or optic nerve damage exist. Not all patients will undergo automated field screening as part of their pretesting procedures, only those with ongoing or follow up eye problems, age-related concerns or indicated by the eye doctor.
- Autorefraction Tests:
- Your Eye Exam:
Once pretesting is processed you’ll next be seated in the eye doctor’s exam room. The exam may last between 15 minutes to an hour or more and cover your vision and eye health.
First, the eye doctor or an optometric tech will ask you more about your medical and vision history. You’ll likely have all or most of the following eye tests, and possibly some others, too:
- Visual acuity test:
You will view an eye chart, with progressively smaller and smaller letters or other characters and read down each line. Each eye’s visual acuity, and in turn both eyes together will be recorded.
- Refraction or Phoropter testing:
To determine your exact lens prescription, the doctor can use a computerized or conventional refractor (phoropter). The prescription will be fine-tuned by flipping the phoropter lenses back and forth while asking you which is subjectively better.
- Eye muscle test:
This checks your eyes’ alignment and ability to fuse an image (binocularity) with both eyes. The doctor may watch your eyes move while you follow a target (like a finger tip, pen light or pen) as it moves in different directions or can also be administered by using the phoropter.
- Slit lamp (biomicroscope):
This instrument magnifies and lights up the front of your eye. The eye doctor uses it to check your corneal health, iris, lens, and even the back of your eye (retina) to look for signs of certain eye disease or conditions.
- Retinal examination (ophthalmoscopy):
Your doctor may dilate (enlarge) your pupils and use a tool an ophthalmoscope or the aforementioned slit lamp to see the very back of your eyes – the retina, retinal blood vessels, fluid in your eyes (vitreous or vitreal fluid), and your optic nerve that leaves the back of your eye and winds it’s way to the back of your brain to look for any disease or health concerns. Interestingly, this part of the exam doesn’t only analyze eye health, but other overall health problems too! Most disease processes affect one or more of the basic systems in your body, blood vessels (cardiovascular), nervous system (nerve supply) and lymphatic (immune) systems. The only non-invasive access we have at physically viewing these systems all reside in the back of your eye. Common systemic diseases like diabetes, arteriosclerosis or even less common pathologies like MS (Multiple sclerosis) are often first discovered in a routine eye exam!
- Visual acuity test:
Questions for your eye doctor:
- Have my eyes changed since my last visit?
- What are the options for improving my visual health and vision in general?
- Should I consider laser vision correction?
- What are the advantages when wearing either contact lenses and/or glasses?
- Are there new contact lens technologies available for my particular vision issue and am I a candidate for a free trial?
- How can I protect my vision while outside, working or playing sports?
- Should I be doing anything to better care for my eyes?
- Can I schedule my next visit now?
Conclusion of this article, “What to Expect at An Eye Exam?”
If you haven’t already scheduled your next eye exam, you can do it now and take advantage of Image Optometry’s world famous deal.
Free glasses, or free contact lenses.
And if you order your contact lenses from our guaranteed lowest internet priced contact data base, contact lens fitting is free too!