What exactly are the components of a regular eye exam? What does an eye doctor look for? What are the conditions and health issues that can be learned during a routine exam?
The most common test might be reading the letters from the wall chart. It is assessing the sharpness of your eyesight, or visual acuity. The wall chart checks your distance vision. A small, hand-held chart is used to check your near vision.
2. Better 1, better 2
The better 1, better 2 test involves putting your eyes up to a thick device containing lenses, called a phoropter, which focuses on your prescription (similar to an autorefractor). The doctor will have you stare at a distant object while changing lenses, often asking you “better 1, better 2, or the same” to tell whether different lenses helped you improve seeing the object. Young children, those who have trouble deciding which lens works best, and people who might not be able to sit through a lengthy refraction procedure can all benefit from that.
3. Light in your eyes
The eye doctor will hold a device called a retinoscope to the patient’s eye which resembles a flashlight, only held upright. The eye doctor will shine the light off the back of your eye to determine whether your vision is 20/20, whether you can see things better that are near you, or or better see things that are far away. The primary purpose of the retinoscope is to estimate your need for vision correction; however, it can also occasionally be used by the doctor to determine your prescription.
4. Eye shapes
The outside of your eye may not be perfectly curved. The eye’s surface, or cornea, can be measured with a keratometer that looks like a telescopic lens. This device measures the surface and helps the eye doctor determine how to correct for astigmatism, a variation in the cornea’s shape.
5. Flashes of light
Testing your peripheral vision and for blind spots involves putting your face into the opening, where you focus on a centre light and pinpoints of light flash around the inside of a white dome, with the patient pressing a trigger every time you see a flash.
6. Little puff of air
Glaucoma is a disease that can slowly take your sight. Early detection and treatment can slow or stop the disease. Checking your inner eye pressure with a little puff of air is used to test for glaucoma. During this test, the patient rests their chin on the tonometry machine, stares at the light, and a puff of air will measure the pressure inside your eye. Since glaucoma offers little warning before severe vision loss, regularly scheduled tests are important and recommended.
7. Color blindness test
Color blindness may be a genetic condition, or it may signal another problem is developing. The circles that appear to be filled with colored bubbles and a figure formed by a set of differently colored bubbles are part of the test for color blindness.
8. Cover test
There are several ways to test how well your eyes are working together, but the most basic one uses a paddle to cover one eye at a time while you focus on something far away and then something nearby.
If the uncovered eye must move to look at the target it might indicate strabismus, or another condition called amblyopia.
9. Follow the target
As part of the follow the target test, the patient will hold their head still and the doctor will have the patient follow a slowly moving light or other object with your eyes. The doctor is looking for smooth movement of the eyes.
Another type of test looks for your ability to quickly focus between two objects held at a distance from one another, which detects potential for eye strain.
10. 3-D vision
The stereopsis test checks for depth perception and your eyes’ ability to work in harmony. During this 3-D vision test, the patient will tell the doctor which letter or shape appears to be raised or floating on the screen.
11. Look deep into my eyes
An instrument known as a slit lamp allows eye doctors to use a microscope to look closely at the structure of your eyes. The eye doctor examines your eyelids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, and lens using a strong slit of light after you insert your forehead and chin into the supports on the device.
The eye doctor can see the retina and optic nerve by adding a hand-held lens and peer deeper still into the eye. This exam is particularly important in detecting conditions and diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal ulcers, and diabetic retinopathy.
12. Wide-open eyes
The eye doctor will use drops to open up your pupils and see the health of your eye structures. While important, dilation can be an inconvenience because your eyesight may be affected for several hours. Retinal imaging is an alternative way to get a quick digital scan of your eye, which produces an image that your doctor can closely examine.
Your Local Optometrist
Regular checkups with an eye doctor are very important because a professional eye exam will determine what type of care your eyes need and whether or not your vision is healthy. If you’re looking for an optometrist in the Toronto area, contact Tonic Eye Care today for all of your vision needs!
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