12 things you should know about eye exams
Do you get the feeling that something isn't quite right with your eyes lately? Is your vision blurred or you get headaches? Then it's the right time for an eye test!
An eye examination at an optician can quickly and easily tell you whether you need vision correction or not. Furthermore, serious eye diseases can be ruled out by an ophthalmologist. Read here how eye tests are carried out and how you can easily order glasses online.
Why are eye tests so important?
The importance of annual eye examinations goes far beyond ensuring that your vision is not blurred. Your eye doctor (ophthalmologist) can ensure that you do not have any serious eye disease such as glaucoma, cataracts or eye cancer, by conducting an in-depth eye examination.
Apart from that, persistent headaches and the perils of poor vision while driving can be prevented by an eye test that will also give you the details of the prescription for your future glasses.
How often should you have an eye test?
This depends partly on your age, but also on your eyes condition and your family's ailments history. If you are younger than 40 and do not have any eye problems, your doctor may recommend that you have an eye exam every 2 years.
If you are 40 or older, you should have your eyes examined every 1 year.
If you have had eye problems in the past or are at risk of developing them (if someone in your family has had them), you should see an eye doctor at least once a year.
How do eye tests work?
An eye exam involves a series of tests to check your vision. Your eye doctor or optician might make use of a variety of instruments, shine bright lights directly into your eyes and ask you to look through an array of lenses. Each test during an eye exam evaluates a different aspect of your vision or eye health.
What happens before your eye exam?
Before the actual examination starts, your doctor or optician has to clarify a few things. If it's your first eye exam, they will most probably ask you questions about your vision history first. Your answers will help understand your risk of eye disease and vision problems. The questions you will be asked will be approximately the following:
These questions will prepare you for your eye examination:
- What health problems have you had in recent years?
- Are you suffering from any eye problems?
- Does anyone in your family have eye problems such as macular degeneration, glaucoma or retinal detachments?
- Did you experience any eye problems in the past?
- Have you ever had eye surgery?
- Do you have any allergies to medications, food or other substances?
- Are you taking any medication?
What exactly happens during an eye test?
Afterwards, your doctor or optician will proceed with the eye examination. In case you are being examined by an ophthalmologist, the procedure usually involves these steps:
- Your eye doctor measures your visual acuity to see if you need glasses or contact lenses to improve your vision.
- You'll be given a numbing drop in your eyes. Then your eye pressure is measured. To make it easier for your doctor to examine the inside of your eye, they will probably dilate your eyes with eyedrops.
- After waiting for the dilating drops to take effect, your eye doctor checks the health of your eyes, possibly using several lights to evaluate the front and the inside of each eye.
After your eye exam
At the end of your eye exam, you will discuss the outcome of all the tests with your doctor, including an evaluation of your vision, your risk of developing eye diseases, and preventive actions you can take to protect your eyesight. Your doctor will give you your glasses prescription. With this prescription, you can easily browse through our e-shop and order your favourite glasses.
What tests are included in a comprehensive eye test?
Several different tests may be performed during the eye exam. The tests are designed to check your vision and to examine the appearance and function of all parts of your eyes. Some of the most commonly performed and relevant tests are the following:
Visual acuity test
The most common eye test is the visual acuity test. It measures how clear your eyesight is. During the test, you are supposed to identify different letters of the alphabet printed on a chart (Snellen chart) or displayed on a screen. The lines of type get smaller as you move down the chart. Each eye is tested separately.
Refractive eye exam
The Refractive eye exam is the test that your eye doctor or optician uses to determine your exact glasses prescription. During a computerised refractor refraction, the doctor puts the instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes and shows you a series of lens choices. Then they will ask you which of the two lenses looks clearer. The refraction determines your level of hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia.
Colour blindness test
In a comprehensive eye exam, a screening test that checks your colour vision is performed in order to rule out colour blindness. In addition to detecting colour vision deficiencies, colour blindness tests can also alert your eye care professional to potential eye health problems that may affect your colour vision.
Eye cover test
The cover test tells you how well your eyes work together. Your doctor will ask you to look at a small object at some distance and cover and uncover each eye to see how much your eyes move. Your doctor will also check if one of your eyes turns away from the target. This is a condition called strabismus. You may repeat the test with a nearby target.