If you've had good vision for your entire life, chances are you've never needed to have an eye health exam. However, most people start getting them when their vision starts to weaken as age progresses. If you're heading in for your first eye exam soon, here's what you can expect to happen.
One of the first things that will be tested when you come in is the vision in your eyes. This will either be performed by the doctor or an assistant.
Your eyes will be numbed with eye drops first. This will allow the doctor to touch your eye without hurting you. Then, a very small pen-like tool will be tapped onto your eye, typically several times per eye. This is to ensure that your doctor gets an even measurement from both eyes. While it can be a little difficult to keep your eyes open with something coming near them, you shouldn't expect any pain or discomfort during this test.
After your pressure check is complete, your doctor will most likely check your vision. This isn't a full-fledged test for new glasses, but rather just a baseline for them to determine whether you're nearsighted, farsighted, or have difficulty seeing.
Typically, doctors use an eye chart for this test. You may be provided with a pre-printed test or a projected one. In any case, your eye doctor will ask you to read off the letters and numbers shown on each line, which become smaller the further down they go. Don't guess! If you can't read something with certainty, just let them know, and they'll move on.
Finally, your eyes will be thoroughly examined. This may require dilating your eyes with more eye drops in order to open up the pupils. Your eye doctor will use specialized ophthalmologist equipment that will allow them to peer deeply into the interior of your eye. Here, they can check for problems with your blood vessels, retina, and damage to the surfaces of the eye.
If your eyes pass the test, you'll be free to go until your next appointment. If problems are detected, your eye doctor will select a plan of treatment and potentially medication to treat your issues. This will ensure that you don't experience any vision damage going forward and that your eyes stay healthy and well for years to come.
Taking care of your eyes requires visiting a doctor once in a while. Follow your eye doctor's plans and make sure to come in for your follow-up appointments to check the overall health and well-being of your eyes.
I still remember the day my mom took my family for our annual eye exams and I found out that I needed to start wearing eyeglasses. I really enjoyed picking out my first pair, and they were pink with cartoon characters on them! When I entered high school, my parents let me begin wearing contact lenses. I was afraid to put them in my eyes, but I was brave and did it! I recently began having lens discomfort, and I was really worried I would be told by my eye doctor that I wouldn't wear contacts anymore. I was grateful when he told me that I simply had dry eye and needed to use lubricant drops and wear my glasses a bit more often. I have since become dedicated to caring for my eyes well and I decided to start a blog to help others learn how too, too!