Here at Uptown Eye Care, we perform a two-part Total Care Exam. The first part is the Ocular Health Evaluation, which contains tests to determine if eye disease is present. The second part is the Vision Assessment, which allows the doctor to determine what strength of vision correction you may need.
Ocular Health Evaluation
During the Ocular Health Evaluation, the eye doctor or optometric technician will perform several tests. The most famous test is the Visual Acuity Test, where you are asked to read a chart of letters that progressively get smaller. One test uses an instrument called an occluder, which is a spoon-shaped paddle that is held over one eye at a time while the patient focuses on a stationary or moving object. This test will show whether your eye muscles are functioning correctly or not. Another test determines the presence of glaucoma by using a tonometer. A tonometer measures the pressure inside of the eye, and at many eye care clinics, this is done with a small puff of air. However, we use a tonometer that does not require numbing drops or a puff of air and is thus much more comfortable.
Other instruments that may be used in testing by the doctor include the retinal camera, slit lamp, and direct opthalmoscope. The retinal camera takes a picture of the retina, allowing the doctor to examine the interior of the eye, including the optic nerve, macula, and blood vessels. The slit lamp is a lighted microscope that the doctor uses to examine the exterior of the eye, and the direct opthalmoscope is an instrument that uses a mirror to allow the doctor to see internal structures of the eye.
During the Vision Assessment, an aberrometer is first used. An aberrometer is an instrument that measures the reflection of a laser beam as it passes through your eye; this information is then entered into a phoropter. The phoropter is the large mask-like instrument filled with lenses through which the patient looks at a chart of letters. The technician or doctor will flip through several lenses, asking which lens shows the letters more clearly. At the end of the Total Eye Care Exam, which may include other tests not described, the doctor will have fully evaluated your vision and prescribed glasses or contacts, if needed.
For more information on these specific tests and others, check out our Total Eye Care Exam page.