Eye Exam – An Important Part of Preventive Health

An eye exam is one of the best ways to protect your vision because it can detect eye problems at their earliest stage – when they're most treatable. Regular eye exams allow Eye Care Group’s optometrists a chance to help you correct or adapt to vision changes.

What's Involved in an Eye Exam?

A complete eye exam involves a series of tests designed to evaluate your vision and check for eye diseases. It doesn't hurt. Our optometrists will aim bright lights directly at your eyes and request that you look through a seemingly endless array of lenses. Each test will evaluate a different aspect of your vision.

The eye exam usually begins with the doctor asking about your medical history and any vision problems you might be experiencing. Next, the eye doctor makes a quick check of your eyes using a light to ensure the exterior parts of your eyes are functioning correctly. Finally, our optometrist will measure your visual acuity, assess your need for glasses and examine your eyes for signs of disease. Part of the vision testing will be conducted by Eye Care Group technicians, such as taking your medical history and initial pre-eye tests.

Common Tests During an Eye Exam

Eye exams involve more than testing your vision and, if you need glasses or contacts, determining how strong your correction should be. Additional tests assess the appearance and function of all parts of your eyes.

  • Eye muscle test – This test examines the muscles that control eye movement, looking for weakness or poor control. Our eye doctors look at your eyes as you move them in specific directions and as you visually track a moving object, such as a pen.
  • Visual acuity test – This test measures how clearly you can see from a distance. Our optometrist will ask you to identify different letters of the alphabet printed on an eye chart positioned 20 feet away. The lines of type get smaller as you move down the chart. The doctor will cover one eye and allow you to read the letters out loud.
  • Refraction assessment – Refraction refers to how light waves are bent as they pass through your cornea and lens. A refraction assessment helps the optometrist determine a corrective lens prescription that will give you the sharpest vision.

    Eye Care Group’s optometrists may use a computerized refractor to measure your eyes and estimate the prescription you need to correct a refractive error. Or he or she may use a technique called retinoscopy. In this procedure, the doctor shines a light into your eye and measures the refractive error by evaluating the movement of the light reflected by your retina. The doctor will then fine-tune this refraction assessment by asking you to look through a phoroptor, a mask-like device that contains wheels of different lenses, and judge which combination gives you the sharpest vision. By repeating this step several times, the doctor finds the lenses that give you the greatest possible acuity.
  • Visual field test (perimetry) – Your visual field is the area in front of you that you can see without moving your eyes. The visual field test determines whether you have difficulty seeing in any areas of your peripheral vision – the areas on the side of your visual field.
  • Confrontation visual field exam – Your eye doctor sits directly in front of you and asks you to cover one eye. You look directly at your eye doctor while he or she moves his or her hand in and out of your visual field. You tell your doctor when you can see his or her hand. Using your responses to one or more of these tests, the optometrist will make a map of your peripheral vision. If you aren't able to see in certain areas, the eye doctor uses the map to help diagnose your eye condition.
  • Slit-lamp examination – A slit lamp is a microscope that enlarges and illuminates the front of your eye with an intense line of light. The optometrist uses this light to examine the cornea, iris, lens and anterior chamber of your eye. When examining your cornea, the doctor may use eyedrops containing fluorescein (flooh-RES-ene) dye. The orange dye spreads across your eyes to help your eye doctor detect tiny cuts, scrapes, tears, foreign objects or infections on your cornea. Your tears will wash the dye away.
  • Retinal examination (ophthalmoscopy) – A retinal examination, sometimes called ophthalmoscopy or fundoscopy, examines the back of your eye, including your retina, optic disk and the underlying layer of blood vessels that nourish the retina (choroid). Usually before the doctor can see these structures, your pupils must be dilated with special eye drops. The eye drops may sting briefly and might cause a medicinal taste in your mouth as the medication drains from your tear ducts into your throat. After administering eye drops, the doctor may use one or more of these techniques to view the back of your eye:
    • Direct examination – Eye Care Group’s eye doctors use a beam of light to shine through your pupil and an ophthalmoscope to see the back of your eye. You might see afterimages when the doctor stops shining the light in your eyes. This is normal and will go away.
    • Indirect examination – For this exam, you might lie down or recline in a chair. The eye doctor will hold each eye open and examine it with a bright light mounted on his or her forehead. This exam lets your optometrist see your eye in great detail. This light is very bright. You are likely to see afterimages, but they disappear quickly.
    • Slit-lamp exam – In this exam your doctor will use the slit lamp along with the ophthalmoscope to look at the back of your eye. The slit lamp will reveal a very detailed view of the back of your eye.
  • Glaucoma test (tonometry) – Tonometry measures your intraocular pressure – the pressure inside your eyes. If the pressure is too high, it can lead to glaucoma, a disease which can cause blindness. Glaucoma can be treated when is it caught early.
  • Noncontact tonometry – This method uses a puff of air to test the pressure in your eye. No instruments will touch your eye. You'll feel mild pressure on your eye, which can be uncomfortable, but it lasts only seconds.

Besides these basic evaluations, you may need more specialized tests, depending on your age, medical history and risk of developing eye disease.

From Vision Screening and Glasses to Eye Exams and Contacts

It’s essential to have a vision test at least once a year or at an intervals, depending on upon your condition. At Eye Care Group, our vision testing uses the latest computer vision testing technology, so every eye exam is both thorough and accurate.

Beyond an eye exam, we offer a full range of eye care products: custom prescription bifocal and progressive lenses, designer eye glasses frames, prescription and non prescription sunglasses, safety glasses, contact lenses and accessories. Our eye care professionals also offer advice about proper nutrition and exercises that will help keep your vision and eyes healthy.

Book Your Next Eye Exam at Eye Care Group

With three beautiful eye care dispensaries on Whyte Avenue in south Edmonton, downtown on trendy104th street, and in the community of St. Albert, Eye Care Group is your best choice for all your eye care requirements. All boutiques are equipped with the most advanced computer vision testing equipment and staffed by friendly eye care specialists.

Put your eye exam on the top of your to do list, then call Eye Care Group for an appointment. You wouldn’t entrust your eye health to just anyone, would you?