Eye Exams at Eye Clinic of Austin
Comprehensive Eye Examination
At the Eye Clinic of Austin our patients will usually see a Therapeutic Optometrist for a routine vision examination. Dr. Henderson prefers to conduct a medical examination for diseases of the eye and surgery. The Comprehensive Eye Examination is similar for both types of encounters but completed for different types of reasons. Some portions will be performed by an ophthalmic assistant or technician, but the data will be evaluated by the doctor. No matter where you go to get an eye examination, the quality of the exam will depend on the training, experience, and intelligence of the examiner, as well as the thoroughness and duration of the examination.
The comprehensive eye examination consists of several different elements performed in various stages to evaluate the complete visual system including a fundus examination with the pupils dilated. These can be categorized in two (2) main parts:
History - This can be one of the most important parts of the eye examination. We will discuss and document with you both your personal medical history and your family medical history for the entire physical body and your eyes. Some of this information is obtained when you fill out our medical history form.
Physical Examination & Visual Functions - The eye is physically examined by the doctor and your eyesight is tested by reading an eye chart at various distances. If your test shows that your vision is less than perfect, a refraction (see description below) will be performed. The Optometrist will then determine with you any need for glasses and/or contact lenses including the type, brand, prescription and so on. The doctor will also test your pupil function, peripheral vision, muscles and for double vision. Then you will have a slit lamp examination. The slit lamp is a binocular microscope that the doctor utilizes to examine your eyes under high magnification. During this portion of the exam the doctor is able to closely examine your eyelids, whites of your eyes (sclera & conjunctiva), your cornea, pupil, iris and your crystalline lens. Next during the slit lamp exam the doctor will use some anesthetic eye drops to numb your eyes then using a tonometer will measure the fluid pressure of your eyes to determine if you might have glaucoma. This is painless; the doctor will simply touch your eye with the tonometer probe, which has a smooth plastic surface, for a few seconds. The back of your eye can also be examined with a very bright light on the slit lamp after your eyes have been dilated or by using the Optomap® Retinal Exam without dilation. Dilating drops are used to enlarge the pupil so that the doctor can get a good view using a ophthalmoscope of the back of your eye to examine and evaluate your retina, blood vessels and optic nerve. The doctor will also use a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope to perform a panoramic view of the entirety of the back of your eye to look for retinal holes, tears, detachments, moles, tumors or abnormal blood vessels.
Determination of Refractive State (Refraction)
This test is a determination of an eye's refractive error and the best corrective lenses to be prescribed. Using a phoropter, a series of lenses in graded powers are presented to determine which provides sharpest, clearest vision. The test is a required separate element of most visits at the Eye Clinic of Austin and is used to create prescriptions for glasses and/or contact lenses and/or to evaluate possible changes in vision due to medical conditions. This is essential in order to determine if a decrease in vision is due to only a need for glasses, which is easy to correct, or if another medical reason exists.