Optometrists and ophthalmologists use a wide variety of tests and procedures to examine your eyes. These tests range from simple ones, like having you read an eye chart, to complex tests, such as using a high-powered lens to visualize the tiny structures inside of your eyes.
Visual Acuity Tests
Among the first tests performed in a comprehensive eye exam are visual acuity tests that measure the sharpness of your vision.
These usually are performed using a projected eye chart to measure your distance visual acuity and a small, hand-held acuity chart to measure your near vision.
Color Blindness Test
A screening test that checks your color vision often is performed early in a comprehensive eye exam to rule out color blindness.
While there are many ways for your eye doctor to check how your eyes work together, the cover test is the simplest and most common.
Ocular Motility (Eye Movements) Testing
Ocular motility testing is performed to determine how well your eyes can follow a moving object and/or quickly move between and accurately fixate on two separate targets.
Stereopsis (Depth Perception) Test
Stereopsis is the term used to describe eye teaming that enables normal depth perception and appreciation of the 3-dimensional nature of objects.
Your eye doctor may perform this test early in the eye exam to obtain an approximation of your eyeglass prescription.
In retinoscopy, the room lights will be dimmed and you will be asked to focus on a large target (usually the big “E” on the eye chart). As you stare at the “E,” your eye doctor will shine a light at your eye and flip lenses in a machine in front of your eyes. This test estimates which lens powers will best correct your distance vision.
This is the test that your eye doctor uses to determine your exact eyeglass prescription.
During a refraction, the doctor puts the instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes and shows you a series of lens choices. He or she will then ask you which of the two lenses in each choice looks clearer.