Components of the Comprehensive Eye Exam

We have several methods of measuring visual acuity that we use every day.  It is the most valuable test that we do and determines the ability of your eye to see objects clearly.  We have adult and pediatric tests.  The most common test that we use is the Snellen Chart.  For near vision, we measure your acuity at particular working distances and measure the flexibility of your focusing system.

Stereopsis is the term used to describe eye teaming that enables normal depth perception and appreciation of the 3-dimensional nature of objects. 

We test eye alignment, stereopsis and motility (eye-movement) to uncover any dysfunction. Problems with binocular vision can cause eye strain and may affect reading ability, sports vision, and other skills.

We also measure pupil function, which directly links to brain function, and test several cranial nerves including the optic nerve.

This is the test that we use to determine your exact eyeglass prescription. Being a good listener helps to make this process easy.  We know the choices are confusing at times, but we take our time.  There’s no rush to get this right.

Based on your answers, (better choice 1 or 2?) we continue to fine-tune the lens power until reaching a final eyeglass prescription. Adjustments to that prescription are made based on other known quantities, like your visual acuity with your current prescription, preferences for working distance, interpupillary distance and habitual head posture.

The refraction determines your level of hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia.  

Confrontation visual field testing is typically used as a screening visual field test.

If an eye disease is suspected, you may need to undergo a more comprehensive, formal type of visual field testing to evaluate the quality of your central and peripheral vision.

A slit lamp is a binocular microscope (or "biomicroscope") with a slit light to view the structures of your eyes, with high magnification and a hand held lens.  Anatomical structure often determines function.  The evaluation of those structures help to determine the cause of certain eye conditions, such as pink eye, dry eye, glaucoma, retinopathy, and optic nerve problems.

It is an essential tool for contact lens evaluation, glaucoma monitoring, and diabetic exams. It also helps us keep you and your eyes healthy.

Testing for glaucoma typically begins with measuring the pressure inside your eyes.  We screen all our patients during every evaluation for changes to their eye pressure.  

We use a couple of simple methods for measuring the pressure. Most commonly, it’s the applanation tonometer. We put yellow eye drops in your eye to numb it. Your eyes will feel slightly heavy when the drops start working. This is not a dilating drop — it is a numbing agent combined with a yellow dye that glows under a blue light.  We also use a tonopen for screening intraocular eye pressure.

To obtain a better view of the eye's internal structures, we instill dilating drops to enlarge your pupils. Dilating drops usually take about 10 to 15 minutes to activate.
When your pupils are dilated, you will be sensitive to light (because more light is getting into your eye) and you may notice difficulty focusing on objects up close. These effects can last for 2 - 4 hours. 

Once the drops have taken effect, we use various instruments to look inside your eyes. We also take a screening photograph of the inside of your eyes.  We like having these pictures of your eyes today and compare them to the next time we dilate your eyes. You will be given a pair of disposable sunglasses to help minimize glare and light sensitivity on the way home. 

Pupil dilation is very important for people with risk factors for eye disease, because it allows for the most thorough evaluation of the health of the inside of your eyes.



Additional Questions?

You may have more questions. If they are of an urgent nature, please call right away or go the nearest emergency room.