5 Things to Expect From a Routine Eye Exam


Eye exams are vital to your health. It is very important that your eyes stay as healthy as possible so that you can enjoy day-to-day life and not encounter the issues that vision problems bring. Eye health issues can be distressing, uncomfortable or painful, and even life-changing, but many problems can be prevented or better managed through regular eye exams and early diagnosis.

Aside from this, eye examinations can sometimes reveal issues relating to your general health that may need attention from your family doctor. It is very important that you book an eye test in Dubai for yourself and your family to safeguard your eye health and put your mind at ease.

Eye examinations are not unpleasant. You will leave your appointment feeling reassured that your eyes have been thoroughly checked and that your vision is in safe hands. Here are five things you should expect from a visit to a good eye clinic.

Eye Exam
Eye Exam

1. You should be asked for a thorough medical history

A thorough examination should always include a discussion of your medical history. This would typically include:

  • Your personal medical history as well as that of close family
  • Any previous eye injuries
  • Previous eye prescriptions, including whether you wear contact lenses or glasses
  • Medications you take for other health conditions
  • Whether you have any allergies
  • An insight into your occupation (for instance, whether you use a computer)

All these factors help your eye doctor understand your personal risk factors for various eye conditions. Some conditions may be influenced by occupational factors, by other health conditions, or by genetics, for example.

Your eye doctor will want to build a picture of your health that will help them make sure that you get the right diagnosis and treatment if necessary. Although it may feel time-consuming to fill out forms or have these conversations, it is very important that this happens.

2. You should have the opportunity to express any concerns about your vision

If there is an aspect of your vision or your family’s vision that is worrying you, your eye doctor would like to hear it. As above, this will also help them get an accurate picture of your eye health and make the right diagnosis.

Here are the type of things you should mention if they are relevant to you:

  • Whether you feel your vision has deteriorated recently
  • Any episodes of blurred or fuzzy vision
  • Seeing lights, or halos, or floaters (like tiny bugs floating through your vision)
  • Frequent or persistent headaches
  • A loss of peripheral (side) vision
  • Issues with glare (for instance, when you are driving)

These are examples. If there’s anything at all worrying you about your vision, you should mention it at your eye exam.

eye examiner
eye examiner

3. Your eye doctor should perform a wide range of tests

A thorough examination includes a variety of tests. Some will test your vision, others will look at the structures within the eyes, for example. Here are some of the most standard tests you will likely encounter:

Visual acuity tests

These tests use a chart of letters or symbols that get gradually smaller. You will be asked to read the chart. Your ability to see clearly, both up close and far away (near sight and far sight), will be tested here.

Color blindness tests

Problems with seeing certain colors are often passed down within families. However, sometimes they can develop due to other eye health problems, so this is an important test.

Cover test

This will test each eye individually. One eye is covered and then the other’s ability to focus on an object is tested. This will help diagnose amblyopia (lazy eye) and other problems.

Eye movements test

You will be asked to follow moving objects with your eyes or to move your eyes between focusing on two different objects. This will enable your eye doctor to check if your eyes move normally. Problems in this area can cause eye strain.

Depth perception

Your ability to perceive depth and 3D objects will be tested. Your eyes should work well as a team to determine how close or far away objects are.

Slit lamp exam

A slit lamp is a binocular microscope. It allows your eye doctor to look at your eyes closely by magnifying them. This will enable them to examine all the structures in both eyes (such as the iris, the retina, and the optic nerves) to check their health.

Glaucoma test

What is glaucoma? It is a condition where fluid builds up in the eye, increasing pressure and thus damaging the optic nerve. Glaucoma can cause complete vision loss. Your eye doctor can test the pressure in your eye to reveal possible glaucoma. A standard screening test is where a short puff of air is directed at your eye and your eye’s resistance to it is measured. Your eyedoc might choose to also do a more definitive eye pressure reading called Applanation Tonometry, and will explain how it is done at the time.

Other tests

Listed above are some of the most standard tests performed. Your eye doctor may have other routine tests, or they may ask to do additional tests based on your medical history or any concerns you have reported, or concerns which arose during the test.

Retinoscopy and refraction tests

These are extra tests that will be performed if your eye doctor decides you need a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. They involve testing out various levels of lens power to get exactly the right prescription for you. Many eye doctors prefer this test to be finished first, to see how the eye muscles behave when the needed correction is in place.

4. You should have your current prescription checked

If you already have a prescription for glasses or contact lenses, your eye doctor will want to check it. Be sure to take your current prescription with you.

5. You should have the opportunity to ask questions

Your eye doctor should offer you the chance to ask plenty of questions. You may arrive at the appointment with questions. Other questions may arise during the appointment, particularly if you have a new diagnosis, or a new or altered prescription.

A good doctor will want you to leave the clinic feeling confident that you know how to look after your vision and that you can manage your prescription. Therefore, they will happily answer your questions.

The overall aim of an eye examination is to check for dangerous, developing conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts, and to ensure your eyes are functioning at their best, with or without a corrective prescription. This is why it is well worth your while to see your eye doctor regularly.


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