When you think of an eye exam, the image of an eye chart mounted on the wall of your doctor’s office may come to mind. That’s certainly one tool optometrists use to get a sense of how your eyes are functioning, but there are quite a few others as well. These range from basic evaluations to microscopic examinations of the ways the different parts of your eyes are working together, and they are all important tools that help your eye doctor determine the nature of your vision issues.

Basic Vision Tests

A visual acuity test is the most common eye test, and it’s usually the first test your optometrist will perform. This is often accomplished through the use of some variation of the standard eye chart, and you’ll be asked to read part of it both from a distance and from a hand-held card. The results of this test allow your doctor to get a general idea about your distance and close-up vision, and it can guide them in determining what other tests to perform.

Refraction Tests

After gaining a general sense of the nature of your eyesight through these basic tests, your eye doctor will use a refraction test to determine exactly what prescription is right for you. This involves having you look into a device called a phoropter while the optometrist displays a series of lens choices for you. When you view each set, the doctor will ask you which provides the clearer view of the two, and they’ll use your responses to pinpoint exactly what prescription you need.

Slit Lamp Exam

During a slit lamp exam, your doctor will be able to examine the internal structures of your eyes up close to get a sense of their overall health and to see if any issues may be developing. This test can be useful in detecting early signs of diseases like diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataracts and corneal ulcers.

Glaucoma Test

To test for glaucoma, your eye doctor will begin with tests to determine your intraocular pressure or the pressure within your eyes. They’ll often start with a non-contact tonometry (NCT) test, which involves sending a small puff of air at your open eye. Based on measurements it takes during this process, the machine can calculate your intraocular pressure, with a higher pressure indicating a higher risk for glaucoma.

Another test for glaucoma involves the use of numbing eye drops combined with a yellow dye and a device mounted onto a slit lamp that your doctor will operate, and this also provides a measure of your intraocular pressure.

Meet Our Optometrists in Portland Today

Whether you’re currently experiencing vision issues or just haven’t had an eye exam for a while, call our Portland, OR offices today at (503) 546-4460 to schedule an appointment.

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