January is the ideal time to start getting eye exams

Eye chart and eye exam at Performance Eyecare

January is a great time to schedule your annual eye exam. Just remember, “a new year, a new eye exam” to help you remember.

Eye exams are often pushed aside by people with great vision and even those with poor sight, but routine exams are important regardless of age or physical health.

The eye doctors do much more than determine your prescription, if any, for eyeglasses or contact lenses during your eye exam. They also check them for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

Eye doctors are often the first health care professionals to detect chronic systematic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

So what does e eye doctor check for during your eye exam? As mentioned above, it’s more than you think.

Eye doctors check the eyes for refractive error, which refers to nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. This can be corrected with eye glasses, contacts or surgery.

They also check for amblyopia, which occurs when the eyes are turned or when one eye has a much different prescription than the other. In addition, they can check for strabismus (crossed or turned eyes), eye teaming problems, focusing problems, eye diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, and other diseases.

Be sure to schedule an eye exam soon, especially if you haven’t one in over a year. You can schedule an appointment at any of our MO or IL locations over the phone or online!

A visit to Performance Eyecare can keep you from having eye strain

We’ve all squinted to see something before, but we don’t have to do that if we wear the correct eyewear.

At Performance Eyecare, we will protect you from eye strain by giving you an eye exam and then prescribing any necessary eyeglasses or contacts.

Preventing Eye Strain

Are you sitting too close to your computer screen? Doing this can cause eye fatigue and blurred vision, which will make you feel like you have to get even closer to the screen.

Is there excessive lighting around your desk? Overhead lighting should be no brighter than your screen or else it will cause eye strain.

Are you wearing old prescription glasses? It’s always important to wear recently prescribed eyeglasses if you have them. You should schedule an appointment if you are forced to wear old eyeglasses. We can also fit you for custom computer eyeglasses.

Does your computer have an old monitor and low-resolution screens? These two things can be hard on your eyes. Upgrade to a high-resolution flat panel display for less eye fatigue.

Do you “turtle” when you sit at your desk? “Turtling” is when you sit with your back rounded, chin pushed forward and head tilted back. Some of us do this to get closer to the screen. You should schedule an appointment with our office if you can’t see the screen clearly with good posture.

Is your mouse too far away? If yes, then you’re forced to lean forward and closer to the screen which will cause strain.

Are you sitting in a bad chair? Your back should be supported so you can sit upright and at a comfortable distance from the screen.

Here are three additional tips to help combat eye strain:

Get an eye exam. This is simple because your eye doctor can identify your vision problems and prescribe special computer glasses for better comfort.

Avoid “computer stare.” It’s easy to forget to blink at a computer screen. Remember to blink often and fully to keep your eyes moist and comfortable.

Performance Eyecare will keep your eyes healthy this winter

What’s the number one concern during the cold winter months? Staying warm, of course! Keep in mind that your eye health shouldn’t take a back seat because these cold months can be just as dangerous as the summer ones.

Here are 3 tips to keeping your eyes healthy this winter:

  1. Keep your eyes moist

We all love to sit around a fire or next to the heater during the winter, but doing this can cause dryness and irritation to your eye. Those who already suffer from dry eyes should really be careful where they sit in relation to a heat source as this can be extremely painful.

Dry eye syndrome is just one of the many eye conditions we can treat at Performance Eyecare. Dry eye syndrome is a common condition, especially in women over 40, but it has many available treatment options.

  1. Wear sunglasses with UV protection

Many of us don’t like snow because it keeps us from traveling outside, but here’s another reason to dislike the snow: it’s super bright when the sun is out. As noted by YourSightMatters.com, “snowy conditions double the sun’s effect as ultraviolet rays can enter the eyes from above and are reflected off the snow into your eyes.”

So what’s the best thing to combat the brightness? Wear sunglasses that block 99 or 100 percent of UV light. In addition, wear a hat or a visor for extra protection.

At Performance Eyecare, we carry a lot of UV-protected sunglasses. What’s even better is that we have designer sunglasses, so yes, you can look fashionable even when you’re wearing a heavy coat and bulky pants to stay warm during the winter. Just stop by for a visit soon to find the right pair for you!

