Comprehensive Eye Tests – Types of Eye Exams

Optometrists and ophthalmologists use a variety of tests and procedures to analyze your eyes. These tests range from simple ones, like having you read an eye chart, to complicated tests, such as using a high-powered lens to imagine the tiny structures within your eyes.

Complete List of Comprehensive Eye Tests

A detailed eye test can take an hour or more, depending on the doctor and the number and intricacy of tests required to totally assess your vision and the health of your eyes.

Here are eye and vision tests that you are likely to come across during a thorough eye exam:

Visual Acuity Tests

Among the first tests performed in a thorough eye examination are visual skill tests that measure the sharpness of your vision.

These generally are performed using a projected eye chart to measure your distance visual acuity and a little, hand-held skill chart to measure your near vision.

Color Blindness Test

A screening test that checks your color vision often is carried out early in a comprehensive eye examination to eliminate color blindness.

In addition to spotting hereditary color vision shortages, color blind tests also can alert your optometrist to possible eye health problems that may impact your color vision.

Cover Test

While there are many methods for your eye doctor to check how your eyes collaborate, the cover test is the most basic and most typical.

During a cover test, your optometrist will ask you to concentrate on a little things throughout the room and will then cover each of your eyes alternately while you looking at the target. The test is then duplicated with you taking a look at a near object.

During these tests, your optometrist will assess whether the exposed eye needs to transfer to pick up the fixation target, which could suggest strabismus or a more subtle binocular vision problem that could cause eye strain or amblyopia (“lazy eye”).

Ocular Motility (Eye Motions) Evaluating

Ocular motility screening is carried out to identify how well your eyes can follow a moving object and/or quickly move in between and properly focus on two different targets.

Checking of smooth eye movements (“pursuits”) is more common. Your eye doctor will have you hold your head still and ask you to follow the sluggish motion of a hand-held light or other target with just your eyes. If quick eye movements (“saccades”) also are tested, your eye doctor might have you move your eyes backward and forward in between two targets positioned some distance apart from each other.

Problems with eye motions can cause eye strain and may affect reading ability, sports vision and other skills.

Stereopsis (Depth Understanding) Test

Stereopsis is the term used to explain eye teaming that allows regular depth understanding and appreciation of the 3-dimensional nature of items.

In one typically used stereopsis test, you wear a set of “3D” glasses and take a look at a brochure of test patterns. Each pattern has 4 little circles, and your job is to point out which circle in each pattern looks closer to you than the other 3 circles. If you can correctly identify the “closer” circle in each pattern, you likely have outstanding eye teaming skills that ought to enable you to experience typical depth understanding.

Comprehensive Eye Tests - Types of Eye Exams

Regular eye and vision assessments are a fundamental part of preventive health care. Many eye and vision issues have no obvious signs or symptoms, so you may unknown an issue exists. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems can assist avoid vision loss.


Your optometrist may perform this test early in the eye exam to get an approximation of your spectacles prescription.

In retinoscopy, the room lights will be dimmed and you will be asked to concentrate on a big target (normally the huge “E” on the eye chart). As you looking at the “E,” your eye doctor will shine a light at your eye and flip lenses in a machine in front of your eyes. This test estimates which lens powers will best correct your range vision.

Based upon the method the light shows from your eye, your doctor has the ability to “ballpark” your prescription– often right on the cash!

This test is particularly beneficial for children and patients who are unable to properly address the doctor’s questions.


This is the test that your eye doctor uses to identify your exact spectacles prescription.

During a refraction, the doctor puts the instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes and reveals you a series of lens choices. He or she will then ask you which of the two lenses in each option looks clearer.

Based upon your answers, your optometrist will continue to fine-tune the lens power up until reaching a final glasses prescription.

The refraction identifies your level of hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia.

Autorefractors And Aberrometers

Your eye doctor likewise might use an autorefractor or aberrometer to automatically approximate your eyeglass prescription. With both devices, a chin rest supports your head while you look into the instrument at a pinpoint of light or a detailed image.

An autorefractor, like a manual refraction, determines the lens power required to properly focus light on your retina. Autorefractors are specifically practical for determining a glasses prescription for young kids and other patients who might have difficulty sitting still, paying attention and providing feedback that the eye doctor needs to carry out an accurate manual refraction.

Research studies have actually revealed that modern autorefractors are very accurate. They also conserve time. The autorefraction takes just a couple of seconds, and the outcomes acquired from the automated test greatly lower the time required for your eye doctor to carry out a manual refraction and determine your glasses prescription.

An aberrometer uses innovative wavefront technology to discover even obscure vision mistakes based on the method light journeys through your eye. Aberrometers primarily are used for custom-made or wavefront LASIK vision correction treatments, but lots of eye doctors are now incorporating this innovative innovation into their routine eye examinations also.

