An eye exam is a routine check-up of the health of your eyes and vision. During an eye exam, an eye doctor (an optometrist or an ophthalmologist) will assess your vision and check for any problems with your eyes.
Here are some things that may happen during an eye exam:
- Visual acuity test: This is a test to measure how well you see at different distances. You will be asked to read letters or numbers from a chart (Snellen chart) placed at various distances away from you.
- Refraction assessment: This is a test to determine the correct eyeglass or contact lens prescription for you. The doctor will ask you to look through a machine (phoropter) with different lenses and ask which one looks clearer.
- Slit-lamp examination: The doctor will use a special microscope called a slit lamp to examine the front and back of your eyes in detail. This allows the doctor to check for any abnormalities in the eye and look for signs of diseases or conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.
- Eye muscle test: The doctor will check the movement and coordination of your eye muscles.
- Pupil dilation: The doctor may dilate your pupils (enlarge them) using eye drops. This allows the doctor to get a better view of the back of your eyes, including the retina, optic nerve, and blood vessels.
- Glaucoma test: The doctor may check the pressure inside your eyes to check for glaucoma, a condition that damages the optic nerve.
The entire process usually takes about 30-60 minutes.