What Happens During an Eye Exam?
Eye exams are commonplace for some people, and completely foreign to others. If you've spent most of your life without having vision deficits, there's a good chance that you've never been seen by an eye doctor. If you're going in for your first eye exam and don't know what to expect, then these are the three most likely steps that your eye doctor will take with you.
1. Pressure Test
First, your eye doctor will want to do is to check the pressure of your eyes. Your eye doctor or their assistant will place a few eye drops in your eyes that will numb them. It may feel a little odd, but rest assured that the effects are temporary.
Next, your doctor will use a tool called a tonometer that looks a bit like a fancy pen. Your doctor will ask you to keep your eyes open and to look straight ahead. They'll then tap the surface of your eye several times with the tonometer to check your eye pressure. This is repeated on the other eye, as well.
Eye pressure is an important marker that can help to diagnose conditions like glaucoma, so it's an important step that shouldn't be skipped. Rest assured that it won't hurt because your eyes will be fully numbed.
Next up comes the proper examination itself. Your eye doctor will sit you down behind a ophthalmoscope. You'll rest your chin in front of it and your eye doctor will sit on the other side. It's like looking through a microscope, essentially.
Your eye doctor will take a few minutes to carefully scan each eye. Follow their directions on where to look and when to hold your eyes open. They're looking for signs of damage and inflammation to ensure that your eyes are healthy, and if not, to diagnose what's wrong with them so that they can be treated.
3. Vision Test
Finally, your eye doctor will check your vision. This is usually performed whether you need glasses or not, in order to ensure that you're seeing clearly. You've probably seen this test on TV or in a movie before. A vision chart will be projected in front of you and you'll be asked to read each line while covering one eye. This will let your eye doctor determine if you have vision deficits.
From there, your eye examination is complete. If you need glasses or contact lenses, your doctor will set you up with an optician. If not, you're free to go.