Comprehensive Eye Exam
A comprehensive eye exam takes 45 to 90 minutes to complete and provides important information about the health of your eyes. The exam should include checks on the following:
- Medical history - Assessment of your vision and your overall health.
- Visual acuity - You will be asked to read a standardized eye chart to determine how well you see at various distances. One eye is tested at a time. Practically, this is accomplished by covering the other eye with a hand, piece of paper, or a small paddle.
- Pupils - Your eye doctor may shine a beam of light through your pupils to evaluate how your eye responds to light. If there is a lack of response or your pupils respond by dilating (widening), this may indicate an underlying problem.
- Side vision - This test can identify loss of side vision which may indicate eye problems (glaucoma).
- Eye movement - The ocular motility test, evaluates the movement of your eyes. This test help ensures proper eye alignment and ocular muscle function.
- Prescription for corrective lenses - You sit in a chair that has a special device (called a phoroptor or refractor) attached to it. You look through the device and focus on an eye chart. The device contains lenses of different strengths that can be moved into your view. The test is performed one eye at a time. The phoroptor can help determine the best eyeglass or contact lens prescription to correct any refractive error you may have, such as myopia.
- Eye pressure - This test, called tonometry is the procedure eye care professionals perform to determine the intraocular pressure (IOP), the fluid pressure inside the eye. It is an important test in the evaluation of patients at risk from glaucoma. The test may involve a quick puff of air onto the eye, or gently applying a pressure-sensitive tip near or against your eye.
- Front part of your eye - Slit lamp exam uses a type of microscope to illuminate the front part of the eye, including the eyelids, cornea, iris and lens. This exam can reveal developing cataracts or any scars or scratches on your cornea.
- Retina and optic nerve - Drops are placed in each eye widen the pupil. Once dilated, each eye is examined using a special magnifying lens that provides a clear view of important tissues at the back of the eye, including the retina, the macula, and the optic nerve. Your eyes might be temporarily sensitive to light for a few hours after they are dilated.