Sure, reading the chart and having the clarity of your vision refined is a big part of your eye doctor visit but it is just one component of a comprehensive eye examination.
The exam starts with your history – not just your history of wearing glasses or contact lenses but your health history as well. This is because many health conditions and even some medications can affect your vision and eye health.
When checking your vision, the distance eye chart provides only part of the story. Additional vision testing includes checking the color vision, depth perception, peripheral vision, glare sensitivity, eye coordination and eye movements as well as focusing up close and on a computer screen.
When focusing on your eye health our doctor usually starts with the eyelids because they are so critical to protecting the eye and controlling the flow of tears across the eye surface. For many patients, poor eyelid health is the cause of discomfort or blurriness.
Another common cause of uncomfortable or blurry eyes is a poor tear film. Our doctors use various techniques to evaluate the quantity and quality of tears your eyes produce and even use infra-red photography to assess the health of your tear glands.
When looking into the back of your eye the doctor will often use eye drops to enlarge or dilate the pupil to get a more complete view of the retina. They will often also use new technologies to help get an even better look at structures deep within the eye. These can include wide angle digital photography and imaging scans that allow them to magnify the view to the cellular level and precisely measure nerves and other structures within the eye.
While it may only seem to take a few minutes, a lot of things happen during your comprehensive eye examination. At the end, the doctor will go over the findings and make recommendations to help you keep your eyes healthy and comfortable and, of course write you a prescription if needed!