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General Practice 2023

8 most common eye exams: what they are for and when to do it

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8 most common eye exams: what they are for and when to do it
8 most common eye exams: what they are for and when to do it

The eye exam, or ophthalmic exam, is used to evaluate the visual capacity and the he alth of the eyes, allowing to identify changes that can cause or be a sign of vision problems or diseases, such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.

There are several types of eye exams, such as eye fundus exam, corneal topography or visual field exam, which can be indicated by the ophthalmologist to evaluate the structures of the eye, such as retina, iris, cornea and blood vessels, in addition to external evaluation of the tear duct and eyelids.

It is recommended to consult an ophthalmologist at least once a year, especially after age 40, or whenever vision-related symptoms such as difficulty seeing, double or blurry vision, frequent headache or red eyes appear, for example.See a more complete list of symptoms that may indicate vision problems.

Snellen test

Snellen Test

Main eye exams

There are several types of eye examination that can be performed according to the condition you are trying to identify.

Major eye exams include:

1. Eye test

The eye test is a simple and painless eye exam, performed by the pediatrician in the first week of the newborn's life to evaluate the structures of the eye, ensuring that they are correctly developed.

This eye exam allows the doctor to identify changes that may indicate eye diseases in the newborn, such as congenital cataract, glaucoma, retinoblastoma, high degrees of myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia and even blindness.See other indications of the olhinho test.

When to do it: the eye test is usually done in the maternity ward, after the baby is born, but it can also be performed at the baby's first appointment after leaving the maternity ward. To perform the exam, the doctor uses an ophthalmoscope, which is a small device that projects a light into the newborn's eyes, allowing them to evaluate their structures and the reflex of the retina.

2. Eye Motility Test

The eye motility test is performed by the ophthalmologist to assess the strength of the muscles that move the eyes, as well as the lack of control or coordination of these muscles. of visual capacity.

Usually, this test is performed by placing a small object in front of the person, such as a pen or a light. Afterwards, the doctor makes movements with the object so that the movements can be followed with the eyes.

When to do it: the eye motility test is done in routine eye exams, but it can also be indicated when the person has symptoms such as headache, tiredness, double vision or difficulty concentrating, especially after reading.

3. Refraction exam

The refraction test, also called the Snellen test or degree measurement test, is the most common eye test performed by the ophthalmologist and serves to assess how much the person sees, having to observe letters from a scale or numbers, through a device, called an autorefractor or autorefractor, placed in front of the face.

This exam allows the doctor to assess the presence of myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatism, and to verify the need for glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.

When to do it: the refraction exam should be done whenever the person has vision changes for near, far or difficulty focusing, for example.

4. Visual field examination

Visual field examination, also called perimetry, is performed to assess the ability to perceive the central and peripheral visual field, being mainly indicated for diagnosis and monitoring of glaucoma treatment.

In addition, this exam can be done to identify visual field changes and retinal diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration or edema, retinitis pigmentosa, tumors or retinitis. See other indications of the visual field exam and how it is done.

When to do: Visual field examination should be performed in case of eye pain or when there is a diagnosis of glaucoma, hyperthyroidism, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, tumor brain, or pituitary disorders, as it allows checking for changes in the visual field.

5. Corneal topography

Corneal topography, also called keratoscopy or corneal topography, is an exam that measures the thickness and curvature of the cornea, allowing the identification of corneal deformations, as in the case of keratoconus, for example.

This exam can also be performed in the pre and post-operative period of surgeries for the treatment of cataracts, pterygium, myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia, or even for corneal transplantation, in order to verify if the person is fit for the performing the surgery, or to check the results of the surgery. Understand how corneal topography is performed.

When to do it: Corneal topography is performed by the ophthalmologist whenever there is a suspicion of changes in the shape and thickness of the cornea, or to evaluate the cornea before or after ophthalmological surgeries

6. Fundus eye exam

The eye fundus exam, also called funduscopy or retinal mapping, is a type of eye exam that allows you to evaluate the structures of the eye, such as the optic nerve, retinal blood vessels and the macula region.

This exam allows you to visualize the arteries, veins and nerves of the eye in detail and in color, facilitating the identification of retinal changes, or even systemic diseases that can cause retinopathy.

When to do it: A fundus examination can be done at routine annual consultations in adults, especially after age 40 or when a person has diabetes or high blood pressure. In addition, this test can be performed on premature newborns to assess the presence of eye problems such as retinoblastoma, or infections such as syphilis, rubella, toxoplasmosis or cytomegalovirus, in case the mother had an infection during pregnancy.

7. Ishihara Test

The Ishihara test, also known as the color sense test, is an eye test that assesses color perception and is used to diagnose color blindness.

This exam aims to assess the person's ability to distinguish various shades of colors, which can be done using cards with circular images that have dots of several different shades. See other tests to identify color blindness.

When to do it: The Ishihara test can be done by children or adults, whenever there is a difficulty in identifying colors.

8. OCT Test

The OCT test, or optical coherence tomography, is an examination performed by the ophthalmologist, using a machine that emits light, which is captured by the computer, producing images in color, of the structures of the eye, such as the retina, iris, lens, vitreous and cornea.

This exam allows you to diagnose various eye diseases that affect the cornea, retina, vitreous or optic nerve, such as macular degeneration or edema, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy, for example.

When to do it: The OCT test should be done whenever the eye doctor suspects vitreous or retinal disease, especially when the person has other he alth conditions such as diabetes, or to monitor the postoperative period of eye surgeries.

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