Ask the Nurse

What kinds of tests will I have during an eye exam?

An eye exam by an ophthalmologist begins with having your pupils dilated using special drops. This allows the doctor to perform tests such as:

  • Refraction test: Measures your ability to see objects at a specific distance (often 20 feet away) to determine whether you need eyeglasses or contacts.
  • Visual field test: Measures your peripheral (side) vision as you stare at an object in the center of your line of vision.
  • Tonometry: Uses a puff of air or a small, smooth instrument called a tonometer briefly lowered onto the eye’s surface to measure eye pressure and diagnose glaucoma.
  • Slit-lamp exam: Allows the doctor to examine the front structures of the eye using a bright “slit” of light to help diagnose cataracts, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, corneal injuries or presbyopia (difficulty seeing up close).
  • Fluorescein angiography: Evaluates circulation in the retina, a light-sensitive tissue layer in back of the eye, to help diagnose diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment.
  • Corneal topography: Uses computer analysis of the eye’s surface to create a map of the cornea’s curvature, revealing distortions or astigmatism.

Protect your sight by getting eye exams annually or whenever you notice a change in vision.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

July 17, 2014 at 10:12am