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Exam Procedures

1) Visual acuity test.  You will be asked to read the letters or numbers of an electronic eye chart projected on the wall.  Progressively smaller letters are introduced as you read each line.  Each eye is covered as the other eye is tested.

2) Eye Muscle Movement Test. To test muscle strength and control, the doctor will ask you to visually track a target in different directions and observe your eye movements.

3) Cover Test. This test will determine how well your eyes team together. As you focus at a small target some distance away, the doctor will cover and uncover each eye to observe how much your eyes move, watching for an eye that turns away from the target (strabismus). The test may be repeated with a target at close to you.

4) Confrontation Visual Field Exam. The examiner will ask the patient to cover one eye and stare at the examiner. The examiner will then move her hand out of the patient’s visual field and then bring it back in. The patient signals the examiner when her hand comes back into view. This is frequently done by an examiner as a simple and preliminary test.

5) External Exam and Pupillary Reactions. The doctor will observe the pupil reactions when a light and object is introduced at close distance. At the same time, the doctor will observe the exterior structures of your eye, examining for variations of the normal condition in the position of your eyelids and areas surrounding the eyes.

6) Retinoscopy.  This test helps to establish your prescription.  A streak of light will be directed into your eyes, as the examiner changes the lenses in an instrument (phoropter) in front of you.  You will be asked to observe the letters at a distance through.  Alternatively, an automated instrument (autorefractor) is used on most all patients for the same purpose.

7) Refraction Testing. The results of the computerized autorefractor are used as a starting point to refine your prescription.  This is a series of questions, such as “Which is better, this or that?” while flipping back and forth between alternate lenses.  Your prescription is better defined by selecting a preferred lens.

8) Slit-lamp (biomicroscope). This is a microscope, called a slit lamp, which magnifies and lights up the front of your eye. The doctor uses it to detect several eye diseases and disorders by examining each structure of your eye, including the cornea, iris, lens, and anterior chamber.

9) Retinal Examination (ophthalmoscopy). Using a head mounted light (binocular indirect) or an ophthalmoscope and pupil dilation, the doctor examines the inside structures of your eye, specifically the: retina, retinal blood vessels, vitreous, and optic nerve head.

10) Glaucoma Testing. This test may be performed as an alternate method to the iCare Tonometer test.  It determines if the fluid pressure inside your eyes is within a normal range.  Painless and taking just a few seconds, this test can be done several ways.

11) The Applanation Tonometer Test. This is another technique of accurately measuring the eye pressure. With drops numbing your eyes, a small device is barely touched to the front surface of each eye with a glowing, bright-blue tool to measure the pressure.

12) Pupil Dilation (enlargement). With your pupils fully enlarged, the doctor will examine the inside of the eyes using various instruments and lights. The pupil enlarging drops for require approximately 20-30 minutes to take effect.  The drops result in increased light sensitivity and blurred vision (especially at near) These effects may last for several hours or longer thus it is important to wear a sunglasses when leaving the office.