Eyesight plays a vital role in everyday life, and to ensure optimal vision and eye health, Optometrists recommend that we have a routine eye examination every two years, and more frequently as we get older. At Abernethy Owens, we are an independent, WA owned and operated Optometry practice and we use a wide variety of tests and procedures to examine the overall health of your eyes. If you have never had an eye test or you have recently made an appointment for an eye exam, you might be unsure of what the procedure involves. Here we will explain some of the different parts of an eye exam so you know what to expect at your next appointment.

The Different Types of Tests Performed During a Routine Eye Exam

During an eye examination, you can expect to undergo several basic tests, these may include:

Visual Acuity Test – used to measure the sharpness of your vision, this test checks how well you see the details of a letter, symbol or object from a specific distance. The results will be used to determine if your vision is 20/20 (or 6/6). If it is not, you may  be prescribed with spectacles or contact lenses to correct your vision.

Colour Vision Test – a simple screening test to check for and rule out any colour vision defects. This test will detect hereditary colour vision deficiencies, and alert your Optometrist to possible eye problems that may affect your colour vision.

Cover Test – this common test checks how your eyes work together. Here you will focus on a small object across the room, your Optometrist will cover each of your eyes alternately while you stare at the target and then repeat the process looking at a closer object. The aim is to assess whether the uncovered eye moves efficiently to pick up the target, and indicate strabismus or other problems that could cause eye strain or lazy eye.

Ocular Motility Testing - performed to determine how well your eyes can follow a moving object and/or quickly move between and accurately fixate on two separate targets. This may involve testing of smooth eye movements known as ‘pursuits’ as well as quick eye movements called ‘saccades’.

Stereopsis Test – also known as a depth perception test, this process checks your ability to see objects in 3D. Usually involving a pair of 3D glasses, you will be asked to look at a booklet of test patterns containing four circles. If you can correctly point out which circle in each pattern looks closer than the other three, you don’t have any problems with depth perception.

Retinoscopy -  if you already wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, this test allows your Optometrist to approximate your optimal lens prescription. You will gaze through a phoropter, with your optometrist flipping different lenses in front of your eyes. As you focus on a prominent object, a light will be shined into your eyes to see how the light affects your eyes with different lenses.

Refraction - this test is used to determine your exact glasses prescription, or to show that you don’t need prescription vision correction. Once again using the phoropter, you will be shown a series of lenses and asked which of the two lenses in each choice looks clearer. Your answers will determine your level of hyperopia (long sightedness), myopia (short sightedness), astigmatism or presbyopia.

Slit Lamp Exam - A slit lamp is a binocular microscope used to examine the structures of your eye under high magnification. Your eye doctor will examine all aspects of the front of your eyes — including your eyelids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, and lens. Then, with the help of a hand-held lens, they will also examine structures located further back in the eye, such as the retina and optic nerve.

Intraocular Pressure Measurement – commonly used to detect glaucoma, this test measures the force or pressure created by the fluid in your eyes. A machine sends a quick puff of air into your open eye, and your eye reacts by closing. The machine then measures your eye pressure based on your reaction and the resistance of your eye to the pressure from the air.

Keratometry Test - used to detect astigmatism, this test measures the shape and curve of the cornea. The cornea’s shape affects how your light perceives and reflects light. Corneas with steep or elongated curves indicates astigmatism and this can mean blurry or distorted vision, headaches, eye strain and eye discomfort.

These are just some of the particular tests involved in an eye exam, depending on your age and health history, you may require some or all of these or even more specialised testing. Eye exams are a simple and painless process that are essential in maintaining perfect vision and eye health. If you have been searching for the best place to have ‘an eye exam near me’ - book an appointment online with our professional team at Abernethy Owens today.