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Here's a brief guide to the special eye tests your eye doctor may perform during an eye exam. In addition to a complete examination of your eye, your doctor may want to order one of the following eye tests.

Glaucoma Testing (Applanation Method)

glaucoma testThis eye test helps doctors diagnose glaucoma by measuring the amount of pressure needed to flatten a portion of the cornea. This is done by taking a thin strip of paper stained with the dye fluorescein. This dye stains the front of the eye and enables a better eye exam by the doctor. The patient is then given a local anesthesia in the form of drops and the pressure is measured using a tonometer.

Corneal Topography

During this eye test, a computer is used create a "map" of the curvature of corneal topgographythe cornea. The computer analysis will show any distortions of the cornea such as scarring, as well as conditions such as astigmatism. This eye test is used to screen patients before they undergo any refractive surgery, as well as for fitting contact lenses and corneal transplants. Check out the video about corneal topography.

Fluorescein Angiogram

Fluorescein Angiogram This is an eye test used to evaluate the blood circulation in the retina. It is useful in helping diagnose diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment. During this eye test, a special dye, called fluorescein, is injected into a vein in the arm. The dye quickly travels to the blood vessels inside the eye. Once it reaches the eye, a specialized camera equipped with special filters that highlight the dye is used to photograph the fluorescein as it circulates though the blood vessels in the back of the eye. This will enable the doctor to diagnose any circulation problems, swelling, leaking or abnormal blood vessels. If you need this procedure we will refer you out to our Retina Specialist.

Pupillary Dilation Test

pupil dilationDuring this eye test, the eye doctor places special drops in the eye that cause the pupil to dilate (expand). By dilating the pupils, your doctor can examine your retina for any signs of disease.


Refraction Test

refraction testThis eye test measures your ability to see objects at specific distances. Often doctors will ask the patient to look at a chart, usually 20 feet away, and try to read it while looking through a special instrument known as a phoropter. The phoropter moves lenses of different strengths into place for the patient to look through. The doctor will ask you which of the choices looks clearer and based on these answers will determine the appropriate prescription needed for glasses or contacts. This eye test is useful in helping to diagnose presbyopia, hyperopia, myopia, and astigmatism.

Slit-lamp Exam

slit lamp examThis eye test looks at the front of the eye by shining a beam of light shaped like a small slit on the eye. The eye doctor may also dilate your pupils while you are undergoing this eye exam. The eye test can be used to help diagnose cataracts, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, injuries to the cornea and presbyopia.


tonometryAn eye test used to help diagnose glaucoma in which a small, smooth instrument known as a tonometer is lowered onto the surface of the eye in order to measure the pressure in the eye. Other methods of measuring eye pressure can also be used. The "air puff" tonometer measures the eye pressure indirectly by the eye's resistance to a puff of air. It is less accurate but does not require anesthetic eye drops.


ultrasoundAn ultrasound eye test uses sound waves to provide a picture of the eye's internal structure. It is useful in evaluating ocular tumors as well as the retina when it is being obscured by cataracts or a hemorrhage. This eye test will be given as part of preoperative evaluation for cataract surgery.

Visual Acuity Testing

eye testA test of your visual acuity, or ability to see sharply and clearly at near and far distances, will be performed. Various eye tests can be used to determine the visual acuity of infants, children, and adults. These are fairly simple and can be performed by an ophthalmologist, optometrist, technician, nurse or optician. They do not, however, test for important functions of sight, like depth perception or color blindness. One common type of eye test used for children who cannot yet read is the Random E's Visual Acuity Test. The patient is asked to identify the direction that the letter "E" opens to by holding out 4 fingers to mimic the letter "E." This eye test is safe, there are no risks involved, and it works just as well as most other eye tests.

Visual Field Test

visual field testA test used to measure peripheral (side) vision. When given this test, you will be asked to stare at on object in the center of your line of vision (either the doctor's eyes, on a screen or using a computer program). As you are looking at the object, you will be asked to note when you see an object moving into your peripheral vision. This test is done to diagnose glaucoma or possible damage caused by a stroke.


octThese technologies are used to help diagnose and treat many eye diseases, specifically Glaucoma and retinal disorders. This technology uses laser scans of the back of eye to accurately diagnosis eye diseases.

 Check out the video about the OCT

Corneal Pachymetry

Corneal pachymetry Corneal pachymetry can aid in the diagnosis of corneal thinning and is helpful to assess the function of the corneal endothelium (posterior layer of the cornea). This test is useful in assessing a patient’s eligibility for refractive surgery. Recently, corneal thickness has also been found to be useful in interpreting intraocular pressure.

Endothelial Cell Count

endothelialThis is a new addition to our practice. It is used for evaluating patients who have Cataracts, contact lens problems, Corneal disease, Patients thinking about Lasik, patients who will be undergoing and corneal surgery. This technology allows us to treat and diagnosis more accurately patients with many vision problems. This technology is cutting edge and we are the first practice in our area to own one. Check out the video about the Specular Microscope.

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