Slit Lamp Test

A slit light is a binocular microscope (or “biomicroscope”) that your eye doctor uses to analyze the structures of your eye under high magnification. It looks rather like a large, upright variation of a microscope used in a science lab.

During the slit lamp examination, you will be asked to place your forehead and chin firmly versus the rests on the front of the instrument and your doctor will start by taking a look at the structures of the front of your eyes– including your eyelids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, and lens.

With the help of a hand-held lens, your doctor might also use the slit lamp to analyze structures situated further back in the eye, such as the retina and optic nerve.

A large range of eye conditions and diseases can be detected with the slit light test, including cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal ulcers and diabetic retinopathy, and so on.

The Glaucoma Test

Evaluating for glaucoma usually begins with measuring the pressure inside your eyes.

A common glaucoma test is the “puff-of-air” test, technically called non-contact tonometry, or NCT.

For NCT, the test starts with you putting your chin on the maker’s chin rest. While you look at a light inside the device, the doctor or an experienced assistant will puff a small burst of air at your open eye. It is totally painless, and the tonometer does not touch your eye.

Based upon your eye’s resistance to the puff of air, the maker calculates your intraocular pressure (IOP). If you have high eye pressure, you may be at risk for or have glaucoma.

Another type of glaucoma test is performed with an instrument called an applanation tonometer. The most common of several versions of this instrument is installed on the slit lamp.

For this test, your optometrist will put yellow eye drops in your eye to numb it. Your eyes will feel slightly heavy when the drops start working. This is not a dilating drop– it is a numbing representative combined with a yellow color that glows under a blue light. Then the doctor will have you stare directly ahead into the slit light while he or she gently touches the surface area of your eye with the tonometer to measure your IOP.

Like NCT, applanation tonometry is painless. At many, you might feel the tonometer probe tickle your eyelashes. The entire test takes simply a few seconds.

You generally have no warning signs of glaucoma until you already have substantial vision loss. For this factor, regular eye exams that consist of tonometry are essential to rule out early signs of glaucoma and safeguard your eyesight.

Pupil Dilation

To obtain a much better view of the eye’s internal structures, your eye doctor imparts dilating drops to expand your pupils. Dilating drops normally take about 20 to Thirty Minutes to start working.

When your pupils are dilated, you will be delicate to light (due to the fact that more light is entering into your eye) and you might observe difficulty concentrating on things up close. These impacts can last for up to several hours, depending on the strength of the drop used.

As soon as the drops have actually worked, your optometrist will use various instruments to look inside your eyes. You need to bring sunglasses with you to your eye test, to reduce glare and light sensitivity on the way home. If you forget to bring sunglasses, the personnel normally will offer you a non reusable set.

Pupil dilation is essential for people with risk factors for eye disease, since it enables the most thorough evaluation of the health of the inside of your eyes.

Visual Field Test

In many cases, your eye doctor may wish to look for the possible presence of blind spots (scotomas) in your peripheral or “side” vision by carrying out a visual field test. These types of blind spots can originate from eye diseases such as glaucoma.

Analysis of blind spots likewise might assist identify specific areas of mental retardation triggered by a stroke or growth.

Other Eye Tests

In many cases, besides these typical tests performed during a basic extensive eye exam, your eye doctor might advise other, more customized eye tests. Often, such tests are performed by other optometrist, such as retinal experts, on a recommendation basis.

About Contact Lens Fittings

It is necessary to comprehend that a detailed eye examination typically does not consist of a contact lens fitting, and for that reason you will not be given a contact lens prescription at the end of a routine eye exam.

There is a possible exception: If you use contacts presently and the lenses were fitted by the very same eye doctor who is performing your comprehensive eye examination, he or she might release you an updated contact lens prescription at the end of your eye exam.

A contact lens exam that includes fitting services normally is done during a subsequent workplace visit, when your pupils are not dilated. Your contact lens test may be carried out by the very same eye doctor who performed your extensive eye exam, or it might be done by a various eye care professional (ECP).

Typically, it’s much better to have your eye exam and your contact lens examination carried out at the very same practice. Sometimes, if you have these exams carried out at different areas, the ECP performing your contact lens fitting will wish to repeat specific tests currently carried out at your extensive eye exam. In part, this is provided for liability reasons– to verify the precision of your eyeglasses prescription and make sure your eyes are healthy adequate to wear contacts.

This duplication of effort typically will result in additional costs that you would not experience if your eye exam and contact lens examination were carried out at the very same place.

If you need or want to go elsewhere for your contact lens exam after having a thorough eye exam, make certain to ask if extra charges will be needed to repeat screening already performed during your eye test.

Alik Muradov (Eyexan Team Member) / author of the article
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Ophthalmology: Health of Your Eyes
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