Which Procedures are part of a comprehensive eye exam?

A comprehensive eye exam includes a variety of procedures to evaluate the health of your eyes and the quality of your vision. Some – like reading an eye chart –are most likely familiar to you. However, unless you have had a comprehensive eye exam, many of the evaluations will be new. For example:

  • An autorefractor evaluates the way an image is focused on the retina, where vision processing takes place, without the need for you to give feedback. This makes autorefractors especially useful when examining people who may have difficulty with a regular ("subjective") refraction.
  • Cover tests, in which the eye doctor will have you focus on a small object at a distance and will then cover each of your eyes, can detect even a very subtle misalignment that can interfere with your eyes working together properly (binocular vision) and cause amblyopia or "lazy eye."
  • Visual Fields - Visual field tests assess the potential presence of blind spots, which could indicate eye diseases. A blind spot in the field of vision can be linked to a variety of specific eye diseases, depending on the size and shape of the blind spot.
  • Tonometry - A tonometry test measures the pressure inside your eye, which is called intraocular pressure (IOP). This test is used to check for glaucoma, an eye disease that can cause blindness by damaging the nerve in the back of the eye (optic nerve ).
  • Fundus Photography - Fundus photography is the creation of a photograph of the interior surface of the eye, including the retina, optic disc, macula, and posterior pole (i.e. the fundus).

There are other tests that the eye doctor may decide to perform based on his or her observations, almost all of which are quick and painless. They are, however, very important in assessing the overall health of your eyes.