At Beaulieu Vision Care, we care about the health of your eyes. When you visit us we will perform a series of tests to ensure your eyes are healthy and stay that way for many years to come.
If you've never had a routine eye examination, it takes approximately an hour, the time it takes will depend on the number or type of tests we perform and YES it's painless. Periodic exams are vital to the health of your eyes, your eye doctor will advise you how often exams should be performed depending on the condition of your eyes.
Below are the various types of vision tests that we perform at Beaulieu Vision Care:
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Autorefractors & Aberrometers
Aberrometers and Autorefractors are devices your eye doctor may use to automatically determine your prescription. The technology both of these devices use is painless, you simply place your chin on the chin strap and look into the machine the rest is automatically done by the device. Autorefractors evaluate the way an image is focused on your retina where your vision is processed. Aberrometers use wavefront technology to detect obscure vision errors based on the way light travels through your eye.
Color Blindness Test
Color blindness is an inability to see or perceive differences in colour. If you feel you are having difficulty differentiating colour we can perform a screening test that will check your color vision to rule out color blindness, this can be done as part of your normal eye exam.
A cover test determines if there is any ocular deviation (eyes that are not in alignment - ex: lazy eye) and measures the amount of deviation. One of your eyes will be covered while you look at a target in the distance. A normal eye will move quickly to catch up to the target, if your eye does not it may indicate a potential vision problem. There are two types of ocular deviations: Strabismus (tropia) and Phoria. Strabismus is a misalignment of the visual axes your eyes. Phoria is when your individual eyes are no longer looking at the same thing.
Dilating drops may be used during your routine exam as they open the pupil wider to allow the doctor to perform a thorough evaluation of the internal structure of your eye. Dilating drops take 20 to 30 minutes to take effect and your eyes may be a bit sensitive to light and will be difficult to focus. These effects will wear off but can last for an hour or more depending on the strength of the drops.
Glaucoma Test (Tonometry)
Glaucoma tests are designed to measure the pressure inside your eyes. The most common glaucoma test is the puff-of-air test also known as the non-contact Tonometer test. You will be asked to put your chin on the machine's chin rest and then to look at a light inside the machine. A small puff of air is directed at your open eye - this is painless but tends to startle patients - this is normal just do your best to remain still. Based on your eye's resistance to the puff of air the machine calculates your intraocular pressure. The whole test takes just a few seconds. Increased pressure inside the eye can be an indication of Glaucoma so its important to test to ensure your eyes remain healthy.
To obtain a better view of the eye's internal structures, your eye doctor instills dilating drops to enlarge your pupils allowung for a thorough evaluation of the health of the inside of your eyes. Dilating drops usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to start working. When your pupils are dilated you will be sensitive to light and you may notice difficulty focusing on objects up close. These effects can last for up to several hours, depending on the strength of the drop used and are completely normal. Once the drops have taken effect your eye doctor will use various instruments to look inside your eyes to determine their health.
Retinoscopy is a technique used to obtain an objective measurement of the refractive error of your eyes. Your eye doctor will use a retinoscope to shine a light into your eye to observe the reflection off of your retina. While moving a light across your pupil the relative movement of the reflex is determined and a phoropter is placed in front of your eyes that holds lenses of varying strength that are flipped over your eyes to "neutralize" the reflex. You will be asked for feedback on the clarity of your vision as different lenses are used. Based on the way the light reflects from your eye your prescription is determined.
A machine called a phoropter that is placed in front of your eyes and lenses of various strength are flipped in front of your eyes. The doctor will ask you which of the lenses in each choice looks clearer to you. Based on your answers your eye doctor will fine-tune the lens power until you are satisfied with your vision. The refraction determines your level of hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia.
A Slit Lamp machine is used by your eye doctor to highly magnify the internal structures of your eye to see if there are indications of disease or infection. A small beam of light (narrowed into a varied vertical slit) that can be varied in height, angle, orientation and colour is passed over the eye. This allows a thorough inspection of all the ocular media from cornea to vitreous, plus a magnified view of the eyelids, and other external ocular related structures. A Slit Lamp machine can accurately diagnose a variety of eye conditions including: Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy and Corneal Ulcers.
Visual Acuity Test
Generally, the first test we'll perform during your eye exam is the Visual Acuity test. A Visual Acuity test measures the sharpness of your vision. You will be asked to look at an eye chart, while covering one eye and looking with the other, in order to measure your distance vision. Once your distance vision has been measured you will be given a small reading chart to look at, this will assist in determining your near vision. Nothing will be placed in or on your eyes during this test.
Visual Field Test
Visual Field Tests are used to check for the possible presence of blind spots (also known as scotomas) in your peripheral vision. Blind spots can come from eye diseases such as glaucoma and may also help identify other problems that may come from a stroke or tumor.