Complete Your Health History Sheet
The first step in your eye exam is completing or updating your health history sheet. This health history sheet will provide the doctor with an overview of your general health, as well as let her know about any medical conditions you may have that could impact your eyesight or vision. You'll also be asked to provide a list of any medicatons may be taking, as well as answer a few questions about yourself and any hobbies or activities you participate in that might require specialized vision care or eyewear. The team will provide you with the health history sheet when you arrive for your eye exam.
Preliminary Review of Health History and Consultation
An Optician/optical assistant will take you to our preliminary testing area and run a few quick test. Following that once you've entered the exam room, the doctor will review your health history with you and discuss any problems you may be experiencing with your vision. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, the doctor will also review these with you. Once that is complete, the doctor will be begin with the nuts and bolts of your eye exam. Typical the actual examination will begin with a procedure known as retinoscopy.
Visual Field Test
The eye doctor may also perform a visual field test to check for potential "blind spots" in your peripheral or "side" vision. These blind spots indicate developing glaucoma or can be used to identify brain damage from tumors or strokes.
Retinoscopy is typically the first step in your eye exam. This proceedure is used to determine your base prescription and involves having you fixate on a eye chart while the doctor shines a light at your eye and flips lenses in a machine in front of your eyes. Using this method, the doctor can actually get an approximation of your current prescription.
Refraction is a test that Dr. use to determine your precise prescription and then fine-tune it. This is the test that most people associate with an eye exam. Dr. will place your face behind an instrument called a phoropter, which allows her flip lenses in front of each eye. She'll then ask you which of the two lenses makes your vision clearer. She'll continue to do this until your exact prescription is obtained.
A cover test is one of the simplest procedures during you eye exam. The cover test is used to see how your eyes are working together. During this test, Dr. will have you stare at a small object in the distance and then cover each of your eyes alternately with a small paddle. As the doctor does this, it allows her to observe how much each eye has to move when uncovered to register the object you are staring at. This test will be conducted both close-up and far-away. This test is used to detect strabismus, or eye turn, which can cause amblyopia, poor depth perception and binocular vision problems.
Slit Lamp Examination
A slit lamp is a piece of equipment that doctor uses to examine the health of your eyes. The slit lamp is basically a microscope that allows us to magnify the structures in your eyes and check for signs of infection or disease. During the slit lamp examination, Dr. will have you place your chin in the chin rest of the slit lamp and then shine a light from from the slit lamp onto your eye. The doctor then looks through the oculars to examine your eye. She first looks at the structures in the "front" of your eye (your lids, cornea, iris, etc.,) and then using a special lens, will examine the inside of the eye (the macula, retina, optic nerve, etc.) The slit lamp allows the doctor to identify a wide-range of possible eye diseases and conditions, including macular degeneration, cataracts, corneal ulcers, and diabetic eye disease.
The Glaucoma Test measures the pressure in your eye and is a critical diagnostic test for the early identification and treatment of glaucoma. There are a number of methods of testing for glaucoma, depending on the circumstances, the doctor may opt for a different glaucoma test, called applanation tonometer, which involves placing a numbing drop in the eye and then gently pressing on the cornea to measure pressure. Having a glaucoma test is an important part of maintaining healthy eyes and identifying potential issues early-on.
Dilation is performed to make the pupils larger and allow the doctor to get a better view of the structures inside the eye. During the dilation procedure, eye drops will be placed in your eyes. You'll then be asked to wait between 15 - 30 minutes for the drops to take effect. Once your pupils are adequately dilated, Dr. will use a variety of different instruments and light sources to examine the inner structures of your eye. Because dilation makes your eyes more sensitive to light, you should bring a pair of sunglasses with you to minimize light sensitivity while driving home. If you forgot your sunglasses, we always have extra pairs we can loan you.
Once your eye exam is complete, Dr. will review your results.
If any problems are found, she may schedule a follow-up exam or refer you out to a specialist.
If your eyes are nice and healthy and you just need a prescription, your reward for finishing the exam is to have fun picking out your new frames. After your exam, you'll work with the optical team to pick out your new eyeglass frames and go over your lens and coating options.
A contact lens exam from Golden Vision is very similar our standard eye exam, with a few exceptions. Contact lens exams include a few special tests to ensure that your contact lenses fit correctly, are comfortable and provide the proper clarity of vision. Below, we outline some of the differences between a regular eye exam and a contact lens exam and take you through the steps.
Perform a Standard Eye Exam
The first step in your custom contact lens fitting and exam is to perform a thorough eye exam. This will include gathering and reviewing your health history and conducting standard eye exam tests and procedures like retinoscopy, refraction, cover tests, a slit lamp examination, a glaucoma test and dilation. A visual field examination may also be part of your eye exam. If you are a current contact lens wearer, the doctor will also examine your eyes to see if your contact lense use has changed the surface of your eye in any way. Once Dr. has completed and reviewed your exam results, she'll move on to the special contact lens testing portion of your fitting.
Discuss Your Contact Lens Preferences and Goals
Next, Dr. will discuss your preferences in contact lenses and find out more about your lifestyle and expectations for your contacts. This may include discussing whether you have an interest in cosmetic contact lenses to enhance or change your eye color, or are interested in options like daily disposable or overnight contact lenses. If you are a current wearing of contacts, she may discuss any comfort or vision issues that you may be encountering, as well as inquire about conditions like dry eyes. Finally, if you are over 40 years old, the doctor will likely discuss some of the age-related changes to your vision that you can expect and discuss options for correcting presbyopia (for example multifocul or bi-focal contact lenses.)
Conduct Eye Surface Measurements
The next step during your contact lens exam is to take precise measurements of your eye. This includes measurements of your eye's surface and curvature, as well as the size of your pupil and iris. These measurements are important for making sure that your contact lenses fit correctly, are comfortable and provide the proper leve of vision correction and clarity. Because contact lenses sit directly on the surface of your eye, Dr. will adjust your prescription to compensate for the differences between contact lenses and prescription eyeglass lenses.
Tear Film Evaluation
The doctor may also choose to perform a Tear Film evaluation -- especially if you suffer from dry eyes. This test will determine whether you produce a sufficient tear film to support contact lenses. This test can be performed with a fluorescein dye or paper strip, which measures the amount of tear film on the surface of your eye. If tear film is insufficient or if you experience chronic dry eyes, contacts may not be the best option for you. On the other hand, some people with dry eyes find success with newer contact lenses made from materials like silicone hydrogel. Dr. will discuss all of these options with you if tear film is an issue.
Fit You With Trial Contact Lenses
The final step is to fit you with a pair of trial contact lenses and conduct a series of examinations to ensure proper fit and prescription. The doctor will also examine your eyes with the trial lenses in to observe the alignment and movement of the contact lens on the surface of your eye. If everything checks out and the contact lenses are comfortable and provide the necessary vision correction, the doctor will write you a prescription for your contact lenses. The prescription will include designate contact lens power, shape (base curve), and diameter. The next step during your contact lens exam is to take precise measurements of your eye. You will typically be given a pair of trial lenses for you to wear for a week and the doctor will schedule a short, follow-up contact lens eye exam within a two weeks to evaluate how they are working for you.
Because contact lenses are considered medical devices and actually sit on the surface of your eye, it's important to conduct a follow-up exam to evaluate how the lenses are working for you, their comfort and to examine the eye to make sure the lens is not causing abrasion or damage. Once this re-check is completed, the doctor will order you a set of non-trial lenses.