Your vision plays a vital role in your life each and every day, which is why it is essential to take the right steps towards maintaining good eye health. Did you know that an eye exam can expose signs of potentially blinding or even fatal diseases? That is why regular exams and proper eye care are so important for patients of all ages, even if you have no vision complaints.
For many people, a visit to the doctor can be anxiety-inducing, especially if you don’t know what to expect. Rest assured, our staff works diligently to ensure your experience in our office is as enjoyable, accommodating and efficient as possible!
What to expect from your comprehensive eye examination:
Insurance and personal information verification
First, you’ll need to schedule an appointment. You can either call us or request an appointment online. Our staff will verify your personal information to create your account in our electronic records system. They will also need your insurance information which may require a social security number to verify. The process of insurance verification can be time-consuming, so we need to complete this prior to your appointment. If our staff finds that you are either not eligible for an eye examination under insurance or if we are out-of-network with your insurance plan, they will contact you so you are aware of our self-pay fees or can reschedule if necessary.
Health history and questionnaires
Once all of your information is in our system, the next step is for us to learn more about your health history and symptoms. Our forms can be completed online any time before your appointment. We also have paper copies that can be filled out by hand in-office, but it is very helpful to have this information prior to your appointment to limit your wait time. Your health history form will include information on your overall health, medications, allergies, symptoms, daily tasks and hobbies, as well as family medical and ocular history. All of this information is important to providing you with a thorough and accurate ocular health examination.
Pre-testing with our trained technicians
When you arrive for your appointment, one of our technicians will begin putting your information into our electronic records. Once they are ready for testing, they will call you back to our pre-testing room. (Please note that on most days there are multiple doctors in the office, so you may not be called back in the order that you arrived.) In this room, they will begin gathering information to help our doctors prepare for your examination. These tests are all painless and non-invasive and may include:
- A reading of the prescription in your glasses (using a lensometer)
- A measurement that provides us with an estimate of your current prescription and curvature of your eyes (using an autorefractor)
- A reading of the pressure inside of your eye to determine glaucoma risk (using a rebound tonometer–no puff of air test anymore!)
- A screening test for visual field loss (this may be done by an instrument or by the doctor)
- An image that maps out your corneal curvature (called topography; used for contact lens wearers or patients with corneal conditions)
- A photograph of the inside of the eye to monitor your retinal health (an Optomap image)
Once this initial round of testing is complete (which only takes a few minutes!), you will be brought into an exam room where the technician will perform a few more tests:
- You will read a chart of letters at distance and near to check your visual capabilities (called visual acuity)
- A screening test for color vision deficiencies
- Completing more in-depth documentation of your current visual/ocular symptoms, issues or concerns
- Setting and cleaning the instruments for your examination with the doctor
Examination with the doctor
Once the technician has completed your pre-testing, your doctor will be with you as quickly as possible. They will review your symptoms and health history to determine appropriate tests for your exam that day, which may include:
- Using a light to check the response of your pupils
- Having you track an object with your eyes to check your muscle motility
- Performing a cover test to check for eye misalignment
- Using the slit lamp (a magnifier with a light) to evaluate the health of your eyes
- Showing you a series of lens options to find your sharpest vision and fine-tune your glasses prescription (called refraction)
- Examining your Optomap image and utilizing dilation drops if necessary to further examine any retinal abnormalities
- Any additional tests deemed necessary by the doctor to address your primary concerns or further evaluate any irregularities discovered during the examination
Treatment and follow up plan
Once all of your testing is complete, your doctor will discuss all of their findings with you. For any medical symptoms or concerns, they will explain your treatment and follow up plan, as well as any additional testing or referrals that may be necessary. For vision correction, they will discuss appropriate options for you such as glasses, contact lenses, or surgical correction. If you are pursuing contact lens wear, a contact lens evaluation will be necessary.
Selecting frame and lenses with opticians
After your exam, you can head over to our optical department to begin selecting your frame(s) and discussing lens options, pricing, and insurance coverage with our experienced opticians. They are thoroughly trained to help you with styling, ensuring your frame is an appropriate size for your prescription, recommending the best lens materials for your prescription and daily tasks, and taking measurements to ensure your glasses fit properly and that you will be able to see clearly out of them. Our opticians are also available for adjustments, repairs and troubleshooting, should you ever need it.
Check out and billing
After you are done selecting glasses (or directly after your exam is complete if you do not need to see optical) you will be taken back to the front desk to check out. Our front desk staff will complete your billing and apply payment and can assist you in ordering contacts and setting up your next appointment.
We hope that this helps you feel more comfortable about your comprehensive eye examination! To schedule an appointment, you can either give us a call or request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!