To make sure a your eyes are in optimal health, our eye doctors recommend scheduling an eye exam at least once a year and more if you believe that a problem is developing or if the optometrist sees a problem that could get worse. This is because many eye problems come on gradually. By the time the problem is noticeable, it’s that much more difficult to treat.
Our Durham eye doctors are experienced in performing comprehensive eye exams that not only test our patients’ vision, but also checks the overall health of your eyes.
How Long Do the Exams Last?
Comprehensive eye exams are painless and usually take anywhere between a half a hour and an hour. It might take a bit longer if the optometrist believes that a problem is developing with the eye or shorter if the patient has been treated for a problem and has returned for a check-up. Each patient case is different.
What Types of Tests Are Performed?
One test that our Durham eye doctors can give our patients is the familiar Snellen Chart, which has been around for over 160 years. The pressure in the eyes is also measured. This checks to see if glaucoma or another disease might be developing. For this test, the doctor may or may not apply drops to the patient’s eyes to dilate the pupils.
The doctor will also use lights to check the inside and the front of the patient’s eyes. The doctor can see how the light bends as it goes through the lens and the cornea of the eye and whether it focuses exactly on the retina. If the light doesn’t fall precisely on the retina, the patient has a refractive error. This might call for the patient to be fitted with glasses or contact lenses or for the prescription of glasses or contact lenses to be changed.
The patient’s peripheral vision and color vision will then be tested. The ophthalmologist might then use a microscope called a slit lamp that lights up the front of the eye. This will help the doctor see if there’s been any damage to the cornea. A slit lamp exam is also used to examine a patient’s retina.
Do All Patients Get Their Eyes Dilated?
No, not all patients. Patients whose pupils are dilated will be told beforehand. They might need to wear sunglasses or have someone drive them home when they leave the doctor’s office to protect their eyes until the medication wears off.
One tip before leaving the doctor’s office is to schedule an eye exam for the next time whether it be an exam for a specific problem or a routine exam for the next year. That way, our office can remind the patient as the time to return to the office draws near.