If you are purchasing prescription eyewear at Eyeglasses.com and haven’t had an eye exam in several years, you should consider making appointment with an eye doctor. Regardless of your age or your physical health, a routine eye test is important for general health maintenance. In addition to evaluating a person’s eyes for glasses and / or contacts for the right prescription, during an eye exam the optometrists or ophthalmologists will check the patient’s eyes for eye diseases and other problems that could lead to vision loss. A wide variety of vision tests and procedures are used to examine the eyes ranging from simple assessments such as having the patient read an eye chart, to complex tests, such as a corneal and retinal topography vision test for conditions such as astigmatism, or a fluorescein angiogram eye test to evaluate the blood circulation in the retina. In addition, eye doctors frequently are the first health care professionals to detect chronic systemic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, which can seriously affect a person’s eyes.
Bring your eyeglasses or contact lenses to your eye test appointment. The eye doctor will want to make sure the prescription for your eyeglasses is the best one for you. You will need an up-to-date prescription along with the PD) pupillary distance to purchase prescription eyewear at Eyeglasses.com
Minimal eye exams usually consist of direct ophthalmoscopy through an un-dilated pupil, as well as eye tests for:
Visual Acuity- is a vision test of the eye's ability to detect fine detail. It is the quantitative measure of the eye's ability to see an in-focus image at a certain distance. This eye test is what most people associate with an eye exam. It is usually performed using a projected eye chart to measure each eye’s distance visual acuity and a small, hand-held acuity chart to measure each eye’s near vision.
Pupil Function- is an eye test that includes inspecting the pupils for equal size, regular shape, reactivity to light, and direct and consensual accommodation.
Extraocular Muscle Motility- is an eye examination of the function of the eye muscles. A doctor observes the movement of the eyes in six specific directions
A comprehensive eye test to fully evaluate your vision and the health of your eye may require an hour or more to complete. Eyeglasses.com recommends a complete eye exam to make sure your prescription is correct for your prescription eyewear. Some of the eye and vision tests during a routine comprehensive eye exam are:
Visual Acuity Tests- see explanation above
Extraocular Muscle Motility- see explanation above
Color Blindness Eye Test- detecting hereditary color vision deficiencies, as well as other possible eye health problems that may affect a person’s color vision.
Refraction - this vision test determines your exact eyeglass prescription. During refraction, the patient looks through a phoropter while shown a series of lens choices. The patient is asked which of the two lenses in each choice looks clearer.
Based on the patient’s answers, the optometrist or ophthalmologist will continue to fine-tune the lens power until reaching a final eyeglass prescription.
The refraction determines the level of hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia of the eyes.
Autorefractors and Aberrometers - like the manual refraction eye test, an autorefractor or aberrometer determines the lens power required to accurately focus light on your retina. However, it is done automatically rather than manually. An autorefractor or aberrometer are used primarily for custom or wavefront LASIK vision correction procedures. Many optometrist and ophthalmologist are now incorporating this advanced technology into their routine eye exams as well.
Slit-Lamp (biomicroscope) Examination- provides a highly magnified view of the structures of the eye to thoroughly evaluate the eye health and detect any signs of infection or disease.
The Glaucoma Test- after numbing the eyes with special eye drops, the patient stare straight ahead into the slit lamp while the optometrist or ophthalmologist uses an applanation tonometer to measure the patient’s IOP (intraocular pressure). Since there are no warning signs of glaucoma until a person already has significant vision loss, routine eye exams that include tonometry are essential to rule out early signs of glaucoma and protect one’s eyesight. Unlike an applanation tonometer, the
Non-Contact Tonometry requires no numbing drops. Called an "air puff" tonometer, eye pressure is measured indirectly by the eye's resistance to a puff of air.
Pupil Dilation - dilating drops are used to enlarge the patient’s pupils. Once the eyes are dilated (about 20-30 minutes after the drops are instilled), the eye doctor uses various instruments to look inside the eyes. Because pupil dilation allows for the most thorough evaluation of the health of the inside of the eyes, it is very important for people with risk factors for eye disease to have this examination.
Visual Field Test- measures peripheral (side) vision. This eye test is done to measure loss of vision from conditions such as stroke or glaucoma.
Besides these common vision tests performed during a standard comprehensive eye exam, an optometrist or ophthalmologist may recommend other, more specialized eye tests, if they feel it is warranted.
Many eye diseases are asymptomatic (without symptoms or not having easily observed symptoms), which is why medical professionals recommend that all people, including children, should have periodic and thorough eye examinations as part of routine primary care. Early eye exams are important because children need visual skills for learning. At Eyeglasses.com we offer children’s eyeglasses as well as adult eyewear.The vision screenings performed at school or for a driver’s license should not be a substitute for a comprehensive eye test. Only an optometrist or ophthalmologist can provide a comprehensive eye exam.
If you need a prescription, make sure to ask for your “PD” Pupillary Distance measurement. To learn how to buy glasses at Eyeglasses.com go to our How to Buy page.