Optometrists Take a Look

The Five Tests Eye Doctors Typically Administer

Most people should be going to the eye doctor every one to two years for a checkup. The process is quite painless, and it ensures that if you do have any eye-related diseases or ailments, they are detected before they become too serious. But what actually happens when you visit your eye doctor? Well, they'll generally administer these five basic tests.

1. Vision Test

This is a fancy version of looking at an eye chart. Your eye doctor will ask you to read basic letters and numbers on a screen, and your responses tell them how well you see in comparison to someone with 20/20 vision.

2. Keratometry Test

This test basically measures the shape of your cornea, which is the outer part of your eyeball. You'll just be asked to look into a certain machine while a light is shown into your eye. The machine gives the eye doctor a set of readings to indicate the size and curvature of your eye. Abnormal curvature indicates a condition called astigmatism, which may mean you need to wear glasses or contacts with differently shaped lenses.

3. Intraocular Pressure Test

This test involves sending a puff of air to your eyeball and measuring how strongly your eyeball reflects that puff of air. The results indicate the pressure inside of your eyeball. If your intraocular pressure is too high, it could indicate a condition called glaucoma, which can lead to progressive vision loss if not treated. Rest assured that while this test can be annoying and may make you giggle, it does not hurt in the slightest.

4. Refraction Test

During this test, your eye doctor will have you look into a phoropter, which is the same machine used for your visual acuity test. Your eye doctor will put various "lenses" in the phoropter and will ask you to read letters on the screen through them. This can help diagnose astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness.

5. Retinoscopy

A very important tissue in the back of your eye collects light and sends signals to the optic nerve. It is known as the retina, and if it becomes damaged, the consequences can be very severe. A retinoscopy is a procedure by which your eye doctor will examine the back of your eye, where the retina lies, with a microscope. Again, this won't hurt, although holding your eyes open in the presence of bright light can be a little annoying.

As you can see, the tests done during an eye exam are quite simple and painless. So there's no reason not to visit the eye doctor! Make that appointment soon.