Standard eye exam

Standard Eye Exam

A standard eye exam is a comprehensive visual assessment to examine the overall health of the eyes. During this exam, a qualified eye care professional examines the eyes for any signs of vision problems or eye diseases. This kind of exam can detect any vision or eye health issues that may be present and allow for prompt treatment and management.


In preparation for a standard eye exam, it’s important to bring any glasses or contact lenses you wear, as well as a list of any medications you’re taking. Since this exam is comprehensive, and includes a physical and visual examination, there shouldn’t be any need for special preparation. Your doctor may ask questions related to your medical history, eye health, any vision changes or difficulties, and your lifestyle.


The procedure of a standard eye exam usually includes the following steps:

  • Visual Acuity Test: This test is used to determine the clarity of your vision and the sharpness of your eyesight.
  • Refraction: An instrument called a phoropter is used to determine how your eyes focus when looking at various distances.
  • Tonometry: This is a test used to measure the pressure inside your eye which helps to rule out conditions such as glaucoma.
  • Visual Field Test: This is used to measure the peripheral vision and check for any vision problems in the side vision.
  • External and Ophthalmoscopy: This is a comprehensive eye exam that will provide a clear view of the external eye, eyelids, and the Iris. It can also provide a complete evaluation of the retina, vitreous, macula, and most importantly the optic nerve.
  • Slit-Lamp Exam: This is a specialized exam to carefully check the structures of the eyes, including the frontal part and the inside surface of the eyes.
  • Corneal Topography: This is a specialized exam to analyze the curvature of the cornea.

Types of Standard Eye Exams

The three main types of standard eye exams are:

  • Routine Eye Exam: These exams are recommended for adults every two to three years, and for children every two to six years. This type of exam is not intended to diagnose or treat any eye health issue; its purpose is to check the overall health of the eyes.
  • Comprehensive Eye Exam: This exam is conducted on people with symptoms of blurred vision, eye pain, double vision, eye redness, or other eye health related issues. Comprehensive eye exams can detect any underlying vision or eye health issues that could be causing these symptoms.
  • Dilated Eye Exam: During this exam, the eye care professional will dilate the pupils of the eyes. With the pupils dilated, the inside of the eye can be better visualized and more thoroughly examined for any eye health issues.

Risks and Benefits of Standard Eye Exam

A standard Eye exam is usually a safe practice. Standard eye exams can detect any underlying eye health issues and provide treatment to prevent further vision problems. The risks associated with a standard eye exam are few; however, having your eyes dilated can cause uncomfortable side effects such as light sensitivity and blurred vision that can last for several hours.

Why, When and Where to Get a Standard Eye Exam

Standard eye exams are important to have regularly to diagnose and properly treat eye health issues. If you have any symptoms of blurred vision, eye pain, double vision, or eye redness, a comprehensive eye exam should be conducted. It is recommended that adults get routine eye exams every two to three years, and children get them every two to six years.

Standard eye exams can be conducted at eye care professionals such as optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is important to consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned before or if you have any questions or concerns about your eye health.