Once the preliminary testing has been done, the doctor is able to put together the data and fully address the reason for your visit. Many other tests are to be performed at this time. Here are just a few of them:
- General Testing: The doctor tests the binocular status of the eye, the functions of the pupils and extraocular muscles and the peripheral vision.
- Refraction: Most patients know this to be the “which one is better, one or two” part of the exam – it is the actual determination of the glasses prescription. There are a number of techniques used to evaluate the refractive state of the eye, and this will give the patient the prescription for glasses and/or aid the doctor in the fitting of contact lenses.
- Biomicroscope Examination: Also known as the Slit lamp, the doctor uses this instrument for a number of tests. It allows for the evaluation of the anterior structures of the eye, such as eyelids, eyelashes, cornea and conjunctiva. A little further back lies the aqueous humor, the lens and the vitreous. Here is where the doctor can look for cataracts. This instrument offers another way to check the eye pressure of the eye.
- Ophthalmoscope/Condensing Lens: The doctor can look inside the eye, viewing the optic nerve, the macula (to look for any signs of macular degeneration) which comprise the posterior pole—or the central 30 degrees of the back of the eye. Many diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and systemic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure can be seen by looking in the back of the eye.
- Optomap: Thanks to optomap, we can now easily see 80 percent of your retina, instead of the 12 percent that was available to us before. The service digitally takes a snapshot of the retina, rather than having a doctor manually look at it like in years past. Click here for more information on optomap.
The doctor uses this information to provide the patient with a prescription for glasses or contacts, as well as to determine the overall health of the eye – and the patient!
There are many conditions that require further evaluation by a specialist, and these conditions will be discussed in great length with the patient should they be required.
What happens if there is a condition that requires further evaluation by a specialist?
Our team of optometrists are trained to provide eye care including the diagnosis and treatment of many ocular conditions. We are TPA (therapeutically) certified to write prescriptions for many conditions, such as conjunctivitis, eye infections due to contact lenses, abrasions, foreign body removal and other injuries. But there are some problems that require the intervention of the Ophthalmologist – an MD specializing in conditions and diseases of the eye. We may refer our patients for evaluation for cataracts or retinal conditions requiring special testing and treatment.
What if I have to see the Ophthalmologist?
If it is determined that your care requires the services of the Ophthalmologist, we will refer you into our network of highly trained, professional MDs that practice in our area. We are proud to share many patients with our MD partners and have worked hard to establish longstanding professional relationships with them. They also specialize in certain parts of the eye, and our doctors will determine which specialist is needed. We will schedule your appointment and provide the doctor with detailed information regarding the reason for your visit.
What else can I find out during my examination?
Many systemic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, have ocular manifestations. Sometimes, these conditions can be seen in the eye even when the patient is not aware of the condition or problem. After a complete evaluation, we may instruct you to see your primary care physician for additional testing. We may also recommend supplements to protect the eye, such as specific vitamins or other treatments for dry eye or allergy.