Eye exams are an important part of maintaining good eye health. But how long does an eye exam take? It depends on a variety of factors, such as age, health status, and risk of developing eye problems. In this article, we'll explore the different components of an eye exam and how long each one takes. When it comes to eye exams, dilation is an important part of the process.
Dilation can last 4 to 6 hours in most people, so it's important to contact your optometrist right away if you experience any sudden changes in vision or have any problems with your eyes. This includes blurred, cloudy, or faint vision, problems seeing at night, tunnel vision, or loss of peripheral vision. The frequency of eye exams can vary depending on age, medical history, and risk of developing eye disease. For example, a more comprehensive eye exam is usually done between 3 and 5 years of age to check for problems with vision and eye alignment.
This exam is sometimes called ophthalmoscopy or funduscopy and allows the doctor to evaluate the back of the eye, including the retina, optic disc, and blood vessels in the retina that nourish the retina. The doctor will also use a slit lamp to provide an enlarged 3D view of the eye and detect any small abnormalities. Additionally, they will measure the refractive error by evaluating the movement of light reflected by the retina back through the pupil. Based on your answers to one or more of these tests, your eye doctor determines the fullness of your field of vision.
Your doctor may also use several instruments and ask you to look through a variety of lenses. If you wear contact lenses, you may need a contact lens exam which will add a little more time to your appointment plan for more time. Plus, you may need a follow-up appointment to see how you're doing with your contact lenses. When you go for a routine eye consultation with an optometrist you've seen before, they will ask about your medical history and family history of eye problems. This is because some eye conditions can be genetic such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts. Overall, it's important to keep up with regular eye exams to maintain good eye health.
Depending on your age and risk factors for developing certain conditions, you may need more specialized tests during your appointment.