Preparing for Your Eye Exam

If you’ve ever had an eye exam, you have likely experienced a variety of procedures to check for vision problems and eye diseases. If you have never had your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist, you don’t need to prepare or worry about the exam procedures. Eye exams involve pain free techniques that check your vision.

An ophthalmologist, a doctor that specializes in eye problems, uses a variety of equipment and procedures to examine your eyes. An ophthalmic slit lamp is a machine that uses high-intensity light combined with a low-powered microscope to examine the inner eye. While some ophthalmologists use devices that capture digital images, an ophthalmic slit lamp uses filters to capture different views of the inside of the eyes. Your doctor will use the slit lamp and microscope to examine the front areas in your eyes first, then examine the back areas in your eyes.

Before your exam, your doctor will place you in a chair and position you in front of the ophthalmic slit lamp with your forehead and chin on a special rest to keep your head steady during the exam. Next your doctor will put special eye drops in your eyes to wash away your tears and make any abnormalities on the cornea surface more visible. He/she may also want to dilate your pupils with special drops to check for certain eye diseases. During your exam, your doctor will closely examine all areas in your eyes including: the eyelids; lens; cornea; retina; iris; conjunctive; sclera, and optic nerve.

A simple, painless eye exam with an ophthalmic slit lamp can help to detect a variety of eye conditions that could affect your vision:

* Cornea Injuries – injuries to one of the tissues that cover the eye’s surface

* Cataracts – a clouding of the lens that makes it difficult to see images clearly

* Detached Retina – a condition in the back of the eye that causes the retina detach from its base

* Blood Vessel Blockages – blockages in the retina that can cause gradual or sudden vision loss

* Macular Degeneration – an age-related, chronic condition that affects central vision