Having regular eye checkups is one of the most important steps you can take to make sure your vision stays clear and healthy. But many people in Singapore avoid regular eye exams because they’re not sure what the exams might involve.
Checkups are optional, but you should always see an eye doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
If you feel a little anxious about seeing the eye doctor, here’s a quick review of what you can expect during your exam:
- First, the doctor will look at your eyes to check for signs of disease or vision problems.
- Next, the doctor will shine a light in each eye to watch how your pupils react to light.
- You’ll be asked to hold you head still while you follow an object with your eyes to see how well your eye muscles are working.
- The doctor will ask you to read the letters on an eye chart either on the wall or using a machine. You may also be asked to read the chart while you cover one eye and then the other.
- Next, the doctor will perform simple exams to determine if you need glasses and if so, what prescription you need. These tests are called retinoscopy and refraction testing. In retinoscopy, the doctor measures how light is reflected from the back of your eye, or retina. In refraction testing, you’ll be shown pairs of images and asked which one looks clearer.
- The slit lamp exam uses a special light that enables the doctor to carefully scan your eye and look for signs of eye diseases. The lamp’s special design allows the doctor to look at different areas of your eye, including the cornea, the lens and the iris.
- Visual field testing is a simple test to measure your peripheral vision – how far you can see to the side while your eyes are facing straight ahead.
- One of the most critical tests your doctor will perform is the glaucoma test. We wrote about it before: Glaucoma is a condition that occurs when the pressure inside your eye rises. Eventually, glaucoma can cause blindness, yet in its early stages, it causes no symptoms. The glaucoma test will measure the pressure inside of your eye by blowing a small puff of air onto the surface of your eye.
- Finally, your eye doctor may use special eye drops to dilate or widen your pupils so he or she can see the retina at the back of your eye and the optic nerve that sends visual signals to your brain. This exam helps the doctor check for many diseases that can cause blindness.
Eye exams are simple and painless, but they are a critical part of avoiding vision loss. Make sure to see your eye doctor regularly so you can preserve your vision.