What To Expect In Your First Eye Exam

During the first part of the eye exam, you will be brought to a pretest room where your peripheral vision will be checked, your current eyewear prescription will be measured and your preliminary new prescription will be electronically measured. Pictures of the inside of your eyes (retina) will also be taken.

Then you will be taken to the main examination room where I will ask you several questions about current eye or vision problems that you may be having. We will also probably discuss other very important issues such as summer vacations, kid’s activities, current fishing prospects and how much the Minnesota sports teams may be disappointing us.

After all those issues have been addressed, I will check your vision without your current eyewear and then determine your new prescription through a process called refraction in which I will show you several combinations and options of lenses to determine which prescription will give you best visual acuity 20/20 or better is always the goal. Click here for a video on refraction

After your new prescription has been determined, we will compare it to the prescription in your current eyewear and help you determine if a change is necessary. Or if you may just want a new frame for a better look, we can also determine if your current eyewear will be an acceptable backup.

Next, onto the eyedrops and fun stuff. Patients over the age of 18 will have their eye pressure checked which is part of the glaucoma assessment. This will require placing an eye drop into each eye to anesthetize the eye so the pressure can be checked. For most patients at the initial examination, a second eyedrop will be given to dilate the pupils. This allows a much better view of the inside of the eyes which cannot be achieved with any electronic photographing devices. Patients will be light-sensitive for 2 to 4 hours and near vision will be blurred also. Small children, who usually have large pupils naturally, or who are nervous about their first eye examination, will probably not have their pupils dilated. It’s recommended that adults have a dilated eye examination every two years. Diabetics or others at higher risk for eye disease, should have a dilated pupil examination every year. Click here for a video on what to expect from dilation

After the pupils are dilated, I will thoroughly inspect the inside structures of the eye looking for any sort of retinal problem, cataracts, glaucoma, or other eye diseases. This is done with a fancy headlamp that I wear called a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope – a.k.a. BIO or light on my head. Next, the outside structures of your eyes will be examined with a device called a bio microscope. None of these procedures are painful, just bright – like a sunny day at the eye doctor.The whole process takes about 30 to 60 minutes depending on dilation needed and or how complicated the case may be. At the end of examination, all patients will be given a sticker and a sucker regardless of age.

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