Any upcoming exams can cause you unnecessary worry if you don’t know what to expect. The typical comprehensive eye exam will last around an hour, though it can take longer if additional testing is necessary. Your eye care specialist will complete a variety of tests that will give them a comprehensive understanding of the health and condition of your eyes and how they can improve your vision overall.
One of the most important tests that will occur during an eye exam is the test for visual acuity. This test will gauge the sharpness of your vision. You may be asked to read letters on a projected eye chart at a distance and then again from a smaller chart at arm’s length.
Traditionally, eye care professionals determine the exact prescription needed for eyeglasses by performing a refraction test. You will have a phoropter placed in front of your eyes and will look through a series of lenses. You will be asked to communicate which lens creates a clearer image for you. This series of adjustments will help determine the exact degree of your farsightedness, nearsightedness and/or astigmatism.
For patients like children who have a hard time communicating or sitting for the refraction test, new technology allows your vision to be measured quickly and easily using a machine called an autorefractor. It can give a very accurate prescription in a short amount of time.
Other tests that may occur during an eye exam:
- Test for color blindness
- Cover test to see how your eyes are working together
- Test of how well your eyes can follow a moving object
- Test of your depth perception
- Slit lamp exam to provide a magnified view of your eye’s interior
- Visual field test for blind spots
Eye exams will also typically include a glaucoma-screening test where the pressure inside your eyes will be measured with a painless puff of air. Also, expect that your eyes will be dilated with special drops so that the interior structures of your eyes can be more closely examined. Bring a pair of sunglasses to your exam, as you may be more sensitive to light and have a hard time focusing on near objects for a couple of hours after your exam.