What Actually Happens During an Eye Exam?

What Actually Happens During an Eye Exam?

As you go about your life, you rely heavily on your vision to navigate the world around you. Your eyes are a given, and you wouldn’t normally give it much thought—until something goes wrong. Then you wonder why it didn’t occur to you to give them regular eye exams before. The exams would have warned you of potential problems before they worsen or steal your sight. But late or not too late, here are the stages of an eye exam and what to anticipate at each level.


Checking Your Medical History


Getting information about your medical history is the first step in an eye exam. Your ophthalmologist will inquire about any existing or previous eye diseases, family history, allergies, and medication use. This will enable the physician to understand your general health and risk for eye disorders.


Measuring Visual Acuity


Your ability to read letters and figures on a chart from a certain distance is your visual acuity. Your eye doctor will assess your visual acuity using a chart. They will ask you to read the letters or numbers displayed from a distance. This test helps determine if you need glasses or contacts to improve your vision.


Testing Eye Movements


The next step involves testing your eye movements. It includes how well your eyes track objects, move side to side, and focus on items at various distances. These tests help detect problems with eye coordination and muscle function.


Checking Eye Pressure


An eye exam must include an eye pressure test. This is because glaucoma, which can result in excessive pressure, can cause blindness. The examination is easy and painless. Your eye doctor will measure the pressure by blowing a tiny puff of air into your eye. The doctor may suggest additional tests to look for glaucoma in the case of excessive pressure.


Dilating Your Pupils


During an eye exam, your doctor may use dilating drops to widen your pupils. This process allows the doctor to examine the inside of your eye more clearly. Dilating drops can cause temporary blurred vision and sensitivity to light. You should bring a pair of sunglasses to wear after the exam.


Examining the Inside of Your Eye


Your eye doctor will dilate your pupils before looking inside your eye using an ophthalmoscope. This specialized instrument aids in the early detection of eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and cataracts.


Discussing Your Results


Following the eye exam, your eye doctor will go through the findings with you. The doctor will explain the diagnosis and provide possible treatments if the examination finds an issue. These may include a prescription for glasses or contacts, medication, or surgery.


Fun Facts About Eyes


Here are a few fascinating details about our eyes:

  • Around two million functional pieces make up your eyes. After the brain, they are the second-most complicated organ in the human body

  • The eye muscles are the strongest in the human body for the job they have to do

  • Your eyes are capable of processing 36,000 bits of information every hour

  • The human eye can distinguish between 10 million different colors

  • A blink typically lasts between 100 and 150 milliseconds

  • You have fully developed eyes by the age of seven

  • Everyone has a visual blind zone. However, the brain fills in the blanks, so you are unaware




Eye exams are an essential aspect of maintaining good eye health. Eye exams can prevent vision loss and help you maintain healthy eyesight by detecting eye problems early. Schedule an appointment with your eye doctor for an eye exam now that you know what to anticipate.

For more on eye exams, visit Lifetime Vision and Eye Care at our office in Miami Gardens, Florida. Call (305) 902-3320 to book an appointment today.

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