Your eyes contain some of the hardest-working muscles in your body. You might take your eye health for granted, but keeping those muscles in good shape is key to maintaining your quality of life. That’s why regular eye examinations are an important part of your annual health routine. If you’ve never had an eye exam before, the idea can be intimidating – after all, no one wants a doctor poking around in the sensitive area around their eyes. However, eye exams typically make for a quick, completely painless, and very informative visit. If you’ve never had your eyes examined – or it’s been a few years since your last appointment – learn more about what happens during an eye exam so that you can go into your check-up with peace of mind.
What Happens During an Eye Exam
Eye Health Questions
Like other doctors’ appointments and check-ups, your eye exam will begin with a series of questions from your optometrist. Your doctor will ask questions about your lifestyle – for example, if you look at a computer all day for work. They’ll also ask about any vision symptoms you may have, like blurriness, pain, or discomfort. These questions will determine the reason for your visit and help steer the rest of the exam. If you’re seeing an eye doctor about vision problems, make sure to bring a list of your symptoms. Then, you can work with your optometrist to find a solution during your appointment. You should also make sure that you’re able to tell your doctor roughly how long you’ve been experiencing symptoms. Finally, bring a list of any medications you may be taking so that your doctor can determine if any are contributing to your vision symptoms.
Next, your optometrist will assess your eye health by conducting a thorough examination. The doctor will likely examine both the inside and outside of your eyes. The inside of your eyes will be examined using an ophthalmoscope, which is a small flashlight that allows doctors to look closely at your eyes. During this part of the exam, your doctor will pay special attention to several parts of the eye. The eye’s lens, for example, may be examined for signs of cataracts. Your doctor may also check the optic nerve for signs of glaucoma. Your doctor may also check your pupil reflexes to evaluate your overall eye health. Checking eye movements and coordination will help your doctor determine if your eyes are working together to avoid excess eye strain.
Even if you’ve never had an eye exam, you’re probably familiar with what’s known as a visual acuity test. During this common test, your doctor will position a chart a certain distance from your eyes. The chart features a series of letters. You’ll read the letters on the chart until they become too blurry to distinguish. The legibility of the letters will help determine the quality of your eyesight in both of your eyes in comparison to standard 20/20 vision. This will help your optometrist decide if you need an optical device like glasses or contacts.
What happens during an eye exam will vary slightly depending on your optometrist and your unique eye health. Many optometrists offer extra tests depending on your individual symptoms. Older adults might consider retinal photography, which takes a picture of your inner eye to check for macular degeneration and other concerns. Your optometrist may also perform an external eye exam, test your pupil function, or conduct a special exam like keratometry, which is designed to identify astigmatism.
Eye exams aren’t scary or painful. Now that you know what happens during an eye exam, you can feel confident scheduling regular exams to ensure the health of your eyes for years to come. If your eyes are due for a check-up, contact Heffington’s today. Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. One of the unique features of our family-owned business is that we manufacture lenses at our own laboratory, giving us total control over the service and pricing, and we’re happy to pass our savings on to you. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an e-mail to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location). We look forward to hearing from you!