Here’s What Your Optometrist Is Looking for During Your Eye Exam

Jun 18, 2021
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Good vision is more than just the ability to see; it’s a complex function involving intricate nerves, muscles, and other tissues to work in harmony. To ensure that, a comprehensive eye exam looks deep into your eyes — here’s what we’re looking for.

Even if test-taking isn’t your forté, an eye exam is a breeze. It’s painless, fairly quick, and indescribably valuable. What may seem like a single simple procedure is a series of tests that detect minor and major eye health issues even before you know you have them. If caught and treated early, a skilled optometrist can prevent the tragic loss of sight.

In Houston, Texas, you have a lot of choices when it comes to selecting an optometrist, but few who offer genuine personal attention and a generous amount of one-to-one time during your appointment, and even fewer who have been named one of Houston’s top three optometrists. With Dr. Sophia Barnes at Vision Corner, you get all that and more. 

With more than 30 years of experience, a state-of-the-art facility with advanced technology, and a commitment to putting patients first, you can trust Dr. Barnes to care for your eyes, from routine exams to serious diseases. Here, she gives you a glimpse of what an eye exam is all about and what she’s looking for during your appointment.

Visual acuity

You’ve heard the term 20/20 as a way to describe vision, but what does it mean? It means that the sharpness and clarity of your vision are in a range that’s considered normal — that you can see an object clearly at 20 feet away. 

We test this by having you read a series of progressively smaller letters on a chart 20 feet away from you. If your numbers are different — 20/100, for example — it means that you have to be as near as 20 feet from an object that others can see at 100 feet away. But even 20/20 vision doesn’t equal perfect vision; there are other aspects to test as well. 

Refractive error

Your visual acuity test may reveal a refractive error in your eyes, which helps determine the type of lens that can correct your vision. Refractive errors include farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. Dr. Barnes uses the latest technology to evaluate your eye’s focusing power with different lenses to choose the right prescription for you, if needed.

Eye teaming

Clear vision relies on both of your eyes working together in unison, so Dr. Barnes tests them to make sure they focus and move together. If one eye behaves differently from the other, you may have ocular motility issues or binocular vision.

Peripheral vision

The ability to see out of the corners of your eyes — peripheral vision — is an important part of your vision range. If you can’t see objects to your side, you may bump into things, fall, and have trouble driving. Loss of peripheral vision may be temporary or permanent, and depending on the cause, it may be treatable. 

Imaging and topography

In addition to testing your vision and overall eye function, Dr. Barnes takes a deeper look into your eyes to evaluate the health of the nerves, muscles, and inner structures. She uses optical coherence technology by Optos®️ to get a better look at each layer of your retina. 

This allows her to measure and map the thickness of the tissues, which helps her detect early signs of eye diseases, including diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). And the best news is that she doesn’t need to dilate your eyes to perform the test.

Eye pressure

High fluid pressure in your eyes can lead to serious problems, including glaucoma, so Dr. Barnes routinely tests the pressure in your eyes. Commonly called the puff test, we aim a small puff of air at your open eye, which isn’t painful, but may be startling. 

When to schedule your eye exam

Dr. Barnes believes everyone should get their eyes checked regularly to screen for problems before they progress and to ensure good eye health and vision. 

She recommends that all adults and children over 5 should have their eyes examined annually. After that, she lets you know the best frequency based on the development of your child’s vision and overall eye health. 

Adults with healthy eyes and good vision should plan to come in once a year; those with vision problems or health issues may need to come in more often. If you have diabetes, it’s best to schedule an eye exam every 6 months.

If it’s been awhile since your last eye exam, give us a call at 713-623-2000 to schedule an appointment. Trust your eyes to Vision Corner.