Your optometrist will use a number of techniques to assess any potential vision or eye health problems, and will keep a file of that information in order to keep track of changes in your eye health or vision. Regular visits to your optometrist are recommended.
Take a proactive approach to your eye health!
Steps that you can expect in a typical optometric examination include:
- Case history – you will be asked about your general health, medications you may be taking, your working environment, hobbies, etc. You will also be asked to describe any vision problems you may have been experiencing.
- External eye examination – Your optometrist will examine the external area around the eye to ensure that there are no abnormalities.
- Internal eye examination – Using the slit lamp microscope and an ophthalmoscope, your optometrist will check your eyes for indications of abnormalities, from front to back. Some problems detected during an internal eye examination may indicate possible disease, such as diabetes or hypertension. If your optometrist sees any of these warning signs, you will be referred to a physician for further examination.
- Tonometry – Tonometry measures the fluid pressure in the eye and is an important test in detecting glaucoma.
- Vision tests – A number of tests are used to assess your vision:
- Retinoscopy – The optometrist can determine the strength of your eyes using various lenses and the retinoscope. This is done without feedback from the patient and is therefore an invaluable instrument for assessing the vision problems of children and others who may not be able to read an eye chart.
- Visual acuity tests – Using the familiar wall chart and hand-held charts, your optometrist will assess your ability to see small detail clearly at both near and far distances. You may sit behind a phoropter, an instrument containing a combination of lenses. Lens choices are systematically changed until clear focus is obtained.
- Eye movement – Using a number of different tests, the optometrist will evaluate how well your eyes align or coordinate when working together and individually.
- Peripheral vision – The optometrist may evaluate how well you see targets which are not directly in front of you.
Other tests may be undertaken to evaluate your ability to change focus, see colour correctly, or perceive depth correctly.
The items above are typical to a routine eye examination. Your optometrist will choose those tests required to adequately evaluate YOUR visual system!