  1. Wear goggles

It can be easy for debris to into your eyes when you’re outside. It can be easier when you’re skiing behind someone or having a snowball fight. It’s recommended that you wear goggles for maximum protection as sunglasses won’t be as effective for protection.

Who knew the winter months could be so dangerous for your eyes? Luckily, we know and we also know how to treat your eyes with care and precision. Contact us to make an appointment or check-up soon!

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)

Computer Vision Syndrome is a condition resulting from extended use of display devices such as computers, tablets, or cell phones. Though often temporary, the condition can result in symptoms such as blurred visions, headaches, redness of the eye, dry eyes, double vision, or dizziness. CVS affects as many as 90% of computer users who spend more than three hours a day at a computer.

Most instances of CVS are caused by one of the following: glares, poor posture, poor lighting, or uncorrected vision problems.

Addressing CVS

To mitigate the effects of extended computer use, doctors recommend following the 20-20-20 rule; take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Your glasses can also help prevent eye damage! Consider upgrading to blue-light resistant lenses, which can lesson the impact of screen time.

If you think you may be suffering from CVS, schedule an appointment at one of our offices today.

Diabetic Eye Disease Month

Did you know Diabetes can affect your vision?

Diabetes is a debilitating disease affecting over 29 million Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-fourth of this population is not diagnosed. Although most commonly associated with controlling blood sugar levels, diabetes is a systemic disease that, left untreated or poorly managed, can cause damage throughout the body including the heart, kidneys and retina. It is also a leading cause of blindness in the US (National Eye Institute).

November is recognized as National Diabetes Month. Take the time to learn your risk factors and, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, learn how you can protect your vision.

Diabetes’ impact on the eyes

Diabetes causes progressive nerve damage and damage to the blood vessels leading to the retina, resulting in several types of diabetic eye disease:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: When the blood vessels are damaged, they will leak blood or other fluids, causing distorted vision and blindness.
  • Diabetic macular edema: The macula is in the center of the retina, and enables sharp central vision. Diabetic retinopathy can cause the macula to swell: blurring vision.
  • Cataracts: Although most people will develop cataracts, diabetics often develop cataracts earlier in life.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve due to elevated pressure in the eye. Diabetics are twice as likely to develop glaucoma than other people.

Diabetics can protect their vision and improve their health by:

  • Managing blood sugar levels through good nutrition, exercise and (if prescribed) medication;
  • Regular doctor visits to monitor HBA1C (blood glucose) levels and kidney function;
  • Annual complete dilated eye exams. In a dilated exam, your eye doctor can see things that might not be apparent through a routine vision screening.

For more information on Diabetic Eye Disease and protecting your vision, contact Performance Eyecare.

Your Comprehensive Eye Exam

A comprehensive eye exam includes a number of tests and procedures to examine and evaluate the health of your eyes and the quality of your vision. These tests range from simple ones, like having you read an eye chart, to complex tests, such as using a high-powered lens to examine the health of the tissues inside of your eyes.

Here are some tests you are likely to encounter during a routine comprehensive eye exam:

Retinoscopy

This test helps your doctor get a good approximation of your eyeglasses prescription. For retinoscopy, the room lights are dimmed and an instrument containing wheels of lenses (called a phoropter) is positioned in front of your eyes. You will be asked to look at an object across the room (usually the big “E” on the wall chart or screen) while your doctor shines a light from a hand-held instrument into your eyes from arm’s length and flips different lenses in front of your eyes.

Based on the way the light reflects from your eye during this procedure, your doctor can get a very good idea of what your eyeglasses prescription should be. This test is especially useful for children and non-verbal patients who are unable to accurately answer the doctor’s questions.

With the widespread use of automated instruments to help determine eyeglass prescriptions today, many doctors forgo performing retinoscopy during comprehensive eye exams. However, this test can provide valuable information about the clarity of the internal lens and other media inside the eye. So doctors who no longer perform this test routinely may still use it when examining someone who may be at risk of cataracts or other internal eye problems.

Refraction

This is the test your doctor uses to determine your exact eyeglasses prescription. During a refraction, the doctor puts the phoropter in front of your eyes and shows you a series of lens choices. He or she will then ask you which of the two lenses in each choice (“1 or 2,” “A or B,” for example) make the letters on the wall chart look clearer.

