Many people put vision care at the top of their list and say that sight is their most important sense. But, a lot of people have never had an eye exam. If you’ve never had an exam, or it has been a long time, the information below will give you an idea of what to expect.
Your doctor will ask for information about your vision, the medications you take, your personal health history, and your family's health history (i.e. is there a history of diabetes, glaucoma or hypertension?). Visit https://familyhistory.gov/ or https://familyhistory.gov/spanish to learn how to collect your complete family health history.
Your eye doctor will perform a number of tests on the internal and external parts of your eyes using several different medical instruments. The purpose is to examine the retina, optic nerve, muscles, cornea, blood vessels, pupils, lens, iris, conjunctiva, eyelids and eyelashes.
During this stage, the doctor will perform the Fundus Evaluation, which examines the interior of the eye, specifically the retina . This procedure can detect vision problems like cataracts and glaucoma , as well as diabetes, high blood pressure and brain disorders. The doctor will also look at your eye muscles at this time, checking their ability to rotate and coordinate properly. Your eye doctor will probably want to dilate your eyes at this stage. When your eyes are dilated, your pupils enlarge, making them easier to examine.
This part of the exam consists of many tests to determine your ability to see clearly, focus your eyes and to see whether you need glasses. This is where you read an eye chart at a distance with each eye.
At the end of the exam, your eye doctor will make a final diagnosis and determine the treatment plan, if needed. The diagnosis will include the status of your vision and any eye health problems. It will then be determined whether you need any type of corrective eyewear, like eyeglasses.
Scheduling an Eye Exam
Our doctor locator (coming August 2008) can help you find an eye doctor in your area. If you have vision insurance, you will probably want to see a doctor that is in your network.