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Common Assessments of a Routine Eye Exam

Unfamiliar words can be scary words, especially when they’re referring to an exam dealing with your eyesight. We’ve compiled a list of seven common assessments completed during an eye exam so there are no surprises when you visit us at ilumin.  Please note that, in some cases, the following tests may be performed by trained technicians who report findings to the doctor before he/she sees you.

1. Distance vision test
This is the test that patients are most familiar with, in which the doctor uses a chart containing letters that decrease in font size. This chart is a quick way to detect problems seeing far distances and is referred to as the Snellen Acuity Chart.

2. Eye movement test
The doctor observes eye movements as you follow a small light that passes from one side of the eye to the other. If the movements appear abnormal, additonal testing may be needed.

3. Refraction
Using a series of various lenses, the doctor will check your sight and work to improve your vision. At the end of this test, the eye doctor can provide the patient with an accurate prescription for corrective lenses.

4. Testing for color blindness
Test cards are printed with dot patterns of different colors usually making different numbers within them. If an individual is color blind, they will see images differently than those who can see the correct colors.  This test is usually not done on every visit, as color vision deficiencies are typically something a patient is born with, and they usually do not change with time.

5. Slit-lamp examination
The microscope the ophthalmologist uses to examine your eyes is called a slit lamp.  It provides a magnified view of the eye’s surface and interior structures.

6. Eye pressure
The eye doctor uses a device called a tonometer to measure the amount of pressure in your eye to determine your risk for glaucoma. Glaucoma is known as the “sneak thief of sight,” as glaucoma can cause painless loss of vision in the periphery, which often goes unnoticed.

7. Dilated exam (also known as fundus exam)
The pupils are holes that allow that doctor to view inside your eyes. In this exam, the doctor uses eye drops to dilate your pupils allowing them to better examine the inside of your eye.

Remember: it’s important to have an eye exam each year to keep your vision performing at its best. The ophthalmologists at ilumin are here to provide the best care for your eyes and for you.