Many people wonder why it is necessary to see the eye doctor if their vision is fine and they don’t need eyeglasses or contacts. As we’ve discussed previously, there is much more to an average eye exam than one may imagine. Our exams don’t focus only on vision; they also observe the various parts of the eye. By performing specific tests, it becomes possible to see warning signs of eye disease well before vision becomes impacted. Here, we discuss a few of the tests that an ophthalmologist may perform.
- Pupil dilation. Using medicated eye drops, the eye doctor can cause the pupil, the area at the center of the colored part of the eye, to expand. Dilating the pupil allows the doctor to use special instruments to look at the back of the eye. Pupil dilation does not hurt and the examination works by looking at the eye through a special lens.
- Slit-Lamp exam. While the eyes are dilated, a beam of light is directed at each eye. This light looks like a small slit. The doctor observes the passing of light through the eye using a special lens. A slit-lamp exam can detect signs of various eye diseases, including macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachment.
- Applanation Tonometry. This screening is performed to measure the amount of pressure in the eye. An increase in pressure could indicate early glaucoma development. High intraocular pressure can damage the optic nerve and lead to blindness, so this is a measurement that we want to monitor regularly and watch closely if it rises.
- Corneal topography. A computerized examination of the eye can observe the curve of the cornea, the front part of the eye. The detail with which computer observation allows us to see the eyes’ surface can show us scarring, swelling, and conditions such as astigmatism. Corneal topography may be reserved for specific situations such as contact lens fitting or corneal transplant.
- Refraction. This is the part of the eye exam that most people know; the test that evaluates vision. Refraction testing is how we know if a person needs glasses and, if so, what their prescription is.
Your vision is important now and also many years from now. Schedule your routine eye exam in our Ocala office to get a clear measurement of your eye health. Call (352) 237-8400.