Everyone agrees that it is important to have regular eye tests, in order to prevent any potential problems, or at least to catch them in the early stages, when they are still treatable. There are numerous eye tests that can be carried out, depending on your problem.
You should see an optometrist at least once a year, in order to check the quality of your sight. He will test your sight by getting you to read charts of different sizes. He will also look into your eyes to see if there are any problems. You may need corrective lenses to improve your sight; they can be either regular glasses or contact lenses.
A refraction test helps determine the right lenses for you. You wear a phoropter (a glasses frame) and the doctor will change the lenses, asking you to compare them until he hits the right balance for your eyes. Then, the optometrist can write the prescription.
There are some basic eye tests that should be done on a regular basis. The tonometry test determines the pressure within your eye. Numbing drops are put in your eyes, and then the optometrist will use a tonometer to measure the pressure. He does this by pushing it gently into your eye and looking at it through the lenses.
The next test is to determine if you have glaucoma. Apart from the numbing drops, dilating drops are also put in your eyes. This helps the optometrist see the color and shape of your optic nerve using a special magnifier.
If your eyes have suspected problems, he may get you to do two more tests. The first is a perimetry test. This maps your complete field of vision to see if you have any blind spots. You sit with your head resting on a bar and have a semi-dome in front of you. You press a button every time you see a light. This creates a map of your vision for him to examine.
The other test uses a gonioscopy and measures if the angle where your cornea and iris meet is wide and open or closed and narrow. If it’s the latter, you may have chronic or acute glaucoma.
Pachymetry is another test that can be done. It measures how thick your cornea is; by knowing the exact pressure value, the specialist can decide on the right treatment.
These tests will help determine if there are problems and, if so, what are the exact issues and what is the best way to treat them. The optometrist may refer you to an ophthalmologist for further testing if glaucoma or cataracts are suspected. Sometimes you may need corrective surgery, which is very quick and easy to perform nowadays; it takes about an hour and is a same-day procedure in hospital.
It is essential to have regular check ups to ensure good eye health and to make sure that you get the proper glasses if necessary. The good news is that you can avoid problems like cataracts or glaucoma, or even more serious issues if you catch them early enough.