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Tests Performed During a Comprehensive Eye Exam: A Closer Look

by Damion Wasylow 3 July 2017 09:44 AM

Depending on your overall health and any pre-existing conditions, eye care professionals generally recommend you have a comprehensive eye exam every few years, with increasing frequency as you age. A comprehensive eye exam is much more thorough than a simple vision screening, evaluating eye function and complete eye health, as well as the quality of your vision. This requires your eye doctor to perform a series of tests, including, but not limited to:

Visual Acuity

Visual acuity is a measure of how clearly you see things. You will be asked to read letters from a chart while standing a set distance away. Most people are familiar with this test. Picture the white chart of letters with a big “E” at the top and lines of smaller letters moving down the chart. The smaller the letters you can read, the better your visual acuity. 

Refraction Test

Refraction tests are used to evaluate nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, among other things. This test should also be pretty familiar to most people. You will be asked to look into a specialized instrument called a phoropter. Inside, you’ll see an image. The doctor will make an adjustment and ask if the adjustment made the image more or less clear for you. You’ll likely be asked, “Number one, or number two? Number one, or number two?”

Pupillary Reactions

Pupillary reactions are the reflexive way your pupils (the black center of your eye) behave to changes in incoming light. Your pupils should dilate (become smaller) as the doctor shines a light into your eyes and expand when the light is taken away. 

Extraocular Movements

Extraocular movements reflect the function of the muscles that control the motion of your eyes. This is another non-invasive test, in which the doctor will ask you to focus on a pen or other small object as he or she moves it in front of your eyes.

Confrontation Visual Fields

Confrontation visual fields is a measure of the breadth of your field of vision, i.e. the extent of the area your eyes allow you to see. While sitting in front of you, your eye doctor will extend his or her arm out to the side with one finger raised. You will cover one eye. The doctor will then slowly bring his or her hand back to the center, asking you to say when you can see the finger. 

Cover Test

A cover test helps the doctor evaluate how well your eyes work together. You will be asked to cover one eye and focus on a nearby or far away object. The doctor will then watch as you uncover the eye to see how quickly the second eye joins in focusing on the object.

If it’s been a while since you had a comprehensive eye exam, it’s probably time to schedule an appointment. We hope you choose North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care. With offices in Gainesville and Lake City, our physicians and staff provide outstanding service for all your eye care needs.

Call us today at 352-373-4300.



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