A complete eye examination does more than determine how clearly you see from a distance and which lens prescription, if necessary, will give you the best possible vision. Your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) will also run a number of tests to check the health and function of your entire eye.
If you have never had an eye examination or are seeing a new ophthalmologist, your doctor or a technician will begin by asking you questions about your medical history, your family’s medical history, and any vision problems you may have. If you wear contact lenses, be sure to bring them with you to your appointment. Your ophthalmologist may check them to make sure that they are the correct prescription, fit, and kind of lens for your eyes.
A complete eye examination will include many or all of these painless tests:
A visual acuity test measures how well you can see from a distance. Covering one eye at a time, you will look at an eye chart and be asked to identify letters that get smaller as you read farther down the chart.
If your visual acuity test indicates that you need corrective lenses, you will be given a refraction test to determine the correct prescription. Your ophthalmologist may use retinoscopy to estimate your prescription by shining a light into your eyes to see the movement of the light reflected by your retina. Your ophthalmologist will finalize your prescription by asking you to look through a device called a phoroptor that has many different lenses in it. You will be asked to compare a series of two lens choices and evaluate which lens combination provides you with your best possible vision correction.
To test the function of your eye muscles, your ophthalmologist will have you follow the movement of an object in many directions, looking for weak muscles or poor control of the muscles that move your eyes.