How an Eye Exam is Performed

Optometrists and ophthalmologists use a wide variety of techniques to examine your eyes during a comprehensive eye exam. These tests range from the simple, like having you read an eye chart, to the complex, such as using a high-powered lens to visualize the tiny structures inside of your eyes. A comprehensive eye exam can take an hour or more, depending on your doctor and the number and complexity of tests required to fully evaluate you. It is through these tests that you can determine if you may a candidate for a procedure such as LASIK or cataract surgery. For more information on cataract and LASIK surgery in Orange County, contact the experts at Advanced Eye Medical to schedule your eye exam.

Here is what you can expect during a comprehensive eye exam:

Color Blindness Test

A color vision screening is often performed early in the eye exam process. In addition to detecting color blindness, this can also alert your doctor to eye health defects that affect your color vision.

Cover Test

During this test, your doctor will cover each of your eyes individually and ask you to look across the room at a far object, then closer at a near object. By having you fixate on these two separate targets with each eye, your doctor can see weather the eye has to move in order to “pick up” the target. If it does have to move, this could indicate strabismus or a subtler binocular vision problem that could cause eye strain or “lazy eye.”

Ocular Motility (Eye Movement) Testing

These tests show how well your eyes can follow a moving target or move rapidly between two targets. The more common test is of smooth eye movement, or “pursuits.” Your doctor will have you hold your head still and follow a small light or other object from side to side using only your eyes. Less frequently, doctors may test quick eye movements, or “saccades,” by having you move your eyes back and forth between two objects placed with some space in between. Potential problems with eye movements are problems with eye strain, reading ability, and sports vision.

Stereopsis (Depth Perception) Test

The term “stereopsis” describes the way your two eyes team up to create depth perception as well as a 3-D view of the world. In one commonly used stereopsis test, you are asked to wear 3-D glasses while looking at a booklet of test patterns. The booklet will have images of shapes that appear closer and farther away, and you will be asked to identify which shape appears to be closest to you. If you can identify the correct shape, it means you have excellent eye-teaming ability.


This test is performed early in the exam to get an approximation of your eyeglass prescription. Your doctor will ask you to stare at the big “E” at the top of an eye chart. As you stare at the “E,” your eye doctor will shine a light at your eye and flip lenses in a machine in front of your eyes. This test estimates which lens powers will best correct your distance vision.


While looking at an eye chart on the wall, the doctor presents you with various lenses to look through and asks which offers you the clearest view of the letters on the chart. This is how the doctor determines your exact eyeglass prescription.

Slit Lamp Exam

A slit lamp is a binocular microscope (or “biomicroscope”) that your eye doctor uses to examine the structures of your eye under high magnification. During the slit lamp exam, you will be asked to place your forehead and chin on rests on the front of the instrument. Your doctor will begin by examining the structures of the front of your eyes, including your eyelids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, and lens.

With the help of a hand-held lens, your doctor may also use the slit lamp to examine structures located farther back in the eye, such as the retina and optic nerve.

A wide range of eye conditions and diseases can be detected with the slit lamp exam, including cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal ulcers and diabetic retinopathy.

Glaucoma Test

This is the “puff of air” test, technically known as non-contact tonometry, or NCT. Based on your eye’s resistance to the puff of air, the machine calculates your intraocular pressure (IOP). If you have high eye pressure, you may be at risk for or have glaucoma.

Pupil Dilation

Your doctor may use dilating eye drops to obtain a better view of your eyes’ internal structures. This allows for the most thorough evaluation of eye health. Make sure to bring sunglasses for the ride home, because you will be more sensitive to sunlight when your pupils are dilated.

Visual Field Test

In some cases, your doctor might check for blind spots, or scotomas, in your peripheral vision. These can be caused by eye diseases such as glaucoma, or brain damage from stroke or brain tumors.

Eye Exams and LASIK in Orange County

At Advanced Eye Medical, we have been helping patients with eye care in Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, and throughout Orange County since 1982. Our team prides itself on the personal relationships we develop with each of our patients. Contact us for your personal eye exam and for information about receiving LASIK in Orange County.

Is There Hereditary and Non-hereditary Glaucoma?

The term glaucoma refers to a series of diseases that irreversibly damage the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss and blindness, if left untreated. One significant risk factor is increased pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world after cataracts. Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, and there are no fundamental difference between hereditary and non-hereditary forms of the disease. However, those that are genetically predisposed to glaucoma are at higher risk of contracting the disease. Here is a list of other high-risk groups for developing glaucoma.

Family History

Individuals with a history of glaucoma in their family are 4 to 9 times more likely to develop the disease themselves. Family history is one of the primary risk factors for developing glaucoma. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of this disease and up to 10% of all cases have been linked to genetic mutations. In addition primary congenital glaucoma which affects children from birth to three has also been associated with genetic mutations as well. It is important to note that, even if you carry these genetic abnormalities, it does not mean you will develop glaucoma, however, you do have a higher risk of developing it.

Glaucoma, usually, affects the elderly. However, when a young person develops glaucoma it is almost always hereditary. This is important because the young who are when you develop the disease the higher your eye pressure tends to be. This makes treating the disease more difficult than usual.
Anyone with a family history of glaucoma should talk to an eye care professional and be tested for the disease. The sooner it is diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated.

Eye Injury

Those who sustain injury to the eye or experience a scratch on the cornea can develop secondary open angle glaucoma either right after the injury or years down the line. For those who sustain blunt force trauma to their eyes that caused bruising or sustained an injury that punctured the eye may develop traumatic glaucoma. This is mainly seen in sports injuries, particularly those experienced by boxers and football players. Glaucoma mediation is usually used to treat traumatic glaucoma, however if this does not prove successful surgery may be necessary. In addition, other eye conditions such as nearsightedness can cause eye injuries to be more serious.

Others at Risk

• People over 60
• Those who are nearsighted.
• Those taking any steroids at high doses.
• Those who have certain medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or sickle cell anemia.
• Those who have early onset estrogen deficiency.
• Those who have used eye drops over an extended period of time.

Glaucoma is often called the “sneak thief” of sight because the disease slowly deteriorates your sight, with little to no symptoms. Some symptoms can be blurry vision, headache, dizziness and nausea. This is why it is important for anyone, with high risk for developing glaucoma, to get regular eye exams.

If you fall into one of these high-risk categories and are experiencing symptoms, or simply just have questions and concerns about glaucoma, feel free to Dr. Ghosheh, today, at 1-888-439-6565. To schedule a consultation, or appointment, go to