What’s an Eye Exam? 4 Eye Exam Tests

If it’s been a while since your last eye exam, you may not be familiar with the basic tests that are typically involved. The following article discusses four of the tests you can expect when having your vision checked and your eye health examined. OptiExpress is the leading optometry resource in Cape Coral and Fort Myers, helping patients maintain their vision and overall eye health.

The health of your vision is critical to performing most of your daily tasks, from driving, to reading, to completing household chores. When your eyesight is compromised, either due to refractive error, disease, or trauma, your whole lifestyle is affected, and you may not be able to execute essential tasks safely. This is why maintaining eye health is critically important.

Eye exams not only test for visual acuity, but they also provide important insight into your overall physical health. While basic vision checks the only test for a patient’s ability to see at different distances, eye exams test for a variety of conditions. Here are four of the tests you’ll likely undergo during your next eye exam.

  1. Test for visual acuity. This is the most basic test; it measures your ability to see distances. This test is simple – you read a chart at a distance, covering one eye at a time to measure the distance vision strength of each. This is the test that tells you whether you have 20/20 vision, are nearsighted (myopic), or farsighted (hyperopic).

  2. Retinoscopy This exam is what most people envision when they think of eye exams. A retinoscopy is performed using a device called a phoropter, which is a large instrument that contains a variety of lenses of different refractive indexes. The patient looks through these different lenses to see which corrects their vision most effectively. This allows the optometrist to determine your lens prescription. This is also known as a refraction test.

  3. Keratometry test. The keratometry test measures the curve of the cornea. Corneal curvature might indicate the presence of astigmatism, which is a condition that causes blurred vision regardless of distance.

  4. Peripheral vision check. Peripheral, or side vision, is our ability to perceive objects that are not within our immediate line of focus. This is checked using visual field tests. These involve either a confrontational visual field exam, a tangent screen exam, or automated perimetry. The confrontational field exam is performed by an optometrist simply moving his/her hand until the hand reaches the limit of the patient’s vision. The tangent screen exam uses a black screen that has a focal point at the center. The patient maintains focus on the point on the screen while the optometrist moves items to the edge of his or her peripheral field. An automated perimetry exam uses a mechanized device that the patient looks into. The examiner flashes lights within the device along with the patient’s peripheral vision, and the patient presses a button whenever he/she perceives a light. Identifying the limits of a patient’s visual field indicates the potential for glaucoma, retinal detachment, or possible brain tumor.

These examinations offer a holistic view of a patient’s ocular health, though there are additional exams that may be appropriate, depending upon the results of the tests above. Having regular eye exams is a part of maintaining not only an optimal vision but also overall physical health.

OptiExpress: Fort Myers and Cape Coral’s Leading Eye Care Center

For 20 years, OptiExpress has provided comprehensive eye care services to the Cape Coral and Fort Myers communities. Founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington is Cape Coral’s premier optometrist, having won the “Best Optometrist in Cape Coral” recognition three consecutive years. OptiExpress is a family-friendly eye care facility, featuring excellent corrective lens and eye exam deals, a one-hour lab, and a wide selection of designer frames.

For OptiExpress locations or to schedule an appointment, please visit our contact page.