What is an eye exam


What is an eye exam ?

An eye examination is when a health professional performs several tests, in order to detect potential eye diseases or eye disorders.

During the examination, it is important to find out the risk factors, and to notice the possible signs of eye diseases, to treat them as soon as possible.


The ophthalmologist

This medical screening is done by a health professional qualified in the field of eye diseases called an ophthalmologist.

The ophthalmologist is a doctor who has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases. He is also in charge of surgeries and prescriptions of eyeglasses and contact lens. 

Patients don't need prescriptions from their general practitioner to consult the ophthalmologist.

He can simultaneously practise in an office, a clinic and a general hospital.


In other words, the ophthalmologist deals with:

  • Preventive care of the eye and the vision;
  • Diagnosis of eye disorders and eye diseases;
  • Treatment and surgeries of ocular troubles.


The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) recommends that adults see an ophthalmologist if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Loss of vision or decreased vision in one or both eyes
  • Changes in vision such as sudden spots, flashes of light, lightning streaks or jagged lines of light, wavy or watery vision, blurry faces, distortions or wavy lines, haloes around lights, double vision
  • Changes in the field of vision such as shadows, curtain-like loss of vision, black spots or blurriness in central or peripheral (side) fields of vision
  • Physical changes to the eye such as crossed eyes, eyes that turn in, out, up or down, pain, signs of infection (redness, swelling, discharge, etc.)
  • Changes in colour vision


Different eye exams

Different eye exams can be done depending on the situation of the patient :

  • Applanation Tonometry
  • Corneal Topography and Retinal Tomography
  • Fluorescein Angiogram
  • Dilated Pupillary Examination
  • Refraction
  • Slit-Lamp Examination
  • Non-Contact Tonometry
  • Ultrasound
  • Visual Acuity Testing
  • Visual Field Testing


The orthoptist

The orthoptist is an allied health professional who is in charge of the re-education of the visual function, and participate in the screening of eye disorders, with the collaboration of the ophthalmologist. The orthoptist can measure the visual acuity, and define the optic correction, with a prescription from the ophthalmologist.

Most of them practise in an office, but some of them can practise in clinics or general hospitals.

This checkup enables the orthoptic diagnosis regarding the patient’s disease or condition, his age, signs and needs. 

The optometrist

Optometry is an independent health profession. The core competencies of an optometrist include refractive examinations, eye function tests, external and internal eye inspections, and contact lens fitting.

In a second part, the optometrist offers suitable optical solutions such as glasses, contact lenses or special equipment for low vision.

If necessary, recommendations will also be made for muscle re-education with an orthoptist or a follow-up with an ophthalmologist.

Source : Optométrie Suisse



Search Pro Visu