The eyes are a sensitive part of the body, so naturally the idea of an eye exam sounds intimidating. Rest assured, you have nothing to worry about. However, if you at least have an idea of what to expect during the process, you may be able to ease some of your fears and concerns. Here are some of the things you can expect during your first eye exam.
Your eyes aren't just your windows to the outside world. To medical professionals, your eyes are also a window into the inside of your body. There are many diseases health professionals can detect from merely looking into your eyes. Eye exams generally begin with a screener. The screener is performed by capturing an image of your eyes. The doctor then looks at the picture to determine if you have a disease that has already taken shape or a condition in its early stages.
Just as its name sounds, the cover test is an exam where you cover your eyes and read letters or numbers from a board across the room. The test administrator will have you cover each eye alternately as you read to highlight any potential eyesight problems. Based on the feedback of the test, the eye doctor may order more testing.
A structural exam looks at the eye's structure. The structural exam is sometimes completed with a split lamp. A split lamp is a lighted microscope that allows the doctor to see the inside structures of the eye. The high-powered microscope enables the doctor to look for degeneration, problems with your iris, and even your optic nerve. The findings of the exam could help the doctor diagnose a developing structural concern, such as cataracts.
Dilation is another process used to help the physician get a more in-depth look into your eyes. Dilation is achieved by a solution that is administered just like standard eye drops. Your pupils begin to enlarge once the drops are inserted. After the maximum size has been achieved, the provider will use a device to look inside your eyes for signs of eye disease. The process is entirely painless, but you may have some sensitivity to light. You may be allowed to remain in the office until the solution wears off or you can leave wearing dark sunglasses.
Eye exams are a critical part of keeping your ey's healthy. Make sure you are making an appointment to have your eyes screened. Your provider will be more than happy to answer any questions you have about what to expect with your first appointment.