While the doctors at Central Coast Eye Specialists have subspecialty expertise and interests, all of them are trained to carry out comprehensive general eye checks and examinations. Our experienced orthoptic staff are also well trained and highly competent in assessing vision and performing detailed eye examinations and testing with a variety of sophisticated instruments.
When you go for your eye examination the doctor will ask you about any vision problems you are facing or have had before and also about family history of diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease. You should take your eyeglasses or contact lenses if using them along with you when going for the general eye examination.
The general eye examination includes a number of tests that ascertain the health, function and appearance of different parts of the eye.
- These include:
• Visual acuity test checks how well you can see from a distance of about 20 feet. You are asked to read aloud the letters written on a chart or screen (Snellen chart). The letters decrease in size as you read from the top line to the bottom line.
• Eye muscle test checks the function of the eye muscle used for movement of the eye. The doctor will ask you to look at a pen or any other object without moving the neck while the doctor moves it in various directions.
• Refraction test determines whether you need corrective lenses or your vision is normal. In case you need corrective lenses, it determines the prescription of the lens that will give you the best possible vision. Your doctor may use a computerized refractor or retinoscopy to determine your prescription for corrective lenses. In retinoscopy the doctor shines a light into the eye after dilation and estimates the refractive error. Then fine adjustments for the prescription are done by having you look through a variety of lenses in a mask like device or Phoropter to give you the sharpest vision.
• Visual field test measures peripheral or side vision. It may be done using automated perimetry in which you will be asked to look into a special instrument that flashes light. If you see the light you are asked to press a button. It may also be determined by a confrontation visual field exam in which you cover one of your eyes and look at your doctor’s hand as it moves inward and outward from your visual field. You should tell your doctor when you are able to see his hand or fingers.
• Colour vision test: In this test, the doctor will show you certain multi-coloured dot patterns. In case you have a certain colour deficiency you will not be able to see certain patterns on those given sheets.
• Slit lamp examination: You are asked to sit and rest your chin and touch your forehead on the slit lamp. The lamp magnifies the image of the eye and allows the doctor to look for any problems of the cornea, lens, iris and anterior chamber of the eye. Sometimes the doctor may stain the tear film of the eye with a fluorescein dye by using eye drops or by using a paper strip before examining through the slit lamp to look for cuts, foreign objects or infections of the cornea.
• Retinal examination is done to check for diseases of the retina or optic nerve present at the back of the eye. The doctor will try to see the back of the eye using an ophthalmoscope or slit lamp following dilation of the pupil. The doctor may also choose to do an indirect examination by using a bright light mounted on the head while each eye is kept open during examination. The eye drops used for examination will cause blurred vision and sensitivity to light for several hours after the test. The effect will go away after a day or so.
• Glaucoma test is used to measure the internal eye pressure.