If you are like many people, you’ll think there is a lot of mystery in an eye doctor's appointment. This is especially so if you have never been to an optometrist's office before. For starters, an appointment with an eye doctor is so the optometrist can run a series of procedures and tests on you in a comprehensive eye exam.
They use a variety of equipment to conduct these tests. These range from simple tests such as reading an eye chart to complex ones where the eye doctor uses a high-powered lens to observe your eyes.
Here are several tests that the eye doctor is most likely to conduct:
These are among the first tests an eye doctor conducts during a comprehensive eye exam. Visual acuity tests measure the sharpness of a patient's vision. The eye doctor will perform the tests using an eye chart. They measure your distance and near visual acuity.
Doctors perform a color vision screening test early in a comprehensive eye exam. The screening test aims to rule out color blindness. This screening test can also alert the eye doctor of any health issues affecting your color vision.
The cover test is the most straightforward way to check how your eyes work together. For this test, you focus on a small object across the room and the doctor covers each eye alternatively. The test is also carried out when you look at a close object.
This test also goes by the name of ocular motility testing. Eye doctors conduct this test to see how effectively your eyes follow a moving object. It also tests how quickly they can focus on two separate entities. It tests for smooth eye movements called pursuits and quick eye movements called saccades.
This is also called the stereopsis test. Stereopsis refers to teaming up the eyes to make normal depth perception possible. This is how you can observe the three-dimensional nature of the world. A stereopsis test is carried out by wearing 3D glasses and looking at test patterns. The doctor tests the part of the pattern that seems closer than the other.
Doctors conduct this test to get an approximate eyeglass prescription for you. The test involves using lenses and light to determine the suitable lens power for your eyes. The eye doctor can estimate the prescription you need based on how light reflects in your eye.
This test determines your exact prescription for eyeglasses. The eye doctor uses a device called a phoropter. The doctor places the phoropter in front of your eyes and you see a series of lens choices. You then choose the lens options that work and the eye doctor will fine-tune the lenses until they reach the prescription.
Screening your eyes for glaucoma starts with measuring the pressure in your eyes. A standard glaucoma screening test is the non-contact tonometry (NCT). The eye doctor will use a machine to puff a small burst of air at your eye. Depending on your eye's resistance to the puff of air, the device determines your intraocular pressure.
For more on what happens during a comprehensive eye exam, contact the Dry Eye Center of Alabama and Family Eye Care at our office in Homewood, Alabama. You can call (205) 490-2322 to book an appointment today.