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What Happens at an Eye Exam?

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A male optometrist is operating a digital refractor, he is holding the joystick of the machine so he can navigate the image on the screen.

An eye exam is a powerful tool that not only allows your optometrist to update your glasses prescription, but also plays an essential role in your visual health. Your eye exam will consist of various tests that assess your visual skills and eye health. 

These tests help your eye care professional update your prescription, check your eyes for signs of developing eye diseases, and provide a window into your overall health. 

Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect when you visit your optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam.

Preparing for Your Eye Exam

Preparing for your eye exam is an opportunity to gather all the necessary information you’ll need for a productive visit. 

An eye exam allows your eye care professional to get up-to-date on your eyes and vision. You can make your appointment easier by bringing: 

  • Your current glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses
  • A list of current medications
  • Your vision and insurance information
  • A list of questions you want to ask your optometrist

When to Come in for an Eye Exam

Regular eye exams are essential for patients of all ages when it comes to maintaining eye health. It’s recommended that you visit your optometrist for an eye exam annually so they can stay familiar with your visual development and monitor any changes in your vision.

However, everyone is different, and this schedule can change if you’re at a higher risk of developing vision issues and eye disease

Annual eye exams allow your optometrist to get a baseline for your ocular health and develop a personalized exam schedule for your unique visual needs.

Your child should have a comprehensive eye exam by their first birthday. This time in their life involves crucial visual development. Your optometrist can help create a personalized exam schedule with you and your children after their first visit. 

A male patient in a brown longsleeve shirt and black pants sitting on a chair and an optometrist on the side is writing a prescription after the eye exam.

Evaluating Your Vision

Your eye exam will include a variety of tests—some will check your vision, while other tests evaluate your overall eye health.

Testing can involve a dilated eye exam which is done so your eye care professional can evaluate the details of your eye. 

Let’s look at some of the standard tests your optometrist may conduct during your eye exam.

Visual Acuity

During a visual acuity test, your eye care professional will ask you to read letters on an eye chart from a distance. This process helps your provider determine your prescription for corrective lenses. 

Automatic Refraction

This test can help measure visual acuity in young children and people who have trouble communicating. Automatic refraction involves shining light into the eye to measure the eye’s response.

Visual Field

This test checks your peripheral (side) vision, and your optometrist will direct your eyes with a finger or an object for focus.  

Color Vision

The color vision test checks for color blindness (color deficiency) and involves using images with colored dots. Numbers are hidden among the dots in different colors that help test your color vision.

Corneal Topography

Corneal topography is an imaging test that uses a computer to create a map of your cornea. The computer takes thousands of different images so your optometrist can take a look at all the details of your eyes.

These tests are implemented to help assess your visual skills and determine if you need further treatment and visual aids. 

What to Expect During Your Eye Exam

Your eyes are unique and deserve comprehensive eye exams to match. An eye exam assesses your visual skills and dives deeper into your overall eye health. 

During your eye exam, your optometrist will get to know your family health history, learn about different health issues you may have, and ask about any medications you may be taking.

Your eye exam will also include a comprehensive check-up of refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. After testing, your optometrist will update your eyeglasses prescription with any changes in your vision. 

You’ll then get an opportunity to pick out a new pair of frames that can express your unique style. Your optometrist is committed to your clear vision and offers different specialty lenses, including: 

  • Multifocal lenses
  • Progressive additional lenses
  • Transitions lenses
  • Polarized lenses

Choosing a new pair of frames can be exciting, and you’ll be sure to find a pair of high-quality frames that suit your personality and budget.

A Window to Your Health

Eye exams are about more than just updating your prescription. Consistent eye exams are designed to allow your optometrist to check for early signs of eye disease and get a peek into your overall health as well. 

Many forms of eye disease may have little to no obvious symptoms in their early stages, so early detection is vital. Regular eye exams can result in early detection and treatment of eye disease. 

Common types of eye disease can include: 

Your eyes also serve as a window to your overall health. Consistent eye exams can also result in early detection and treatment for other serious health conditions like:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Brain tumors

Problems with your eyes and vision can signify issues in other parts of your body, so it’s important to stay on top of your ocular health through consistent eye exams.

Committed to Your Ocular Health

Your vision is ever-changing, and consistent eye exams are essential to your overall health. Not only do eye exams have your eyes and vision at their best, but they can also assist in the early detection of eye disease and other serious health conditions. Book an appointment at Total Vision Rancho Bernardo today to schedule an eye exam and get the necessary tests to ensure you’re enjoying optimal vision and healthy eyes.

Written by Total Vision

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