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Guide to a Comprehensive Eye and Vision Exam

If you ever read a summary of a comprehensive exam, you may get a little confused by all the technical vision terms. To try to make it more easy to understand, I have listed a brief explanation of the tests accomplished by comprehensive eye and vision exams.

This does not cover every single test, but the majority of them. Because each patient is different, each exam uses different tests. You may find a Glossary of Vision Terms helpful as well.

  • MEDICAL HISTORY: Questions about past and current medical problems.
  • VISUAL HISTORY: Questions about past and current vision problems.
  • VISUAL ACUITY: Sharpness or clearness of eyesight at a specific distance.
  • KERATOMETRY: Measures the shape of the front part of the eye (the cornea) where light enters.
  • EXTRA OCULAR MUSCLES: Measures how accurately the eyes move while following an object and looking back and forth between targets.
  • COVER TEST (NEAR): Measures the amount that the eyes are misaligned while looking at near.
  • COVER TEST (DIST): Measures the amount that the eyes are misaligned while looking at distance.
  • NEAR POINT CONVERGENCE: Measures the ability to converge - the eyes turning towards each other when looking at an object up close.
  • STEREOPSIS: Measures the ability of the eyes to work together to see fine detail with depth perception “3D”.
  • NEAR POINT ACCOMMODATION: Measures how close each eye is able to see clearly.
  • PHORIA (NEAR): Measures the amount that the eyes are misaligned while looking at near.
  • PHORIA (DISTANCE): Measures the amount that the eyes are misaligned while looking at distance.
  • NEAR VERGENCE (BI): Measures the ability to converge - the eyes turning towards each other when looking at an object up close.
  • NEAR VERGENCE (BO): Measures the ability to diverge - the eyes turning outwards at an object.
  • ACA RATIO: Measures how much the eyes converge while focusing up close.
  • NEGATIVE RELATIVE ACCOMMODATION: Measures the maximum ability to relax focusing while maintaining clear, single binocular vision.
  • POSITIVE RELATIVE ACCOMMODATION: Measures the maximum ability to focus while maintaining clear, single binocular vision.
  • MEM RETINOSCOPY: Measures the accuracy of focusing while looking at an object up close.
  • REFRACTION: Measures the nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism of the eyes.
  • EXTERNAL EXAM: Determines health of the eyes by observation.
  • SLIT-LAMP EXAM: Determines the health of the eyes with a microscope.
  • OPHTHALMOSCOPY: Uses special lenses to look inside the eye for diseases.
  • TONOMETRY: Measures the pressure inside the eyes.
  • DILATION ORDERS: Specifies the type of eye drops and method used to evaluate inside the eyes.
  • CUP/DISC RATIO: A way of measuring the health of the optic nerve. Useful in glaucoma and other eye disease cases.
  • ASSESSMENT: States what the known visual or eye health problems are.
  • PLAN: Summarizes the recommendations for the treatment of the problems.

Be Well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

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