If you have scheduled an eye exam and are unfamiliar with the process, or just want a refresher, then this guide is for you. An eye exam consists of testing your eyes as to their overall function, meeting the optometrist or opthalmologist, and receiving treatment (if needed) for whatever effects your eyes.
A Few Tests
When you go into the clinic for your eye exam, you will undergo a series of tests to test the ability of your eye to function. This includes a test where you follow a series of bright lights (eye muscle test), one where you read letters off a board with one eye covered at a time (visual acuity test), and a test where light is shined into your eye with the help of a machine or computer, which then analyzes the ability of your eyes to refract light (refractive test). You may not go through all of these tests, and you may have more, depending on your results. Some of these tests are done when you first enter your appointment, and others are done by the eye doctor you meet.
Meet The Doctor
"Eye doctor" is a general term meant to capture both optometrists and ophthalmologists. You'll most likely meet with an optometrist unless you have a complex eye disorder or one that requires most surgeries, in which case you'll be meeting an ophthalmologist that can handle more complex cases. The optometrist will perform some or all of the tests done during the eye exam, analyze the information provided, and prescribe treatments that work for you if needed. They'll design the prescription for any glasses you need or medication for common eye disorders you may have.
Finally, once your eye exam is done, your optometrist may provide treatment within their clinic, depending on what you need. Many eye disorders can be treated with at-home prescriptions such as glasses, eye drops, or creams. However, they can also perform low-vision rehabilitation for those that need it, post-surgical care, and some states even allow them to perform eye surgeries such as laser eye surgery. Beyond these minor surgeries and less intensive treatment options, you will be referred to an ophthalmologist who is more experienced with these issues.
Contact a local eye clinic near you today to schedule an eye exam. They can examine your eye through tests, introduce you to your eye doctor, and prescribe or perform treatments for any eye disorders that you may have. If they can't treat your eyes at their clinic, they can refer you to more advanced care.