What Happens During an Eye Exam and Do You Need One?


Updated on Oct 11, 2023

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A regular eye exam is essential for not only the health of your vision but also your general well-being. They can help detect a range of problems early on, when they can be more easily treated. Something that’s very important to remember is that your qualified optometrist is more than just someone who can provide you with stylish frames they are also concerned with your overall optical health.

Routine eye tests can be a cause for concern for many people, even if it’s just finding the time to schedule one in. But they are essential for detecting silent and invisible conditions and safeguarding your vision long-term. By recognising the significance of these exams and how they can improve your quality of life, you can take steps to ensure that you are getting the care you need.

What is an Eye Exam?

It involves a series of comprehensive checks, beginning with enquiries about your lifestyle and optical history, including medications, prescriptions, and existing issues so you must be honest when providing this information. Then, by using specialised tools, the optometrist will assess your eyes. Some of the ways are:

Visual acuity test: Used to determine how sharp your vision is. You will be asked to read letters or numbers on a chart at different distances.

Refraction test: This measures how well you focus. It assesses the curvature of your cornea and lens, which helps identify refractive errors like astigmatism, hyperopia, or myopia and determines your prescription for glasses or contact lenses.

Ophthalmoscopy: This allows your doctor to look inside your eye and examine the retina, optic nerve, and other structures.

Tonometry: This non-contact test measures the pressure inside your eye. High pressure can be a sign of glaucoma.

Dilated eye exam: This involves using drops to dilate your pupils, which then allows your doctor to get a better view of the back of your eye.

Should I Get Tested?

If you have not had an eye exam in the past two years, it is important to schedule one with your optician. Also, if you present any of the following symptoms:

  • Blurred vision: This can be a sign of a number of problems, including refractive errors, cataracts, and glaucoma.
  • Floaters and flashes of light: These are small dark spots or lines that float across your vision. They are usually harmless, but they can sometimes be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a retinal tear or detachment.
  • Redness, irritation, or pain in the eyes: These can be signs of a number of problems, such as allergies, infection, or dry eyes.
  • Changes in your vision, like difficulty seeing or driving at night. These might be related to age, macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.
  • Frequent headaches may signify a vision issue, as straining to see clearly can cause discomfort.
  • Strabismus, involving misaligned eyes, and amblyopia, a lazy eye, are also assessed by the optometrist.

A final note

The importance of these examinations cannot be understated; they contribute significantly to preserving your vision health. Optometry professionals recommend regular appointments to ensure comprehensive eye health checks. Detecting conditions and diseases early maximises treatment success and minimises the risks of irreversible vision loss.

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David Paul opticians epitomise everything you want from a local optician. Not only do they offer normal eye exams, they also provide an expert service that can include an OCT eye test, advice on buying your ultimate pair of glasses and much more. The team of experienced eyewear specialists and expert optometrists are there to make your glasses and contact lens buying experience the best it can be.

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