What to Expect During a Medical Eye Exam

What to Expect During a Medical Eye Exam

It’s easy for anxiety to grip upon you when you aren’t sure of what to expect during an appointment with an eye doctor. But there’s nothing to fear since you’ll be undergoing a series of harmless tests and procedures to determine your eye’s state of health. The tests vary from a simple reading of an eye chart to the use of a high-powered lens to examine your eye’s internal structure.

For your peace of mind, we’ve compiled the most common types of eye test in Sydney you can expect when booking an appointment with an optician.

Cover Test

Here, the goal is to find out if both of your eyes are working and if they’re able to coordinate their vision. The doctor will ask you to stand at a distance and then alternately cover your eyes while focusing on a given object for a given period. Based on their long experience and training, the eye doctor will assess whether either of your eyes has to move or squint to pick specific details of the target object. Potential problems here include strabismus (moving to pick out details) or amblyopia (eye strain), also known as “lazy eye.”

Color Blindness Test

The color blind test is performed at the initial stages of a comprehensive eye examination to check the quality of your color vision. The main is to find out whether or not you’re color blind. Besides color blindness, this test will point the eye specialist to specific conditions that might threaten the health of your eye.

Stereopsis Test

The term describes eye teaming, which is responsible for the appreciation of 3-D objects and normal depth perception. Here, you’ll wear 3-D glasses then look at test patterns in a booklet. Every pattern presented to you will have four small circles. Your job will be to look at the images and spot the circle in each pattern that appears closest to you. Correct identification of all the right circles is an indication that you’ve got perfect eyesight.

Visual Field Test

The visual field test helps the doctor check and determine any blind spots in your eye’s peripheral. The condition associated with this test is referred to as scotomas or “side” vision. The test is also essential because it may point to brain damage due to a tumor or stroke.


It’s a more accurate test than retinoscopy and is used to determine the exact prescription of eyeglasses. The eye doctor places a phoropter in front of your eyes before asking you to choose from the displayed lenses, the one that appears clearer. Depending on your answers, the optician will keep fine-tuning the results until they arrive at the best prescription of eyeglasses for you. Through this test, possible outcomes are that you’re myopic (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia, or astigmatism.

Ocular Motility Testing

The test will determine the ability of your eye to move and follow objects in real-time. Both speed and accuracy are needed to determine if the eye is perfect or not doing well. Usually, the doctor will require you to hold your head in one position and ask you to follow a handheld light with only your eyes.

If you’ve got problems with eye movements, you might end up with eye strains that will affect your sports vision, reading ability, or other skills.

Slit-Lamp Exam

Here, the optician uses a binocular microscope of high magnification to examine the structure of your eye. The doctor will ask that you place your forehead against the front of the big instrument so that he can read the lens, cornea, conjunctiva, and eyelids. The doctor might use a handheld lens to look at your retina, optic nerve, or other objects located deeper beyond. The slit lamp technique can help diagnose problems such as corneal ulcers, cataracts, and muscular degeneration.

The Glaucoma Test

The first step in this test is to measure the pressure inside your eyes using techniques such as “puff-of-air,” also known as non-contact tonometry or NCT. During the test, the doctor asks you to rest your chin on the machine with eyes looking directly into it. Next, the physician puffs a small burst of the eye at your eye, after which the device calculates the intraocular pressure (IOP). A high IOP means that you’re at risk of getting glaucoma, or it’s already there.

Pupil Dilation

The technique uses dilating drops that enlarge the pupils, making it easy for the doctor to get a better view of your eye’s internal structure. The drops take effect after 20 or so minutes, after which the doctor can then have a detailed look at the eye’s internal structure using different tools and machines. It’s one of the procedures that are known to be thorough as it leaves nothing to chance in analyzing the risk factors for eye diseases. 

Parting Shot

Remember, being proactive is a better way of gaining control over your eye health. That’s you need not be scared when looking for an eye test appointment since you’re making the right move that will save your sight.

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About the Author: Barry Lachey

Barry Lachey is a Professional Editor at Zobuz. Previously He has also worked for Moxly Sports and Network Resources "Joe Joe." he is a graduate of the Kings College at the University of Thames Valley London. You can reach Barry via email or by phone.