Standard Eye Exam
A standard eye exam is a series of tests done to check your vision and the health of your eyes.
First, you will be asked if you are having any eye or vision problems. You will be asked to describe these problems, how long you have had them, and any factors that have made them better or worse.Your history of glasses or contact lenses will also be reviewed. The eye doctor will then ask about your overall health, including any medicines you take and your family's medical history.
Next, the doctor will check your vision (visual acuity) using a Snellen chart.You will be asked to read random letters that become smaller line by line as your eyes move down the chart. Some Snellen charts are actually video monitors showing letters or images.To see if you need glasses, the doctor will place several lenses in front of your eye, one at a time, and ask you when the letters on the Snellen chart become easier to see. This is called a refraction.
Other parts of the exam include tests to:
- See if you have proper three-dimensional (3D) vision (stereopsis).
- Check your side (peripheral) vision.
- Check the eye muscles by asking you to look in different directions at a penlight or other small object.
- Examine the pupils with a penlight to see if they respond (constrict) properly to light.
- Often, you'll be given eye drops to open up (dilate) your pupils. This allows the doctor to use a device
- called an ophthalmoscope to view the structures at the back of the eye. This area is called the fundus. It includes the retina and nearby blood vessels and optic nerve.
Another magnifying device, called a slit lamp, is used to:
- See the front parts of the eye (eyelids, cornea, conjunctiva, sclera, and iris)
- Check for increased pressure in the eye (glaucoma) using a method called tonometry
- Color blindness is tested using cards with colored dots that form numbers.