What to Expect on a First Visit to an Optician

Anyone attending an eye examination for the first time shouldn’t be wary at all. These exams are quite simple and take about a half hour total. They are performed by an optometrist and ensure that one can see as well as possible.

The optometrist will test sight and the health of the eyes, as well as look for clues of general health problems in relation to the eyes. Many offices will offer a free eye test if the prescription is filled with them, which is a great deal. Many things happen in the half hour one is there, it may be smart to bring along a family member or friend to drive afterward as eyes may be tired and could be dilated for testing.

History and symptoms

First of all, the optometrist will inquire as to why the eyes are being checked. It could be a routine check-up, or one could be experiencing uncomfortable or frustrating symptoms related to their sight.

Any issues being experienced should be expressed to the optometrist as well as how long they’ve been going on and any changes in vision. If the symptom came on over a period of time, or suddenly is also pertinent information.

The eye doctor will also inquire as to the patient’s health in general. They will ask about headaches, any family with eye problems, work, sports, hobbies and about any medication being taken. Let them know if glasses or contacts have ever been worn in the past.

The Exam

The patient’s eyes will be checked both inside and out. This helps the optometrist determine the health of the eyes and may bring to light any other possible medical issues.

The interior of your eye will be examined using a tool called an ophthalmoscope; though it sounds scary it’s nothing to worry about. It uses a special torch that shines a light through the pupil giving a detailed study of the internal parts of the eye. Don’t worry, it’s not an uncomfortable experience.

Your pupil reflexes will likely be tested as well. Many optometrists now offer extra free eye tests, such as photos of the inside and outside of the eyes. Extra free tests may be necessary for fitting contact lenses or in the case of check-ups.

Problems with Vision

The free eye test will usually include measurement of eyesight with and without current glasses of the patient has any, so don’t forget to bring them! They’ll typically test for:

• Distance vision – usually for driving and entertainment

• Near vision – typically for reading and work

• Intermediate Vision – computers

Next, the eye doctor will perform a few more free eye tests to determine if there are any problems. Be prepared to pick between various lenses as to which is better.

Eye movements

Eye movements and co-ordination are part of the free eye test and will tell if both eyes work well together and are not stressed when performing. It’s important to check muscle balance especially for those in computer-related jobs.

What Happens Next?

After the free eye exam, the optometrist will take the knowledge gathered on the health of the patient’s eyes and determine what form of vision correction will suit their lifestyle.

If treatment is needed the patient will get a referral; otherwise they’ll have another appointment set. This is when a prescription is given for contacts or glasses.

Choosing Between Glasses and Contacts

Rest assured, there will be plenty of help choosing glasses or contacts, and there’s no one better than the staff at the optometrist’s office to give advice on the lenses that will be best. They’ll fit them and advise on how to clean and care for them.

In the interim between the next appointment it’s completely acceptable to contact the office with any issues or to get adjustments. By aligning with a reputable optician one will always have someone to help with their glasses, contacts or prescription.

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