Eye Exams: A Complete Guide
Eye exams don't have to be mysterious or scary. The following articles explain the importance of eye exams, what happens during an exam, and how to choose an eye doctor. If you haven't had a comprehensive eye exam yet, click here to find an eye doctor near you.
Specific types of exam and testing procedures are described below so you have a better understanding of what to expect at your next visit to your optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Eye exam infographic [enlarge]
Our infographic includes how often to get an eye exam, what to expect and common myths about eye exams! (Includes code for you to embed on your own blog or website.)
Explanation of various types of eye care professionals and what they do.
What is perfect vision, and is it possible to achieve? What does 20/20 vision even mean?
Do you know why the eye doctor puts dilating eye drops in your eyes? What risk factors would make more frequent eye exams necessary? Put your knowledge to the test with our Eye-Q quiz!
Routine eye exams can detect vision problems, eye disease and general health problems before you are aware a problem exists. Also, read why vision screenings are no substitute for a comprehensive eye exam performed by a licensed eye doctor.
Learn how light travels through the eye, how the eye refracts or focuses light and how refractive errors affect vision. Also, how your eye doctor detects and corrects refractive errors.
Learn how much an eye exam costs and how frequently you and your family members should have your eyes examined. Also, find out what information you should bring to your eye exam.
Learn about organizations that provide free eye exams for infants, children and families or individuals in financial need. Some also provide free eyeglasses.
If you plan to wear contact lenses, be sure you say so when you schedule an eye exam. Your eye doctor will need extra time for a contact lens fitting, which includes measurements of your eye's surface.
You need a prescription for contacts, even if they're just for looks. Here's what all those numbers and terms mean on the Rx form.
Learn how sports vision tests help you improve hand-eye coordination, depth perception, eye-tracking ability and other skills.
A contrast sensitivity test can help your eye doctor determine if you have a vision problem that cannot be detected with a conventional eye chart.
A visual field test can detect central and peripheral vision problems caused by glaucoma, stroke and other eye or brain problems.
Modern eye examinations using wavefront can identify even obscure vision errors that may now be corrected for the first time through LASIK, eyeglasses, or artificial lenses.
Do Clothes Make The Doctor?
Does it matter to you what your eye doctor wears during your eye exam?
As with people in other walks of life, medical professionals disagree about the attire that is best for their workplace. Eye care providers are no exception: Some wear casual clothes or "business-casual" attire, while others prefer a white lab coat or business suit. Hospital scrubs are another common choice.
Would you rather have your eyes examined by an eye doctor who is wearing a business suit, white lab coat, surgical scrubs or casual clothes? Does it even matter?
A recent study asked 255 patients in Miami to view photos of dermatologists wearing a suit, a white coat ("professional attire"), surgical scrubs or casual clothing, then indicate which they preferred.
And guess what? Most preferred the white coat:
- 73 percent: white coat
- 19 percent: surgical attire
- 6 percent: business suit
- 2 percent: casual clothes
The researchers didn't ask for the reasons behind the preferences. But they did speculate that perhaps the patients' perceptions of the physicians' knowledge and skill were influenced by appearance, and the perceptions might even affect treatment outcomes.
JAMA Dermatology published a report of this study online in June 2016. — L.S.
Page updated April 2018