What Does An Optometrist Check During An Eye Exam?

Proper eye care can help you protect your vision. An optometrist can administer a thorough eye exam that will test your vision and allow for early detection of eye diseases. Here are four things your eye doctor will check during your eye exam:

1. Ocular Pressure

Your eyes are under pressure at all times. This pressure is caused by the vitreous fluid inside your eye. Eye pressure is not a concern unless it's unusually high. Glaucoma causes high ocular pressure, which can put your vision at risk. People with high eye pressure sometimes notice pain or burning. During your eye exam, your eye doctor will measure your eye pressure. If your eye pressure is too high, your eye doctor can prescribe medication or treatments that can reduce it to safe levels.

2. Peripheral Vision

Your peripheral vision is everything you're able to see out of the corner of your eye. Your eye doctor will test your peripheral vision by asking you to look straight ahead at a fixed point. They will then hold up fingers that you should be able to see with your peripheral vision. Without changing the focus of your eyes, your doctor will ask you how many fingers you see. This test will ensure your eyes are functioning properly. Poor peripheral vision may be a sign of glaucoma.

3. Pupils

Your pupils are the black areas at the center of your eyes. Your pupils let light into your eyes, which allows you to see and perceive the world around you. Healthy pupils are highly reactive to light. When exposed to bright lights, your pupils contract. Your pupils also expand in response to low light to increase your ability to see. Your eye doctor will test your pupils' reactivity by shining a light into your eyes and observing the results.

Your doctor may also dilate your pupils using medicated eye drops. When your pupils are dilated, your eye doctor will be able to examine the back of your eye more effectively. Your pupils will return to normal within a few hours after dilation, but you may want to wear sunglasses to cope with the additional sensitivity until then.

4. Vision Strength

Finally, your eye doctor will test the strength of your vision using an eye chart. You'll read the various rows on the eye chart, which will allow your eye doctor to determine if you need glasses. If you do require vision correction, the doctor will allow you to try various lenses using a phoropter. Based on the results of your vision exam, your eye doctor will write you a prescription for glasses or contacts.

For more information about optometry, contact a local eye doctor's office.