Understanding the Different Types of Eye Tests During Your Eye Exam

You’ve probably wondered what all those eye tests during your exam measure. They’re more important than you might imagine. Our knowledgeable optometrists Mital Patel, OD, Mark Machen, OD, and Ashley Swalla, OD, at Classic Vision Care in Kennesaw and Marietta, Georgia, utilize state-of-the-art tests to diagnose an array of eye conditions from glaucoma to dry eye.  

Testing 1, 2, 3

Classic Vision Care offers an array of tests to keep your eyes in tip-top form. These include:

  1. Eye muscle test. Our doctors see how you follow a small light to judge eye muscle strength and coordination. 
  2. Refraction assessment. We utilize a computerized refractor (phoropter) to view how well light passes through your lens and cornea to decipher if you require corrective lenses.
  3. Slit-lamp examination. We examine your cornea, iris, and the area in between while you rest your head upon this microscope.

We also measure your eyesight through a traditional visual acuity test, using charts with large and small letters. In addition, Dr. Patel and her team check for common vision issues, such as:

Fortunately, we can usually correct these issues easily with the proper lenses.

Glaucoma and retinal eye diseases

Your retina contains light-sensitive nerve cells that transmit visual data from your optic nerve to your brain. Glaucoma and diseases involving the retina can lead to extensive vision problems, even blindness. Dr. Matel and our staff determine significant changes in eye pressure, which may signify a problem.

One of everyone’s most memorable exams, known as noncontact tonometry, puffs air into each eye to estimate how much air is needed to flatten your cornea. After applying anesthetic eye drops, we may instead employ applanation tonometry, which stains your eyes with fluorescein dye to measure fluid pressure. If we judge the pressure to be higher than normal, we may follow up with a special pachymeter, which assesses corneal thickness via sound waves.

Dr. Matel also employs light waves to take pictures of your retina via a non-invasive optical coherence tomography (OCT). This maps layers of the retina for:

By measuring inflammation and fluid levels, we determine the best course of treatment.

Direct and indirect exams

Our team utilizes two methods to view the back of your eye.


We shine a light with an ophthalmoscope into your pupil to view the back of your eye.


Dr. Matel, Dr. Machen, or Dr. Swalla wears a light mounted upon their forehead in order to see your retina and other areas within your eye in greater detail. We may also use eye drops to dilate your eyes for greater clarity.

Things to remember

We also use tests to determine your field of vision (perimetry), color vision, and more. Whether visiting our office for a routine exam or other diagnostic tests, bring along a list of symptoms and medications you currently use, plus any eye glasses or contact lenses.

It’s crucial to visit our office for your yearly eye exam or anytime you discover a particular vision-related problem. Simply call us or book an appointment online with Classic Vision Care today. 

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