What To Expect at Your First Eye Exam

A female eye doctor examines the eyes of a male patient using a slit lamp in an optometry exam room.At Eye Specialists of Louisiana, we believe that proactive care is the best way to stay on top of your eye health, whether you’re living with a specific eye condition or not. 

Comprehensive eye exams are the first step and best way to check on the health of your eyes regularly. 

With that said, we understand that trying new things can feel scary. That’s why we are here to help you understand what is involved in an eye exam to better prepare for your upcoming appointment. 

What is an eye exam?

An eye exam is a non-invasive yet complete series of eye tests that evaluate the health and vision of your eyes. It is performed in an eye doctor’s office and typically lasts between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your unique health needs and whether or not you require vision correction.

What is involved in an eye exam?

There are various tests involved in a routine eye exam. Before taking a peek at your eyes, the first step involves a thorough review of your health history, including your overall health, current vision problems and corrective methods used, family history, and medication usage. 

From there, the provider will complete the following tests:

  • Vision screening to verify visual acuity and how well you can see at a distance, from each eye and, then, both eyes together.
  • A refraction test is used to evaluate if your vision can be improved with corrective lenses.
  • Dilation using eye drops to enlarge your pupils in a way to see the back of your eyes and optic nerve more clearly. 
  • Stereopsis testing may be performed to verify your 3D visual acuity.
  • Eye muscle testing to check the motility and alignment of your eyes.
  • Slit-lamp exam is when the doctor uses a special microscope to evaluate the health and structure of your eye. 
  • Color Testing may be done to verify that you can see colors clearly in all hues.
  • Tonometry is a measure of your eye’s internal pressure which, if elevated, can be an indicator of glaucoma.

It is important to note that each patient’s eye exam will be tailored to their unique health history and current eye care needs. Not all tests may be performed during each exam. 

How should I prepare for my exam?

There is no specific preparation required for an eye exam. Before your visit, we recommend that you bring any pertinent medical history along with you, especially if it pertains to your eyes. 

Sunglasses are a great after-visit option to consider throwing in your bag or car. It is also a good idea to bring along a family member or friend to drive you home if you may require dilation, which can cause blurred vision and light sensitivity for a few hours after they’re administered.

How often should I get an eye exam?

Regular eye exams are the best way to stay on top of your eye health at any age. 

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, those with no active eye conditions should visit an eye doctor based on their age, as follows:

  • Once between the age of 20 and 29 years old
  • Twice between ages 30 and 39 years old
  • Once at the age of 40 years old and every 2 years, or as recommended by their doctor, until age 65.
  • Once yearly, starting at 65 years old

For those with active eye diseases or conditions, it is recommended to visit the eye doctor annually. Patients within that category are:

  • Glasses or contact lens wearers
  • Those with a family history of eye disease
  • Those who had experienced an eye injury or are living with an eye disease
  • Have an occupation that may increase their chances of certain eye conditions or injuries
  • Those who have had eye surgery such as LASIK or PRK

In more rare instances, patients may need to be seen more than once a year. Talk to your  doctor to determine how often you should be seen.

Comprehensive Eye Exams Near Me

If you need an eye exam to stay on top of your eye health, we can help. Our team of compassionate eye care professionals is here to help you maintain the overall health of your eyes.

To learn more or schedule an eye exam or other type of eye appointment with us, simply call 225-396-3132 now.