Using the slit lamp, the doctor moves the tonometer to touch the cornea and determine eye pressure. Because the eye is numb, the test doesn't hurt. Your provider will use special equipment, instruments, and lights to observe your eyes. These tests usually don't hurt, but they can be a little uncomfortable.
Through regular eye exams, your healthcare provider monitors changes in vision, detects eye problems, and helps you keep your eyes healthy. The eyes contain some of the muscles in the body that work the most. You may take your eye health for granted, but keeping those muscles in good shape is key to maintaining your quality of life. That's why regular eye exams are an important part of your annual health routine.
If you've never had an eye exam before, the idea can be intimidating; after all, no one wants a doctor to rummage through the sensitive area around your eyes. However, eye exams are usually a quick, completely painless, and highly informative visit. If you've never had your eyes examined before (or it's been a few years since your last appointment), it's important to understand what happens during an eye exam so you can go to the checkup with peace of mind. The optometrist will first perform an external eye exam, evaluate pupil function, or perform a special exam such as keratometry which is designed to identify astigmatism.
Pachymetry painlessly measures the thickness of the cornea with a small probe after numbing the eye with eye drops. Once the gonioscopy lens contacts the cornea, it will allow the eye doctor to see the “angle”. The inside of the eyes will be examined with an ophthalmoscope, which is a small flashlight that allows doctors to see them up close. For example, eye exams include dilation which includes the use of eye drops to enlarge or dilate the pupils.
Older adults might consider taking a picture of the retina which takes an image of the inside of the eye to detect macular degeneration and other problems. People with a higher risk of eye diseases or vision problems may need to have their eyes examined more often. All of these activities can give you a slight headache as they will put stress and pressure on your eyes. However, due to the eye drops used, your eyes may experience stress and pressure which can lead to irritation. This irritation is common and not painful in and of itself. The good news is that an eye exam isn't painful.
To avoid this irreversible visual impairment, it's important to have your eyes examined by an eye doctor for glaucoma, especially if you have some of the known risk factors such as a family history of the disease. Other symptoms and signs that suggest you need an appointment include redness, swelling, frequent tearing, itching or eye pain. Now that you know what happens during an eye exam, you can schedule regular exams to ensure your eye health for years to come. With regular checkups and preventive care from an optometrist or ophthalmologist, you can keep your vision sharp and protect yourself from any potential vision problems.