Your eye exam will begin with an assessment of your vision, or visual acuity with your current eyeglasses or contact lenses whereby you will be asked to read a chart projected across the examination room that consists of numbers and letters that get progressively smaller and more difficult to read as you move down the chart. Using an instrument called a Phoroptor, a refraction will be performed to determine the most accurate eyeglass or contact lens prescription necessary to correct your vision. Your eye muscle movements and coordination will be evaluated by asking you to look in different gaze positions. The reaction of your pupils to light will be evaluated to test the health of the optic nerve. Your eyes will be examined through a Slit Lamp Biomicroscope to evaluate the health of your eyelids, eye lashes, eyelid margins and tear film as well as the sclera, or “white of your eye”, and the cornea, or clear dome shaped tissue in front of your pupil. By focusing the slit lamp through the pupil or the dark center of the iris, the colored part of the eye, your doctor will be able to examine the health of the crystalline lens, which is where cataracts form. In order to check for one of the signs of glaucoma, eye drops will be placed in your eyes so that the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) can be measured while you are behind the Slit Lamp, or with a TonoPen, which is a handheld instrument. This is an important diagnostic test for glaucoma. The next step is to examine the “back of the eye” by placing eye in your eyes in order to dilate or widen your pupils. It usually takes between 15 to 30 minutes for the eye drops to fully dilate your pupil while you relax in one of our comfortable waiting areas. The fully widened pupil may make you somewhat sensitive to light and may also blur your vision, especially your near vision, for a few hours after your eye examination. If you have not had a dilated exam in the past, it is a good idea to have a driver on your exam day. It is important to bring a good pair of sunglasses with you in order to lessen your light sensitivity.