My visit to my optometrist in Memphis

I recently went to my eye doctor near me for a check up and I noticed most of my friends were scared to go because of the process. I wanted to lay out the process for anyone to see so they know what to expect. Its always less intimidating when you know whats going to happen before you go.

It is crucial to have regular eye checkups done by a qualified optometrist. Many people erroneously believe that eye checkups are for people with poor vision. An eye exam is beneficial even for those who do not have poor vision. That is because eye tests can detect early symptoms of some health problems such as macular degeneration, diabetes, glaucoma, cataract, high blood pressure, and even arthritis. Thus, it behooves everyone to have regular eye checkups.

For those who wear contact lenses, the recommended eye checkup interval is a year. Children should get a vision screening just before they begin schooling and afterwards, every year, or after every two years.

One of the reasons people hesitate going for eye checkups is that they dread that the procedure may take a long time. Well, an eye exam does not consume plenty of time. The initial visit takes the longest time, usually one hour as the optometrist has to do a comprehensive eye exam, but subsequent visits won’t take as much time. Therefore, the amount of time the eye exam takes depends on if the visit is the initial one, or if it is just a regular follow-up visit.

What Should You Expect During a Regular Eye Exam?

The first thing the optometrist will do is inquire if you have any eye problems and for how long you’ve been having the problem if any. He will then review your history of contact lenses or glasses and ask more questions touching on your general health, for example, if you are on any medication, and, sometimes, your family medical history.

The optometrist will then administer some tests such as the visual acuity test, the refraction of diopter test, keratometry, Slit-Lamp Examination, etc.

The optometrist will administer the visual acuity test with the help of a Snellen chart where you will be required to read random letters which diminish in size line by line as you move your eyes down the chart.

The diopter or refraction test is administered so as to find out if you need glasses. If you are almost 40 years of age or thereabouts, and you find it difficult to read letters on the Snellen chart close up, the optometrist will place various lenses before your eye one at a time, and inquire if you can be able to comfortably read the letters on the Snellen chart.

The Slit-Lamp text, on the other hand, is meant to examine your eye health and find out if there are any signs of disease or infection. You will place your chin on a chin rest area of the slip lamp, and then the optometrist will shine the slit lamp’s light at your eye to examine every part of your eye one by one.

Lastly, the doctor will measure the curvature of your cornea, a process called keratometry.

If you don’t have an eye doctor already, it is important you choose a qualified optometrist whom you can trust to faithfully, diligently take care of your eye problems. How do you choose one?

One of the best ways to land a trustworthy, reliable optometrist is to ask for a recommendation from your general doctor of pediatrician. Your general doctor must be having the names of excellent optometrists around. You can also work with recommendations from coworkers, friends, and family. Or, you can check in professional organizations such as the American Optometric Association so as to find local eye doctors. Another great option is to check rating for doctors on Yelp. After the initial appointment, you can tell if a doctor is competent enough or not based on how thorough the eye examination was, and if the doctor exuded with knowledge on the area.

Below is a video of an eye exam.


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