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What To Expect During an Eye Exam

An eye exam is carried out by a professional eye doctor and usually takes about 20-30 minutes. During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor does much more than just determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

They will also check for common eye disease, assess how your eyes work together, and evaluate your vision as an indicator of your overall health.

What happens during an Eye Exam?

Several different tests may be performed during the eye exam to check your vision and examine the appearance and function of all parts of your eyes.

Here is what is usually involved:


  1. History and Symptoms

Before beginning any tests, your eye doctor will ask you why you are having your eyes examined: whether it is a routine checkup or for a specific reason. If you are experiencing any problems, your eye doctor will need to know the type and duration of your symptoms.

It is important to inform your eye doctor about any general health problems you have as well as any medications you are taking and if you have a family history of eye problems.


  1. Examining your Eyes

Both the inside and outside of your eyes will be examined. This is to assess the health of your eyes as well as identify any other underlying medical problems. Many eye doctors now offer additional services such as glaucoma testing, dry eye care, and cataract management to ensure the complete health and comfort of your vision.


  1. Vision Test

During the eye exam, your vision will be measured both with and without your eyeglasses or contact lenses to check for any problems with your eyesight. Your eye doctor will assess your distance vision, near vision and your intermediate vision (for computer use.)


  1. Eye Movement & Coordination

To ensure that your eyes are working together well as a team, your eye-movements and coordination will be checked. This is to ensure that no undue stress is being put on the eye muscles and is very important if you spend a lot of time working on the computer.


  1. After the Eye Exam

Your eye doctor will now have detailed knowledge about your eye health, the standard of your vision, and any other special requirements you may have. If you have any questions or concerns, it is important to voice them at this time.

During this part of the eye exam, your eye doctor will discuss the best choice of vision correction for your lifestyle and needs. You will also be given a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses if required.

If there is any need for medical treatment, your eye doctor may refer you to a hospital or ophthalmologist.


  1. Choosing Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses

Once you have your prescription, you will be given help on choosing eyeglasses or contact lenses. If you opt for the latter, your eye doctor will advise you on the various types of lenses available and how to care for them properly.

Children’s Eye Exams

It is recommended that children get their first eye exam as early as 6 months of age and again before starting school, even if they aren’t displaying any outward signs of vision problems.

Children’s eye exams are very important to:

  • Ensure normal vision development
  • Confirm that children have the visual acuity and skills required for schoolwork and other activities
  • Check for visual problems such as astigmatism, lazy eye, and strabismus.

How Often Should I Have an Eye Exam?

Anyone who is experiencing challenges with their vision should schedule an appointment with their eye doctor. In general:

  • An adult WITHOUT a vision problem should get a comprehensive eye exam once every two years, regardless of whether they are experiencing any symptoms.
  • An adult WHO WEARS eyeglasses or contacts lenses should schedule an annual eye exam.
  • A patient who has a systemic problem which can affect the eyes such as diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension and inflammatory diseases should schedule an eye exam 1-3 times a year, depending on their circumstances.

Want to know more?

To learn more about our comprehensive eye exams and other eye health services, contact our Calgary eye doctors today at 403-286-4884.

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