You’ve heard the eyes are the window to the soul—they’re also an important part of your overall health. Regular eye exams will help protect your eyes and vision now and years down the road. Exams will also allow for early diagnosis of any eye concerns or diseases, which makes treatment easier.

Reading an eye chart is one key part of an eye exam, but our doctors of optometry may also perform several other procedures, including those listed below. Some of these procedures are routine diagnostic tests, while others are for specific eye concerns, deemed necessary by your doctor, based on your age, family history, and any current issues. For those in good health, these tests should be conducted every two years, from age 3 to 60. If you have health concerns, it should be performed annually.

Refraction

This vision test is what you typically associate with a routine eye exam. The results of this test will let your doctor know what type, if any, prescription lenses are needed. The following conditions may also be detected by a refraction:
Astigmatism: A refractive problem associated with the shape of the lens, astigmatism can result in blurry vision.
Hyperopia: Also known as farsightedness, hyperopia causes you to have difficulty seeing objects near you.
Myopia: Also known as nearsightedness, myopia causes you to have difficulty seeing far-away objects or reading at a distance.

Tonometry “Glaucoma Test”

Early detection is the key to treating glaucoma. A simple tonometry test can help determine if you may be at risk for glaucoma. During this exam, the doctor uses an air puff mechanism to assess pressure levels within your eyes. In certain circumstances, the doctor may need to dilate the pupils for more accurate results. A few drops of fluid are applied to each eye for dilation. Some minor discomfort may be experienced during dilation, but glaucoma tests are usually pain-free.

Cover Test

To detect ocular deviation or “lazy eye,” a doctor will perform this simple and pain-free cover test. As the name implies, one or both eyes are then covered and then uncovered as the patient focuses on an object. This allows the doctor to observe the reaction of the eyes and watch for eye movement. A “lazy eye” will move inward or outward.

Slit Lamp Exam

This portion of an eye exam enables the specialist to recognize auxiliary issues inside the eye that might be generally unnoticeable. At the point when this test is performed, fluorescent drops are typically applied to the patient’s eyes, after which the specialist analyzes the eyes with an instrument that measures and inspects the internal workings of the eye. The eye drops sometimes cause minor distress, for example, a slight stinging sensation when initially applied. However this is typically short in length.

Visual Field Test

Usually part of a normal eye exam, the visual field test allows your eye care specialist to decide how well you can see objects in your peripheral or side vision. This test can decide whether you’re having any specific vision field issues and provide early detection for concerns such as tunnel vision.

Retinoscopy

Not always needed, this simple and pain-free test may be conducted on small children or those with issues communicating. To observe the reaction of the retina, the doctor shines a light in the patient’s eye using a retinoscope. By doing so, the doctor can determine if prescription lenses are needed.