An ophthalmology exam is a systematic group of tests performed by an ophthalmologist to examine the health of your eyes. These tests help to detect and diagnose eye diseases, as well as prescribe glasses and contact lenses. A group of doctors practicing ophthalmology in Hamilton can improve your eyesight and lower your chances of developing eye diseases through a regular eye examination. It is important to understand what goes on during each step of the exam so that you can ask questions or schedule a follow-up visit if needed. During your optometrist visit, expect to undergo various tests, as highlighted below, to determine the health of your eyesight.
1. Visual Acuity Test
The visual acuity test is done with a Snellen chart. It involves sitting 20 feet from the chart with your eyes open. Your ophthalmologist will ask you to read off letters on the chart for each eye at a time. If you cannot see and read any letter, your ophthalmologist might diagnose you with a vision problem. They will also determine the cause of your vision problem, which might vary depending on factors such as age or other medical conditions, such as glaucoma or cataracts.
2. Ophthalmoscopic Exam
This test involves using a lighted instrument known as an ophthalmoscope to view your cornea, optic nerve, lens, and retina. Your ophthalmologist will first dilate your eyes using special eye drops. They will ask you to wait for 15-20 minutes for the solution to be effective. Afterward, they shine a bright light into your eyes.
This test can help your ophthalmologist diagnose eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy trauma, or infection in the eye socket area.
3. Refraction test
This test measures the pressure inside your eye using a special tool called a tonometer which can help to determine if you need prescription vision correction. It can also diagnose glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases that affect vision. A tonometer is a small probe on a lighted wand that transmits information to an electronic machine. This information is recorded on paper or displayed digitally on a computer screen.
4. Slit-lamp Examination
Slit-lamp examination is a procedure that uses an intense beam of light to examine the eye. It allows for examination of the surface of your eyeball, including the cornea, pupil, iris, and retina.
Your ophthalmologist can use the slit-lamp test to detect conditions such as corneal abrasions and foreign bodies in your eyes. During the test, they may use special eye drops containing fluorescein dye to look for small scrapes, foreign objects, cuts, tears, and infections on your cornea.
5. Pupillary Dilation Test
The pupillary dilation test checks for problems with the optic nerve or brain stem. It involves shining bright light into each eye. If your left eye pupil dilates and constricts when you shine the light into your right eye, then there may be a problem with your eye structures.
If your pupils do not respond properly during this test, there may be a problem with your optic nerve, retina, or choroid. The optic nerve is a part of your nervous system that carries signals from each eye through its fovea to your brain stem.
As you age, your vision will change gradually. Therefore, regular eye exams are crucial even if you do not have any problem with your vision. However, it is important to note that if you have certain health conditions, such as diabetes, you might be at risk of developing vision problems. Discuss scheduling your first appointment with your ophthalmologist if you are yet to go for an eye check-up.