What to Expect at Your Eye Exam
Getting an eye exam for the first time can be intimidating. After all, the eyes are among the most sensitive, and most valued, organs in the human body. This is why a regular eye exam is one of the best ways to protect and preserve one’s vision for many years. It allows for treatment of eye disorders and diseases in their early stages, which almost always makes it easier to treat and resolve eye issues before they become major problems.
The eye exam consists of more than just reading an eye chart. It may be comprised of several procedures as deemed necessary by the eye care professional. Not all of these tests are performed on all patients when having an eye exam. Some are routine diagnostic tests while others focus on particular areas of the eye and are only performed at the doctor’s discretion, depending upon factors such as age, family history, and symptoms.
Visual Field Test
This is a common part of a routine eye exam. In this procedure, the doctor, technician, or other health care provider sits directly in front of the patient. You will be asked to cover one eye while the person administering the test moves an object from the side of your head toward the front of your face. You will be asked to let the person know the exact point at which you can see the object.
This test can detect early problems such as tunnel vision, as well as the underlying causes if applicable.
Glaucoma is a serious problem that can be best treated with early detection. There are five basic factors to a comprehensive glaucoma exam, and in order to obtain the most accurate results it is often necessary to dilate the pupils. This is accomplished by simply adding a few drops of fluid to each eye.
Glaucoma tests are typically pain-free, although minor discomfort may be experienced from the dilation of the pupils. For glaucoma tests that involve contact with the eye, the doctor will administer eye drops that numb the eyes to provide maximum comfort.
This procedure is not always necessary, but is sometimes used on small children or persons with disabilities who have problems with communication. When it is used, the doctor uses a special instrument called a retinoscope. This device shines a light into the patient’s eye, allow the doctor to observe the reaction of the retina.
It allows the doctor to assess the patient’s need for corrective lenses without relying upon feedback from the patient. The test is simple and pain-free for the patient.
This is the test most commonly associated with a routine eye exam. It uses a device called a “refractor” which is placed over the eyes of the patient in a similar manner as a mask. The patient observes an eye chart through the device and reports to the doctor how well he is able to visualize the characters on the eye chart. The doctor has an assortment of lenses that are used with the device and this allows for an assessment of the visual acuity of the patient and the strength of corrective lenses that will be needed, if applicable.
This test is commonly performed on children in order to detect the presence of “lazy eye”, also known as ocular deviation. The test is simple and is performed by having the patient focus his or her vision on an object. One or both eyes are then covered and then uncovered. At this time, the doctor observes the reaction of the eyes and watches for eye movement. A “lazy eye” will move inward or outward. The test causes no discomfort and is pain-free.
Slit Lamp Examination
This part of an eye exam allows the doctor to detect structural problems within the eye that may be otherwise unnoticeable. When this test is performed, special fluorescent drops are usually applied to the patient’s eyes, after which the doctor examines the eyes with a special device that measures and examines the inner workings of the eye. The eye drops occasionally produce mild discomfort, such as a slight stinging sensation when first applied, but this is usually very short in duration.
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*Free eye exam must be performed by optometrist located in or adjacent to Stanton Optical. Customers will be charged up to $55.00 ($89.00 exam in AK) for an eyeglass exam unless customer purchases the value and/or bogo 2 pair offers for eyeglasses and lenses from Stanton Optical. At which time the customer will receive up to a $55.00 exam credit ($89.00 exam credit in AK) off the eyewear purchase. For a complete list of details, see a sales associate. Stanton Optical does not perform exams but has independent doctors of optometry located within or adjacent to Stanton Optical retail locations.