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What to Expect: Comprehensive Eye ExamsBrowse Eyewear

Eye specialists employ many tests when examining the eyes. These assessments range in difficulty from simple to complex. Some tests evaluate the vision, while others help to determine whether an individual has eye issues. Comprehensive eye exams establish the overall health of your eyes. Knowing what to expect during the eye exams will prepare you for your next exam.


A comprehensive eye exam takes about an hour or longer. The time will depend on the number of tests required to complete the evaluation and their complexity. Here are some of the tests that you can expect to undergo during the exam.


Visual Acuity Test


This standard eye chart test begins the exam. Visual acuity is a measure of how sharp things around us appear. The standard eye chart test is performed to measure the sharpness of the sight. It also helps to assess the overall functionality of the eyes. A wall chart with letters or symbols measures the patient’s visual acuity from a distance. A smaller hand-held chart measures the accuracy of the near sight.


Color Blindness Test


A screening test is carried out early on to check color vision. The examination rules out color blindness, a condition that affects many people. Color vision problems are usually hereditary. The test detects deficiencies as well as the presence of eye conditions that can affect color vision.


Penlight Exam


During this test, the doctor will use a penlight to examine the eyes. The soft tissues around the eye are examined to look for signs of eye problems. The eye doctor examines the patient for signs of injury or eye conditions easy to spot.


Cover Eye Test


The doctor will check to see if your eyes work together as they should. During the cover test, the patient covers one eye and uses the other to focus on a target object. The process is repeated with the other eye. The test is also carried out with near objects. The test determines whether the patient has eyestrain or amblyopia, also called lazy eye.


Ocular Motility Testing


This test checks the strength of the muscles of the eyes. During the test, the patient will look at a moving object. The doctor observes the alignment and movement of the eyes.




The eye doctor performs the retinoscopy test to determine the eyeglass prescription. With the lights in the room dimmed, the patient will be asked to focus on a target. The doctor will shine a light in the eye while flipping lenses in a machine before the eyes. This estimates the lens power needed to correct distance vision.


Slit Lamp Exam


The slit lamp exam involves the use of a binocular microscope to examine the eye structures using high magnification. The test detects several eye conditions, including macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.


The doctor may recommend additional specialized tests, depending on the results of the initial exam.


To learn more about comprehensive eye exams, contact Canterbury Vision Care in West Boylston, Massachusetts at (508) 854-0595 to book an appointment.

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