If you’ve been in for your routine eye exam and your doctor has indicated you need a further test, then you’re probably wondering what that test may involve. While they may sound scary, eye tests are not painful and are designed with patient comfort in mind.
Types of tests administered for eye disorders.
It’s common for signs of eye disorders to be picked up at your regular eye exams. It’s important to have any issues fully investigated, to prevent eyesight loss or vision problems later in life. There are a wide variety of tests ophthalmologists can choose from, here are the five most common tests administered for eye disorders.
Ultrasonography is a painless test which is used to check the health of the blood vessels connecting the eye as well as making sure the cornea is the correct thickness. A probe will be held against your closed eye which produces an image via sound waves. Your doctor will then examine this image to make a diagnosis. This is similar to a pregnancy ultrasound and should not be feared at all.
Electroretinography is useful to diagnose diseases affecting the photoreceptors of the eye. To begin, your doctor will numb the eye with a painless eye drop. Your pupil will dilate in response, and then a specialized contact lens is placed over your cornea. In a dark room, the patient looks at a bright light, and the patient’s electric activity is recorded.
Pachymetry is another test ophthalmologists use to determine the thickness of the cornea. Doctors have a choice of using either ultrasound based or optical tests, depending on the patient’s needs. Ultrasound tests are done with a combination of eye drops and ultrasound, which is carefully positioned against the cornea. Optical tests are completed without eye drops as no devices make contact with the patient’s delicate eye surfaces.
4. Optical coherence tomography
Optical coherence tomography, also known as OCT, creates detailed pictures of the inside of your eye, so it is useful at diagnosing disorders related to the optic nerve damage, retinal swelling, and other problems. In this test, your doctor will use light to take images, in a manner similar to ultrasonography but without the sound aspect.
Angiography is a common test which is used to diagnose blood vessel related disorders, including macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, blocked retinal blood vessels. This test uses dye to make the blood vessels easier for doctors to see, to help them make a proper diagnosis. The dye is injected into the patient’s arm and is quickly circulated to the eye to be photographed.
If you suspect you have an eye disorder, why not discuss the issue with your ophthalmologist at your next routine eye exam?