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What to Expect During Your Eye Exam

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If it’s been a while since you had your last eye exam, you’re not alone! 2020 changed our day to day lives in so many ways and for many of us it has forced a shift in our priorities away from maintaining our normally scheduled routine health care visits. I want to assure you that, should you need to visit us for any reason, our top priority is your safety and well being! That being said, let’s run through what you should expect at your next visit…

When you arrive at our office, you will be greeted by our team with a smile (covered under a mask of course)! You’ll see hand sanitizer for your use by the entrance and we will ask you some COVID screening questions (again). We’ll also check your temperature. Once we are through with the formalities, then the fun can begin!

Ryan or Galo will take you to the pretesting room for, well, pretesting. The first test is the autorefractor – it will use light and optics to obtain a baseline measurement of your glasses prescription and also measure the curvature of your cornea (front surface of the eye). This is the easy one. Next is the non-contact tonometer (the dreaded air puff test). That tiny puff of air will allow the instrument to measure your intraocular pressure, which is really important to screen for glaucoma. So try your best to relax, don’t hold your breath during the measurement, and it will be over before you know it. We may also take retinal photos, so remember to smile with your eyes!

The next step is to begin your eye exam. We’ll start by chatting about your vision and I’ll ask you a few questions (nothing too personal!) Then we’ll go through a few ‘entrance tests’ – visual acuity, eye muscle balance and peripheral vision – to name a few. After that comes the refraction. This is the part where I will ask you the classic ‘which is better, 1 or 2’? If you honestly can’t tell the difference between ‘1’ and ‘2’, that’s ok! I’ll let you in on a little secret… my goal during the refraction is to reach the point where you can’t tell the difference anymore! Once we’ve perfected your glasses prescription I’ll begin checking the health of your eyes with the slit lamp, which is basically just an oversized microscope. (At this point, we may also negotiate the use of dilating eye drops). If you’re wondering what I’m looking for as I look deep into your eyes, the truth is I’m hoping I won’t find anything interesting or noteworthy (not to say that YOU are not interesting, of course!) Then our time together will draw to a close. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about your eyes and vision, give you some helpful tips to keep your eyes healthy, and answer any remaining questions that you have.

So there you have it… your next eye exam demystified! Hope to see you soon.


Written by Dr. Manji

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