Here’s All You Need to Know Before An Eye Exam

Here's All You Need to Know Before An Eye Exam | HealthSoul

Our eyes are the primary tool that facilitates a mental representation of the physical world around us. The human body’s visual system is vital to our ability to efficiently navigate our environment and to interact with individuals and objects around us on a day-to-day basis. For those of us who are fortunate enough to have intact eyesight, it can be almost impossible to imagine a world in which we cannot see.

Here's All You Need to Know Before An Eye Exam

It’s always a safe bet to get your eyesight checked upon any suspicion of issues, or even just when the opportunity presents itself. Generally speaking, if you’re an adult who does not suffer from any vision-related issues, it is recommended that you get a complete eye exam at the age of 40, especially if you had not before. For those who are 60 years or older, it is recommended that you get a complete eye exam every year or two regularly.

What Kind of Eye Specialist Should You Visit?

There are three main types of eye specialists, choosing which specialist to go to will depend mainly on the nature of your eye problem(s):

  1. Ophthalmologists – These doctors provide the most comprehensive forms of eye care, such as complete eye exams, treating complex diseases, prescribing corrective lenses, and performing eye surgery.
  2. Optometrists – These doctors provide most of the same services as ophthalmologists, with the exception of performing more complex disease treatments and surgeries. In such a case, your optometrist can refer you to an ophthalmologist.
  3. Opticians – Opticians do not offer any eye health evaluations, they fill prescriptions for eyeglasses which tends to include assembly, fitting, and sale of the glasses. Some opticians also offer contact lens solutions.

Depending on your specific situation, you may end up consulting only one of the above and in some cases all three. So it’s good to know beforehand which type of specialist suits your needs the best.

How To Prepare For An Eye Exam

Before seeing a new eye doctor or even having your first eye exam, you can expect to be asked a variety of questions surrounding your vision and general health history. If you’re going to get an eye test, then it’s also important that you find out what you’re expected to pay. You can easily do this by doing a bit of research. Examples of questions asked when you get your eyes examined are listed below:

  • Are you currently having eye problems?
  • Have you had eye problems in the past?
  • Have you experienced health problems in recent years?
  • Do you take any medication(s)?
  • Are you allergic to any medications, food, or other substances?
  • Does anyone in your family have eye problems?
  • Do you or does anyone in your family have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or any other health problems that can affect the whole body?

It’s best to make an effort to have the answers to most, if not all these questions prepared beforehand so that you can provide your doctor with as much useful information as possible.

What To Expect During An Eye Exam

Upon arrival at a clinic, a technician or assistant will usually be responsible for taking your medical history and conducting the initial eye test. This is then followed by a more in-depth eye exam by the doctor, these exams are made up of several tests but are generally split into three phases:

  1. Measurement of your visual acuity – This is to determine whether you require glasses or contact lenses to improve your vision.
  2. Measurement of your eye pressure – Before tests for eye pressure is conducted, the doctor will usually administer a numbing drop to the eye(s) due to the physical nature of the process. Some methods such as the ‘air-puff test’ are non-contact, so no drops would be necessary.
  3. Evaluation of your eye health – For this phase, a doctor will usually administer dilating drops in order to aid in the evaluation of the front and inside of each eye.

At the end of your eye exam, your doctor should describe and explain the results of all the different tests which were conducted. This will likely be in the form of a visual assessment, your risk of eye disease, and suggesting preemptive measures you can take to protect your eyesight for the future.

In case you need glasses or contact lenses, your doctor will provide you with a prescription to take to an optician. If your eye exam presents additional irregular results, your doctor will likely discuss the next steps required for further testing or treatment of the underlying condition.

What To Expect During An Eye Exam

Ultimately, arranging to get an eye exam is a wise choice for all people, regardless of age or medical history. As is standard practice with all medical tests, the sooner you can get checked, the better as you’ll have a better chance at maintaining your eyes’ performance and health for the foreseeable future.