When it comes to your vision, you can’t be too cautious. Your eye health is extremely important, and to keep it that way you need to stay on top of yearly eye exams to make sure things don’t change too much. Standard eye exams are nothing to be afraid of, and the fact is that it’s pretty easy to predict what you’re going to go through during a normal appointment – one that will often take less than an hour.
It Starts with Your Medical History
Every appointment is going to start with you giving your medical history. This takes place every time because the eye doctor, or optometrist, also wants to know about any changes since your last eye test. Even things that might seem unrelated like diabetes can directly affect your vision and vision tests. Highly stressful situations can also have an effect on your eyes, so optometrists want to know everything going on with you.
Eye Pressure & Sensitivity
In the beginning, you will get some tests to take a look at eye pressure and sensitivity. These tests often include focusing in on bright lights, testing peripheral vision, and this is where you get the “keep your eyes as open as possible” instruction while air gets blown right into your eyes.
This part of the eye exam can help determine if your eyes appear healthy or are giving some red flags that might indicate a really specific type of problem. Some of these tests can even be the earliest indicators of glaucoma and other similar degenerative eye diseases that build up over time.
The technology advancements over time have been pretty amazing when it comes to checking eye health, and if any of those early tests didn’t come back great, then the eye doctor may choose to perform additional testing. X-rays are not a very commonly performed procedure for the eye and are not part of a standard exam. However, if future diagnostic studies are indicated, it could be something your eye doctor recommends.
Read the Charts
The next part of any eye test will be the classic reading of the Snellen eye chart. This is done not only to test out your overall vision, but there will also be times when you’re asked to read with just your left eye and just your right eye to determine discrepancies between them.
The reason for this is simple. Often someone who doesn’t have perfect vision will have one particular eye that’s stronger than the other. In fact, this is more common than having two eyes that are equally impaired.
To get the perfect pair of glasses or even the right contact lenses, you need to have a prescription given for each eye. When each one is corrected, the result is hopefully perfect 20/20 vision or as close to that ideal result as you can get.
This is followed by multiple questions where the optometrist gives you two options (A or B) and asks which one is clearer. This normally starts out with two widely different lenses and then narrows in to more and more similar ones until they find the best lenses for your particular needs.
Don’t Be Worried
The average eye test is nothing to be worried about, and wherever you go they are relatively standard. By understanding each part of the process, you will know exactly what to expect every step of the way.
Generally speaking, you want to go through the standard eye exam about once a year, and you’ll be happy with the final results.