Eye Test Guide

As part of preventive eye health care, it is necessary to get regular vision and eye examination. Problems in this area often have no obvious symptoms or those that result to the discomfort of the eyes. This is the very reason that many people are unaware that they already have a problem. To prevent the loss of vision and other sight problems, it is important to maintain good eye health by having these problems diagnosed early on and have them treated in the best possible ways.

The doctor will judge based on the signs and symptoms that the patients reveal. Testing will be done using the latest practices and technology, and then recommendations will be made. You may need new eye glasses or contact lenses, or an operation if it is determined that what you are experiencing is a sign of a more serious trouble. Below are some of the tests that may be performed, according to the American Optometric Association.

History Review

The doctor will need to know the patient’s history to help determine the problems that are being experienced by the individual; if they are experiencing general health issues, when the vision concerns began, and the person’s environmental conditions and occupation—all of which may give light to the issue. The patient will also be asked about previous and current health and eye conditions of his or her family members, since some problems are hereditary.

Visual Sharpness

Visual acuity is often tested using a Reading Chart. Acuity measurements are done to determine if the eyes are seeing clearly or not. During this testing, you will be required to read letters from a certain distance from the chart. The result of this testing are noted as a fraction, such as 20/50. When distance vision is being tested, the number on top of the fraction is the normal distance to do the testing, and is this case, 20 feet. The number at the bottom of the fraction is the smallest size of the letter that you were able to determine. What this means is that for you to be able to clearly see a letter that is 50 feet away from you, you will have to step nearer (not more than 20 feet away from the letter). As you may know, the normal acuity is 20/20.

Initial Tests

Initial testing may consist of certain aspects of eye health and visual functions. These include the way the pupils respond to brightness, side or peripheral vision, eye muscle movements, color vision, and depth of perception.


This exam measures the cornea’s curvature. The cornea is the eye’s clear outer surface. A circle of light is focused on this body part to measure its reflection. The measurement is very important when the patient needs contact lenses because the fit should be done perfectly.


This evaluation is done through measuring eye pressure. If the eye signals an elevated pressure, then the risk of glaucoma is increased. This external test is done using magnification and bright light to evaluate conjunctiva, eyelids, cornea and the tissues surrounding the eyes. To get a better view of the interior structures of the eye, the pupil will need to be dilated. This way, the posterior section, retina, and lens, can be further assessed.


Retinoscope and phoropter are used to determine refractive error. Refraction is done to by the doctor to know the correct lenses that the patient should use, to correct any refractive error, such as astigmatism, farsightedness, or nearsightedness. The phoropter is an instrument used by the optometrist to place the different kinds of lenses in front of your eyes. He or she will then use a retinoscope, a lighted instrument, to check how you focus on light. The doctor may also use another instrument that automatically evaluates the eye’s focus power. The power will then be refined by the person’s responses, which will determine the best lens type for him or her.

Testing of Eye Movements, Teaming, and Focus

The assessment of binocular vision, ocular motility, and accommodation is done to determine how the person’s eyes move, focus, and work together. They should be able to move, focus, and work in unity to get a single and clear image of the item that is being viewed. With this test, the optometrist could look at problems, such as poor focus and difficulty, in using both eyes to see clearly.

If you think you have an eye problem, get a comprehensive vision and eye examination that are offered in superstores, like Walmart. Walmart eye exam is available in most, if not all, of their supercenters. You can visit their optometrists’ office before or after you do your shopping, or you can give them a call to schedule an appointment.

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