What is Included in an Eye Exam?
A routine eye exam is important for your overall health and well-being. If it’s been a while since you’ve visited your eye doctor, or you’ve never had an eye exam, it can be helpful to know what to expect when you visit the optometrist.
A comprehensive eye examination in Tucson includes several steps. During this visit, our doctors use various tests, tools and procedures to examine your vision as well as the health of your eye and recommends corrective lenses or further treatment if needed. A typical eye exam can take between 30 – 45 minutes depending on the health of your eyes, quality of your vision and if you need corrective lenses.
Most of your eye exam consists of various tests used to evaluate your vision. These include the following:
Tonometry – This test is important to determine your eye pressure in the evaluation for glaucoma. There are two main techniques used to test the intraocular pressure (IOP):
- Non-Contact Tonometry is typically performed by an eye technician (not our doctors). Many know this test as the one that blows a puff of air into the eye.
- Contact Tonometry is performed by our doctors by touching a probe to the eye. A numbing drop is used during this test, so you won’t feel a thing. For this reason, many patients prefer this method over the non-contact method.
Retinoscopy – This is a technique to obtain the objective measurement of your prescription. It provides a way to estimate what your vision prescription may be. It can either be performed by an automated machine or it can be done manually with a retinoscope. The retinoscope shines a bright light into the eye while our doctors observe the reflection off your retina, this can determine your estimated prescription.
Refraction – This test uses a device called a phoropter to determine your corrective lens prescription. This instrument is used to test various lenses against your eyes, enabling our doctors to determine the best power prescription for your eyeglasses or contacts. The phoropter measures the exact level of astigmatism, myopia or hyperopia you may have.
Slit Lamp – The slit lamp exam allows the eye to be analyzed from front to back. During this test in Location, our doctors use a special high-power microscope to examine the structures of your eye, testing for infections or ocular diseases. This test is beneficial for detecting conjunctivitis and other common eye issues as well as more serious ocular conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Cover Test – During this test, our doctors will cover one eye at a time to assess any ocular deviation such as strabismus (also known as an eye turn or lazy eye). Essentially, this test measures how well your eyes work together and helps detect problems including poor depth perception.
Dilated Fundus Exam – This eye exam test requires an eye drop to be placed in the eyes to dilate the pupil. With the pupils dilated, it creates a larger window for our doctors to look inside the eyes. The drops typically take 15-20 minutes to take effect. Once dilated, our doctors will examine the eyes for various conditions. This is an important test for measuring the health of the internal structures of the eye.
Fundus Photography – Fundus photography is an advanced digital retinal photograph. By taking a digital image of the back portion of the eye (the retina), our doctors can detect and monitor your ocular health. The screening picture that is produced captures a clear view of the optic nerve, blood vessels, macula and fovea. Fundus photos can be a baseline measurement for future comparison.
If you are experiencing specific vision problems, additional tests and further examination may be required. Even if you are not experiencing vision problems, it is still a good idea to have your eyes examined regularly, ideally every year. To schedule an eye exam with our doctors in Tucson, contact Eye Associates of Tucson at 520-888-6600 or website today.