What to Expect
During Your Eye Exam
are essential in protecting your vision and health. Before the
actual exam your optometrist will ask you a few questions about your
vision history. If you currently wear contacts or glasses, it is a
good idea to bring them to your appointment.
comprehensive eye exam, a series of tests are performed to assess
your vision and the overall health of your eyes. The entire process
takes anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour, depending on
your eye doctor and the procedures that must be done to fully assess
your vision. Here are some of the tests that you will likely
Most people are familiar with the Snellen letter chart, which is
used to check the sharpness of your vision. Your optometrist will
have you read letters of varying sizes from the chart to determine
how well you can see them from across the room. To test your near
vision, a smaller, hand-held chart is used.
This simple test is used to see how well your eyes work together.
Your optometrist will have you focus on a small object across the
room, then alternately cover each eye. Then he or she will do the test
again, but have you look at something closer.
Usually performed during your initial exam, this test will rule out
colour blindness. Although colour blindness can be hereditary, the
test can help your eye doctor rule out certain eye health problems.
During this test, the lights will be dimmed and your optometrist
will shine a light in each eye as you fixate on a large target. He
or she will use a machine to flip different lenses in front of your
eyes and observe how the light reflects from your eyes. This will
give your eye doctor a “rough estimate” of what your eyeglass
prescription should be.
This procedure is similar to retinoscopy, except here your eye
doctor will ask you which lenses are clearer as different ones are
placed in front of each eye. Your answers will help him or her
refine the lens power and ultimately determine your final eyeglass
The slit-lamp is a microscope that enables your optometrist to look
closely at both the external and internal structures of your eyes.
He or she will have you place your chin on the chin rest, then shine
the lamp's light into your eye. This highly magnified view will
reveal signs of infection or disease.
Aside from these
procedures, your eye doctor may recommend more specialized
tests be performed. If you live in or around Boston, and you have any questions regarding your eye
exam, please do not hesitate to contact us.