What kinds of tests can I expect at an eye appointment?

Patients who get their eyes checked are generally asked to perform a few different vision tests. These tests allow an eye doctor to examine the functioning of a person’s eyes and determine whether further corrective action needs to be taken. One such test is the visual acuity test. This common test measures the details a person can see at both near and far distances. Usually, a patient is asked to read a series of letters or numbers in varying sizes. Each eye is tested individually so the doctor can note any differences or weaknesses. Another common test is the visual field test, in which patients’ eyes are also tested individually. In this test, the person is instructed to look forward while indicating whether they can perceive lights or objects in their peripheral vision.

The visual field test is helpful because it maps a person’s entire field of vision and can detect conditions like glaucoma. A third common test is known as refraction. This test measures refractive error and can indicate a person’s need for corrective lenses. Refraction is helpful for identifying both farsightedness and nearsightedness. Finally, eye doctors typically conduct a color vision test to measure a person’s ability to distinguish colors. This test can detect variations of color blindness and is usually performed by symbols made up of colored dot patterns. People who have trouble distinguishing certain colors will not be able to perceive the imbedded symbols, thereby indicating possible color blindness.

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