An eye examination test is a series of tests that measures your visual system health. A periodical eye exam is essential because your chance of having vision disorders increases with age. It can help your eye doctor to detect abnormalities in your visual system.
Early diagnosis of the abnormalities may decrease the risks of damage to your eyes. The findings may also reveal the presence of many non-eye diseases. But most importantly, he or she can take an immediate action before it’s too late. You might not be experiencing any trouble with your sight right now, but the threat is there.
What will you encounter from a routine vision examination? Don’t worry, it’s painless and informative.
Types of Eye Examination Tests
A comprehensive eye examination test by an eye care practitioner involves testing all aspects of your vision. Based on the exam reports, the eye doctor will then recommend a treatment plan for your individual needs.
The treatment plans may include eyeglasses or contact lenses prescription for blurred vision. It can be a medical treatment for eye diseases — for example, laser eye surgery. Or, it’s a recommendation for eye exams in the future.
- Initial Observations: At the beginning of eye examination tests eye doctors will begin with common questions about any complaints you currently have with your vision. If you have any, then you will be asked to describe the duration and degree of the problems. You might be be asked about your last eye exam, pre-existing eye problems, and general health status. The questions may also cover family’s eye health history and any allergic reactions to medications. This query is to provide the doctor about what may be afflicting your eyes and any potential problems related to your family’s history.
- Visual Acuity Tests: The first test you will encounter is a visual acuity test, which is performed using an eye chart. You’ll be asked to read row by row from the biggest letters until the smallest letters you can read, to measure your visual acuity. If the doctor reports that you have 20/20 vision, it means that when you stand 20 feet away from the chart you can see what the “normal” human being can see. If you have 20/40 vision, this indicates that what you can read at 20 feet can be read by a normal eye at 40 feet. In addition to the distance vision test, the eye doctor may also conduct a similar near vision test.
Depending on the purpose of your eye exam, the eye doctor may take other eye tests. The following are some of the tests:
- Refraction. You’ll be asked to look at an eye chart through lenses of various powers. With some trials you’ll get the correct right and left eye’s combination of lenses. So, the refraction test helps determine what kind of vision correction you might need.
- Eye movement examination. The examiner will ask you to look up and down, and to the right and left to see if you can move your eyes to their full extent. To check convergence the doctor may also ask you to look at a pen and follow it as it’s moved close to your eyes.
- Visual field measurement. With a perimeter, the instrument for measuring visual fields, your head is positioned so that your eyes are at the center of the sphere and about 13 in. from all points on the inside surface of the hemisphere. You stare at an image on the center of the surface and signals whenever you detect a flash of light. The perimeter records which flashes are seen and which are missed and then maps your field of vision and blind spots.
Checklist for an Eye Examination Test
The following checklist can help you make the most of your visit to your eye doctor. When you call to make an appointment for an eye examination test:
- Be ready to describe your symptoms of your vision problems, your general health condition and family history of eye problems.
- Ask if the eye examination test will affect your vision temporarily?
- Ask how much the exam will cost and about health insurance coverage.
- Describe prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are taking.
- Tell eye injuries or eye surgery you have had.
- Ask questions you have about your vision.
- Ask questions about the names and purposes of tests you may undergo.
- Ask if there are any changes since your last exam.
- Ask when it is best to call the doctor with questions.
- Find out when you should return for your next exam.
Eye Examination Test for Contact Lens Fitting
If you’re interested in wearing contacts, an eye examination test becomes a contact lens fitting because you need it to get a contact lens prescription. During a contact lens fitting, your eye care provider will determine the right contact lens for you based on your eye conditions and your lifestyle needs.
Selected trial lenses are inserted to your eyes to see how well they fit. The eye doctor fits the free contact lenses as a part of his or her services. If it’s not a fitting for bifocal contacts or other specialty lenses, it usually takes several minutes before you feel comfortable and get a good vision.
Contact your eye doctor for a contact lens fitting. When you make an appointment, be sure to ask if he or she will give you a copy of your contact lens prescription after your exam. Find another office if he or she refuses to release a prescription because using the prescription you can buy contact lenses at any place that provides the best value.