What to Expect During Your Eye Exam

Woman having eyes examined with phoropter

Please be aware a comprehensive medical eye exam may take anywhere from 45-90 minutes or longer if any additional testing is required.

The first step is obtaining your medical history. The technician will ask you some questions to help determine the issue you may be having with your eyes or vision. They will then measure and test your vision. We will evaluate your pupils using a light to check their reaction, this helps us identify any neurological conditions which may affect your eyes. Your eye muscle movement will be evaluated to help make sure both eyes are working well together. Your visual field will be checked in each eye to look for blind spots which may indicate conditions like glaucoma or previous stroke.

At this point in time, depending on the type of exam you are having, a technician or the doctor may use a machine called a phoropter to determine your eyeglass prescription. A phoropter is basically a big pair of glasses with different lenses inside that are used to fine tune your vision.

After your prescription has been determined, numbing eye drops will be put in your eyes to check your eye pressure. These drops may sting for a couple of seconds but this is completely normal. Eye pressure is an important risk factor for glaucoma. Two more drops will then be used to dilate your eyes. The dilation will open up your pupils giving us a better view to fully assess the health of your eyes. The dilation will last around 4-6 hours and during that time, your up-close vision may be blurry, and you may become light sensitive. We will provide you with disposable sunglasses, but we recommend bringing a driver with you. 

Once the technician has completed the initial work-up and put in the dilating drops, you will need to wait approximately 20 minutes for the drops to take effect, after then you will be able to see the doctor. When the doctor examines you, he/she will use a biomicroscope to evaluate your eyes. This device uses light and a magnifying system to give us a detailed view. While these lights may be bright, they are necessary for us to be able to properly evaluate your eye health and rest assured they will not damage your eyes.

Once the doctor has finished examining you, he/she will explain everything to you and answer any questions you may have. The doctor may recommend and order additional testing to help obtain more information about your eyes. The results of this testing will be reviewed with you prior to leaving the office.

At Lee Eye Center, we are committed to the health of your eyes!