If you’ve never had a comprehensive eye exam or haven’t had one in a while, you may be a little anxious about what to expect. Fortunately, an eye exam includes standard, painless tests that can provide valuable information for your optometrist to maximize your vision with corrective lenses. Here’s what to expect in an eye exam.
A visual acuity test involves an eye chart with letters that you will read aloud at the smallest size possible. You’ll be asked to read the chart with one eye covered at a time.
The cover test determines how well your eyes work together. The doctor covers each eye and watches closely to see how your eyes move as you stare a target a distance away or nearby, depending on the doctor’s observations.
A refraction test helps fine-tune your prescription by using different lenses to find which lenses provide the clearest vision. This may also be done with a computerized refractor.
A retinoscopy requires the doctor to shine a light in your eyes while flipping through lenses as you stare straight ahead. This helps determine how the light reflects in your eyes to give an idea of a lens prescription.
Tests that determine the fluid pressure inside your eyes can help determine the presence or risk of glaucoma. One way this is tested is to blow a small puff of air into the eye. The pressure can be measured by how much resistance there is to the puff of air. The doctor may also test for glaucoma by numbing the eyes with drops and lightly touching the surface of the eye with an instrument that measures the pressure.
The doctor may fully dilate your pupils in order to better examine the inside of your eyes. The effects last a few hours, so you can expect to have blurry vision and light sensitivity for a while after the exam.