It's the last day of August.
That means today is the last day of National Eye Exam Month.
If you've never had an eye exam, or it's been a while, let's break down what happens during your appointment.
First, you need an appointment! Need a new doc? Ask around your community for a recommendation for an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
What's the difference?
Both offer eye exams, but ophthalmologists also perform surgeries and are who you'll be referred to if you have a complex eye issue. So, an optometrist is an excellent place to start if you only need an exam.
Once you have an appointment, be sure to bring any prescription eyewear you may have with you. Also, a pair of sunglasses in case your eyes are dilated (more on this later) to protect your eyes on your journey home.
Some questions to ponder prior to your exam:
- Are you experiencing any eye pain or discomfort, or headaches?
- Do you ever have issues seeing? Far away or up close?
- Do you have a family history of eye issues like glaucoma or macular degeneration?
Now to the exam. Here are a few assessments that usually happen.
- Visual Acuity - Measuring your vision sharpness through a series of tests, often including letters and numbers.
- Eye Pressure - This exam may require dilation. The doctor, or assistant, drops some liquid into your eyes, making it easier to test your eye pressure, showing your glaucoma risk.
- Visual Exam - The doctor may shine a bright light in your eye to assess your general eye health.
Depending on your doctor and your symptoms, other tests may occur. Tests to check your color vision, retina, field of vision, and eye muscles may also be completed.
It's usually pretty quick!
Your doctor should then walk you through their findings. If a prescription is necessary, you should get a copy before leaving the office. If not, remember to ask for a copy!
The office staff may point you toward their optical department to purchase a new pair of glasses. Remember, you always have the choice to decline politely so you can head home and buy a new pair of SPEX!!!
If your prescription doesn't list your Pupillary Distance or PD number, a visit to the optical center will fix that. I was sent to the optical center at my doctor's and charged $25.