What to Expect During Your Eye Exam
Eye exams are certainly important. They can help to diagnose diseases and conditions early on. This helps you to have the best sight possible throughout your life. While important, eye exams can be a little uncomfortable. Sometimes it is difficult to keep your eyes open during the examination. Other times it can be hard to know just what your eye doctor is talking about. Here is a little help to get you through your next eye exam from start to finish.
What is the purpose of an eye exam?
When you go in for an eye exam your eye doctor is looking for a few different things. They are looking for potential problems, signs of disease and determining if vision correction is necessary in your situation. This helps your doctor to create a treatment plan that is right for you and to find vision correction solutions that will work for you.
You may hear people refer to perfect vision as being 20/20 vision. The fraction seems complex but is actually pretty simple. It means that from 20 feet you can see as well as a person with good eyesight from the same distance. If you have 20/20 vision or greater you will not need vision correction like glasses or contacts. However if your vision is less than this your doctor will spend some time figuring out what the problem is. More than likely it is because you need some level of vision correction. In other cases it can be due to other problems with the eye such as a cataract or problem with the retina.
Your doctor will assess your vision and determine what level of vision correction, if any is necessary. Here are 5 common terms that you may hear in reference to vision correction during your appointment.
- Emmetropia - This means that you have good vision without glasses.
- Myopia - This term means that you are near sighted.
- Hyperopia - This term refers to those that are far sighted.
- Astigmatism - This means that curvature of your eye is uneven.
- Presbyopia - This means that you need to use reading glasses.
How will my vision levels be monitored?
When you go in for your appointment your doctor will use a special process known as refraction to determine what prescription you need to be able to see well. This machine will go in front of your eyes and will allow the doctor to determine what kind of prescription you need. The doctor will change the lenses that you are looking through while determining if your vision is getting more or less clear. At this time your doctor will also determine if you need a second prescription for reading.
Next you will likely undergo an eyelid exam. During this examination your practitioner will examine your eyelids to ensure that they are properly positioned and not infected or inflamed. Specifically they may look for a condition known as blepharitis which is a condition that may need antibiotics to prevent blindness and other vision problems.
Examination of the various parts of the eye
Your doctor will also use special tools to closely examine the various parts of the eye. They will look at each component of the eye and determine if there are any problems. For example the retina may be examined for signs of macular degeneration and the lens will be inspected for signs of cataracts. You should know that during this stage of the exam that your practitioner will need to handle your eyes and eyelids.
Often the doctor will examine various areas one at a time and allow you to close and rest the eye for a period before proceeding to the next test. They should place you in a comfortable position before the examination begins. If you feel uncomfortable during your exam make sure that you mention this to your doctor. Also let them know if you ever experience pain while being examined.
Staying relaxed will make your eye exam more comfortable. Relax your eyelids and allow your doctor to freely move them as necessary. By being able to manipulate the eyelid your doctor will be able to get a better view of your eye which will allow them to provide a better level of care. Communication can also make your exam more comfortable, so donít be afraid to ask questions and let your doctor know that you are interested in what is happening so that they offer explanations throughout the procedure.
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