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What You Should Know About Getting an Eye Exam Getting your eyes checked is one of those standard but bothersome tests we all have to endure. The complexity and difficulty of the tests will depend on your needs as a patient and the examiner’s expertise. Once in a while, you might find that your optometrist or ophthalmologist does a test you’ve never come across. Certain common tests are performed more often than others, however, so let’s go over a few of them now. Dilation of the Pupils
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Typically, an assistant will apply some eye drops as one of the first parts of the process. Within 15-20 minutes, you should notice some effects on your vision. When pupils are dilated, they let more light into your eyes, so you should avoid bright lights for some time after. You will also notice a general blurriness or lack of focus. Depending on the type and amount of drop that is used, you can expect these effects to last for one hour to several hours. No one enjoys getting eye drops, and especially ones that wreck your vision for some time, but pupil dilation plays an important role in letting your optometrist see everything he or she needs.
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Testing Your Visual Acuity When you think of eye exams, the first image that comes to mind is the standard vision test. For example, the infamous Snellen chart has lines of letters that get smaller and smaller as you move down the sheet. Multiple types of charts are sometimes used. For testing close vision, you might be asked to read off of a smaller chart than the typical projected chart that you may be used to. The Cover Test Not all exams involve this assessment, but your optometrist might sometimes deem it necessary to test how well your eyes work together. During these tests, you will have each eye covered in turn while you are asked to focus on a particular object some fixed distance away. The purpose of the cover test is to observe how the uncovered eye adjusts its position once it loses the help of the other eye. Sometimes, this procedure is repeated with a closer object. Assessing Refraction Another common test is the so-called refraction assessment. You’ll be asked to place your head in a large contraption that has a mask-like surface for your face. Your provider will cycle through several different lenses to determine which one suits you best. This test helps to fine-tune your prescription in case you need corrective lenses or some other kind of intervention. Hopefully, this has helped clarify what goes into a typical eye exam.