Taking care of your eyesight is essential to protecting your overall health. While 20% percent of individuals surveyed visited the eye doctor in 2022, a significant 38% hadn’t seen their eye doctor since 2020 or earlier, and 15% couldn’t recall the last time they visited the eye doctor.
The people who forget to go to their optometrist regularly are potentially at risk for more eye issues, as they lack the high level of eye care necessary to prevent problems with vision in the future. If you’re considering an optometry visit, you’ll want to know what to expect and how the visit will benefit your eye health.
When you visit Newsom Eye for your first optometry appointment, you’ll find yourself in the hands of trustworthy professionals who care about your vision and eye health. But what should you anticipate from your first Newsom Eye appointment? Read more to find everything to know about your next eye exam.
Most Common Eye Conditions
There are several eye conditions that an eye exam can test for. Some of the most common conditions are:
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Dry eye
- Pink eye
- Color blindness
- Retinal detachment
- Amblyopia (lazy eye)
What to Expect From Your Optometry Visit
Knowing what to anticipate when you come to Newsom Eye for your first optometry visit can help you prepare for your appointment, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the eye exam process. Here are some things you should know about planning your first optometry visit:
Know How to Choose Your Eye Doctor
Knowing what to look for in a qualified optometrist will help you prepare for your appointment before scheduling. Pick your doctor carefully and consider the following before making a decision:
- Look for doctors with the right credentials. Guarantee that each provider you consider has qualifications, years of experience, and relevant licensing, diplomas, and additional training credentials. The more experience a doctor can prove they have, the better.
- Consider reputation. The best eye doctors will have a good reputation and past client recommendations. Look for client reviews and testimonials online to establish trust between you and your doctor.
- Make sure it’s accessible. Whether your condition is urgent or you want a routine exam, you need to choose a doctor who’s easily accessible and available to work around your schedule.
- Check for up-to-date equipment. Proper equipment is essential for optimal eye exam results, and outdated tools indicate that your eye doctor isn’t approaching the exam with the seriousness it deserves. Clinics with modern equipment show a level of care to their patients that can’t be beat.
- Consider the eyewear collection. One of the primary reasons people go to the eye doctor is to be fitted with new glasses and contacts. Check that your doctor offers a selection of options so you can meet all your eye care needs at once.
- Find a warm and welcoming environment. Your eye doctor should provide a welcoming environment for all patients to feel comfortable and valued. Find a place that feels comfortable and inviting to guarantee a good experience.
Complete Your Paperwork
Before your eye exam, you must complete general registration and paperwork like a medical history form. This information is important because it helps your optometrist understand your needs, eye-related issues, and overall health.
Prepare for Preliminary Tests
Before you meet with your eye doctor, you’ll have some preliminary tests completed by an optometric technician or assistant. These tests initially define your visual capabilities, ocular health, and related health status.
Preliminary exams assess your ocular motility, binocular vision, and accommodation. Preliminary tests might include the following assessments:
- A general observation of your appearance, mobility, and other health factors
- An observation of external ocular and facial areas
- A neurological evaluation of your pupil responses to light
- Binocular eye alignment examination
- Extraocular muscle movements and eye tracking exam
- An Optomap retinal exam
- Color vision testing
Before your exam begins, your doctor will likely ask you a few questions to determine your eye health. Some common questions include:
- Have you had eye problems previously, or are you currently experiencing problems?
- Have you had general health issues in recent years?
- Do you wear glasses or contacts now, and are they working for you?
- Were you born prematurely?
- Do you take any medications regularly?
- Have you ever had eye surgery?
- Do you have allergies to any medications, foods, or substances?
- Do you have family members with eye problems?
- Does anyone in your family have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or related health issues?
The Eye Exam Process
What Do Eye Exams Evaluate?
An eye exam evaluates your eyes for various vision-related health issues. An eye exam is essential because it gives your doctor information about treating your vision, such as giving you corrective lenses or addressing eye-related concerns.
Eye exams test your eyes for the following:
- Refractive issues, including astigmatism, nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or loss of near-focus vision (presbyopia)
- Vision changes, low vision, and indicators for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or detached retinas
- Issues with the muscles supporting your eyes, including strabismus (crossed eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eyes)
- Eye tumors and eye cancer, including intraocular melanoma and retinoblastoma
- Conditions and disorders that are not eye-related but indicated by changes in the eye, such as an autoimmune disorder, diabetes causing diabetes-related retinopathy, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and arterial disease
Eye Exam Tests to Expect
There are several tests that most eye exams will include to get a thorough understanding of your eye health.
A common eye test is a visual acuity test. This test measures your vision clarity. A common way of testing visual acuity is an eye chart test, where the chart is placed on the wall, and your eye doctor has you read letters from largest to smallest. Smaller letters determine your acuity.
Normal acuity is written as 20/20 vision. Less than 20/20 vision indicates nearsightedness or farsightedness, which your doctor will address in your treatment options.
Without proper treatment, glaucoma can cause several vision issues and lead to permanent eye damage. Glaucoma testing measures the pressure in your eye to determine whether you’re experiencing raised intraocular pressure, a risk factor for developing glaucoma.
A common glaucoma test is a non-contact tonometer, often known as the “air puff” test. In this test, your eye doctor uses a puff of air against your eye while you stare at a light source. This test is simple and effectively indicates your risk of glaucoma.
Pupillary Response Testing
During this test, your eye doctor will move a flashlight back and forth between your eyes. This test determines whether your pupils have a standard reaction to light and if they get smaller when exposed to direct light. It also determines whether both pupils constrict or if only one eye constricts.
Additionally, your doctor will have you follow an item with your eyes as it moves in different directions, such as a pen. This part of the test helps determine whether you can remain focused and how your pupils respond when focused on moving objects.
The goal of this test is to determine whether your eyes work together. Your eye doctor will have you stare at a target item from a distance. They will cover and uncover your eyes individually to determine how much they move. If your eye turns away from the target, it could indicate a condition like strabismus or amblyopia.
A refraction test determines your prescription and measures your farsightedness, nearsightedness, presbyopia, or vision irregularities. During this procedure, your doctor will position a phoropter instrument, which includes several lenses with varying degrees of vision correction.
Your eye doctor flips through lenses and has you decide between two lenses at a time to determine which option makes your vision clearer. This process goes on until your doctor can determine your prescription.
Slit Lamp Test
A slit lamp test examines the front and back of your eye using a biomicroscope. This device magnifies your eye and illuminates the front and back portions with a light so the doctor can see different eye structures, revealing issues and possible eye diseases. During this exam, your cornea, lens, iris, back of your eye, and other areas are assessed for possible defects.
A retinal exam is usually the last step in a thorough eye exam. Retinal exams begin with pupil dilation using eye drops that cause your pupils to grow bigger. By dilating your pupil, your doctor can inspect your eye’s structures, such as the optic nerve, macula, retina, and blood vessels.
On average, your pupils will take between 20 and 30 minutes to dilate fully. After dilation, your eye doctor uses a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope to shine light into your eye and examine individual structures.
Schedule Your Newsom Eye Appointment
Finding an eye care professional you can trust is essential to a successful eye exam. Newsom Eye serves Florida residents and provides the best eye care so you can approach your upcoming exam comfortably and confidently. Contact Newsom Eye today to schedule your appointment and discover the Newsom Eye solution!