Eye Exams - Its Been Awhile

Updated on March 16, 2013
C.Z. asks from Manning, IA
6 answers

I think I need my eyes checked. I have not gone since I had my last surgery in 2002. The surgery really shyed me away from wanting to go to a eye dr. I had a muscle reconstruction in my eyes (which didnt help!).

Lately I have been dizzy feeling. I cannot concentrate. I went to the actual dr and everything appeared to be fine with all of their tests. So now I have a feeling it is my eyes. Grrr I dont want to go. Also I get headachs behind my eyes that are really starting to bother me. If I close my eyes and rest them the pain goes away.

What do I do going in there? I have never went in my adult life so I have never set up an appointment. Is it just like going to the Dr? Sorry if this sounds stupid but I really really do not like eye drs. Also I know I will do the read the letters or symbols thing, but what else should I expect in this case?

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answers from Austin on

Considering your previous problems, I would suggest an OPHTHALMOLOGIST rather than the typical optometrist.... They may be able to address your needs better than an optometrist, who may end up referring you to an ophthalmologist... (an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor that specializes in eyes and eye surgeries....)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I've had several muscle reconstruction surgeries as well. I go yearly to an opthamologist. As CAWriterMom said they will dilate and look at your eyes.

They do always check my vision with at each appointment, just reading the letter chart. They put those big goofy glasses on your face with different lens strengths and ask if you like number 1 or number 2 better, and then they sigh at you when you don't know :) They are just looking for what strength lens you need if you need/have contacts or glasses.

Depending on what the muscle surgery was for this will help tell them if your eyes are drifting or working together/independently. Because I had a lazy eye before the surgery, they also check depth perception (you look at a "magic eye" book basically) and color blindness (again looking at pics in a book).

When my vision starts to decline and my contacts are no longer strong enough, I get those headaches and dizziness. When I finally go and get new ones, I'm like...WOW I CAN SEE!! I had no idea I couldn't see before!

It really isn't bad - please go! Good luck and hope you feel better.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I had retinal detachment surgery years ago and understand why you may be dreading further eye exams. Please do it, though. Catching things early is so critical to saving eyesight and correcting any problems while it's possible.

Book an appt. with an ophthalmologist. That's the person who will check your eye health. You will be given numbing drops to dilate your eyes. Bring someone with you to drive you home because your vision will be funky a few hours after the appt. You'll put your head on a chinrest while the doctor looks at your eyes. Nothing painful at all.

You likely won't need to read any eye charts at this appt. since it's focused on your eye health. I'd book an appt. with an optometrist to check your vision after you see an ophthalmologist first.

Seriously, this appt. won't be a big deal, so get it done. :)

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answers from Jacksonville on

You may get numbing drops and the doc will get a light really close to your eyeball to look inside. I'd make an appointment-what you have going on doesn't sound like much fun!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Here's what you should expect from a basic eye exam:

You may do a couple pre-tests where they get an estimate of your prescription and an air puff test to check the pressure in your eyes (part of checking for glaucoma).

You can expect to read the chart to assess your visual acuity. Then you will follow a target with your eyes to assess your eye muscle function and a light will be shined in your eyes to make sure your pupils respond correctly. Your peripheral vision will also be checked by individually covering each eye and reporting how many fingers are held up. (Now if you have the option to do a visual field as a screening test, I would do it since you have the headaches.)

Then you'll do a refraction to see if and how much of a prescription you have. Some doctors do this fast and if you need to, ask them to slow down. If two choices look the same it is absolutely fine to say so. It means the difference between them is so slight, you're where you should be at for that part of your prescription.

After the refraction, the doctor will look at you on the slit lamp which is basically a microscope. If they didn't do the air puff test, they will check your eye pressure with a blue light after putting some drops in your eyes. Yes, it will sting for just a couple seconds. They will probably put two more drops in to finish dilating your eyes. The dilating drops take about 20 minutes to work and will make you blurry up close and light sensitive, but I promise you will still be able to see and will be able to drive home! The dilating drops are important because a big pupil is necessary for the doctor to see all the way in the back of your eye to make sure everything is healthy. It takes 4-6 hours for the drops to wear off. Usually, you're given paper sunglasses for afterwards, but you can bring your own sunglasses too.

After your eyes are dilated, the doctor will put you back into the slit lamp and hold up a small lens in front of each eye to evaluate the optic nerve and retina. Then he/she will put a light that sort of looks like a miner's helmet on their head and use a bigger lens to check your peripheral retina while you sit back in the chair.

And that's it! If there are any abnormalities, the doctor should go over that with you. If there is a prescription for glasses, the doctor will give that to you and tell you when you need to wear them.

Personally, I think you are fine with seeing the optometrist. They are trained to evaluate the health of the eye as well and if there is something they cannot handle, they will recommend a good ophthalmologist. It's usually easier and quicker to get in to see the optometrist and if your problem is due to needing glasses, optometrists are generally much better at prescriptions.

Hope my novel explained everything! Good luck! :)



answers from New York on

First of all, go to an Opthamologist. You need to be seen my a doctor (MD).

Expect a few tests upfront - color test and visual acuity. They actually will use the visual test to begin the process of determining if you need glasses.

They will also take a picture of your retina. It's an extra cost - get it.

The glaucoma test is the puff of air in your eye. It's annoying for literally 2 seconds.

Then the doctor will sit you down, do the eye chart test and will also put drops in your eyes so he can see in the back. The drops don't numb - they just dilate your pupils so he can get a good look in when he shines the light. Be sure to bring sunglasses as light won't filter as well for a few hours. But you won't have an issue driving!

It's easy - nothing to it. Really, don't worry.

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