What to Expect from an Eye Exam

An eye exam is performed by an optometrist (eye doctor) and typically takes about 30 minutes to complete. If additional eye tests are required, more time may be needed. During an examination, the eye doctor screens not only your eyes and sight but also your overall health.

Health History and Symptoms

The first thing your eye doctor will do is ask if you have any optometry concerns to determine if this eye exam is a routine checkup or if you came in to address a problem. If you are having eye issues, your optometrist will need to learn everything about your symptoms, and how long you have been troubled by them.

You will also be asked questions about your general health, medical and family history; if you wear corrective lenses, either now or in the past; and general demographic data.

Eye Test

The condition of your eyes will be thoroughly examined, inside and out. This will allow your eye doctor to assess your eye health and possibly identify any underlying medical concerns.

The eye interior is investigated with an instrument called an ophthalmoscope. This special tool shines a bright light through the pupil which allows your eye doctor to get a detailed view of the inner eye structures. Pupil reflexes may also be tested during an eye exam.

Vision Screening

If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, remember to bring them with you to your eye exam. Your eye doctor will measure your vision with and without corrective lenses to screen for issues with your eyesight. During an eye exam, vision is assessed for distance, nearsightedness, and intermediate vision. A series of eye tests will be performed to measure the variety and extent of any vision challenge that may be present. You will then be shown different lenses to choose from to determine which ones improve the clarity of your eyesight.

Movements and Coordination

During an eye exam, movements and coordination are reviewed to ensure that both eyes are working as a team and that the eye muscles are not under any undue stress. Eye muscle harmony and balance is especially important if do a lot of reading or work at a computer.

Post Eye Exam

After your examination, your eye doctor will have acquired a good, detailed knowledge base about of your eye health, your vision type, and any unique medical or optical requirements. At this point, if a health problem was uncovered, you will be directed to the appropriate physician. You will be advised of whether vision correction is necessary, and whether glasses or contact lenses are best for you. If so, you will be given an eyewear prescription.

Choosing Eyewear

Once you have your eyewear prescription available, you will be aided in choosing the right glasses, frames or contact lenses. If you prefer contacts, you will be educated on the various lens types that are available, how to fit them, and proper care instructions.