A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

What to Expect at Your First Eye Doctor Visit

by Damion Wasylow 24 May 2021 12:46 PM

young woman getting a comprehensive eye exam
Regular eye exams become part of many people’s standard health routine early in childhood. For others, the absence of any obvious vision problems leads to putting off that first optometrist appointment until later in life. Eventually, however, nearly everyone notices that their vision isn’t as good as it once was and it’s time to see an eye doctor. Perhaps that’s what led you here, to find out what that first appointment will be like. 

We certainly can’t speak for what happens at every eye doctor’s office, but we can let you know what to expect during your first optometrist appointment at North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care

eyecare practice lobby on nw 8th avenue in gainesvilleA Warm Welcome

When you arrive for your scheduled appointment at our NW 8th Avenue or Tioga Town Center locations, you’ll be greeted by a member of our friendly reception team. They’ll check you in and ask you to fill out some paperwork with your contact information, medical history and your insurance information. While you wait, you can relax in our comfortable lobby and read a magazine or take advantage of our complementary WiFi.

Your Comprehensive Eye Exam

One of our qualified technicians will call you back to the examination room to begin your comprehensive eye exam. They'll review your medical history and ask a few questions about the state of your vision. They'll then examine your eyes, first doing a visual inspection, then using a series of tests to evaluate the quality of your vision and possibly reveal any potential underlying issues or forms of eye disease. They will then start the dilation process so that your optometrist (eye doctor) can finish the exam.

Standard testing includes:

• Visual Acuity – Reading letters from a chart to measure how clearly you see.

• Refraction Test – Looking at images through a phoropter to see which are more or less clear.

• Pupillary Reactions – Looking into a small light source to determine how your pupils expand and contract.

• Extraocular Movements – Focusing on a small object in motion to evaluate the muscles that control eyes.

• Confrontation Visual Fields – Watching the doctor’s finger move out to either side to measure of the breadth of your visual field.

• Cover Test – Covering one eye and focusing on objects to evaluate how well your eyes work together.

Getting the Results

Once you are fully dilated, your eye doctor will analyze the results from your previous testing, perform an in-depth examination of the front and back of your eyes, and will review all of the results with you. She’ll let you know your visual acuity score (i.e., if your vision is 20/20, 20/40 or something else), what she observed from your other tests, and if necessary, what she recommends for correcting your vision.

If the exam reveals you have hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness) or astigmatism (an uneven or irregular curvature of the cornea or lens), depending on the severity, the eye doctor will likely recommend prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. She’ll provide a prescription for the right lenses to correct your specific vision challenge.

If your exam reveals anything more serious, such as indications of glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts or other eye disorders, the doctor may diagnose the condition, recommend more testing or coordinate a consult with one of our practice’s ophthalmologists.

Next Steps

If eyeglasses or contacts are needed, you can visit our optical shop to work with one of our licensed opticians. Together, you’ll decide which vision correction option is right for you. Whether it’s contacts or eyeglasses, prescription lenses take some time to craft, often up to two weeks, so please be patient.

In the meantime, if you decide to go with eyeglasses, you can browse our selection of designer frames. With hundreds to choose from, we’re sure to have the perfect frames to match your activities, style and budget.

If more testing is required to accurately diagnose your eye condition, or if surgery is required to correct it, the doctor will talk to you about treatment options, answer any and all questions and set next steps in motion.

Whether you’re ready for your very first eye doctor visit or just your first in a while, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300 to schedule your appointment. We look forward to seeing you.



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