A routine eye exam consists of the refractive portion and the medical evaluation. The refractive portion is where the doctor evaluates the patient’s need for prescription eyewear to enhance the patient’s ability to see. The medical evaluation is when the doctor assesses the health of the patient’s eyes. Typically, there is an assessment of the function of the muscles of the eye, the patient’s peripheral vision, the function of the pupils, as well as a microscopic evaluation of the various structures of the eye. Other tests may be run depending on the specific patient’s needs.
Topical eye drops are used to gather further information on the patient as well. One drop (yellow-orange in color) is used to take the pressure of the eye. This is a test for Glaucoma. Other clear drops are used to dilate or open the pupils (the black middle part of the eye). The purpose of the drop is to allow the doctor to have a better look into the back of the eye. These drops typically make the patient sensitive to light for a few hours, and may blur vision temporarily as well. It is advisable to make arrangements for transportation to and from the office when the eyes will be dilated.