Based on your answers, your doctor will determine the amount of nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism you have, and the eyeglass lenses required to correct these vision problems (which are called refractive errors).

Autorefractors and aberrometers

Your eye doctor also may use an autorefractor or aberrometer to help determine your glasses prescription. With both devices, a chin rest stabilizes your head while you typically look at a pinpoint of light or other image.

An autorefractor evaluates the way an image is focused on the retina, where vision processing takes place, without the need for you to say anything. This makes autorefractors especially useful when examining young children or people who may have difficulty with a regular (“subjective”) refraction. Automated refractions and subjective refractions are often used together during a comprehensive exam to determine your eyeglasses prescription.

An aberrometer uses advanced wavefront technology to detect even obscure vision errors based on the way light travels through your eye.

Cover test

While there are many ways for your eye doctor to check how your eyes work together, the cover test is the simplest and most common.

During a cover test, the eye doctor will have you focus on a small object at distance and will then cover each of your eyes alternately while you stare at the target. As they do this, eye doctors observe how much each eye has to move when uncovered to pick up the fixation target. The test is then repeated as you focus on a near object.

Cover tests can detect even very subtle misalignments that can interfere with your eyes working together properly (binocular vision) and cause amblyopia or “lazy eye.”

Slit-lamp examination

The slit lamp is an instrument that the eye doctor uses to examine the health of your eyes. Also called a biomicroscope, the slit lamp gives your doctor a highly magnified view of the structures of the eye, including the lens behind the pupil, in order to thoroughly evaluate them for signs of infection or disease.

The slit lamp is basically an illuminated binocular microscope that’s mounted on a table and includes a chin rest and head band to position the patient’s head properly. With the help of hand-held lenses, your doctor can also use the slit lamp to examine the retina (the light-sensitive inner lining of the back of the eye.)

Tonometry (glaucoma testing)

Tonometry is the name for a variety of tests that can be performed to determine the pressure inside the eye. Elevated internal eye pressure can cause glaucoma, which is vision loss due to damage to the sensitive optic nerve in the back of the eye.

The most common method used for tonometry is the “air puff” test – where an automated instrument discharges a small burst of air to the surface of your eye. Based on your eye’s resistance to the puff of air, the machine calculates the pressure inside your eye – called your intraocular pressure (IOP).

Though the test itself can be startling, nothing but air touches your eye during this measurement and there’s no risk of eye injury from the air puff test.

Another popular way to measure eye pressure is with an instrument called an applanation tonometer, which is usually attached to a slit lamp. For this test, a yellow eye drop is placed on your eyes. Your eyes will feel slightly heavy when the drops start working. This is not a dilating drop – it is simply a numbing agent combined with a yellow dye. Then the doctor will have you stare straight ahead in the slit lamp while he or she gently rests the bright-blue glowing probe of the tonometer on the front of each eye and manually measures the intraocular pressure.

Like the air puff test, applanation tonometry is painless and takes just a few seconds.

Since glaucoma is often the result of an increase of pressure inside the eye, these are important tests for ensuring the long-term health of your eyes.

Summary

These are the most common tests performed during a standard comprehensive eye exam. Depending on your particular needs, your doctor may perform additional tests or schedule them to be performed at a later date.

Visit Performance Eyecare for eye exams

Did you know August is National Eye Exam month? It’s a nice reminder as we get ready to send the kids back to school that eye health is important learning for children, and even for adults.

The Vision Council of America states that 12.2 million Americans need vision correction, but don’t use any. Also, almost 50 percent of parents with children under 12 years old have never taken their children to an eye care professional.

Here are five reasons why you should have an eye exam this month:

1. Save a headache

You might need to visit an eye care doctor if you have unexplained and constant headaches. The stress you’re putting your eyes through could be the cause.

2. Perform well in school

This is vital as one out of four children is believed to have vision problems, which could explain why your child’s grades are slipping. Children won’t always speak up so it’s on you to do the right thing and take your child to get his or her eyes examined.

3. Determine prescription

Like everything, your eyes change. Visiting an eye care professional such as the one you’ll find at Perfomance Eyecare, you can change your prescription so you can see better.

4. Detect eye conditions

An eye doctor is able to spot early onset signs of various health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma and high cholesterol.

5. Prevent conditions

As if the previous four reasons weren’t enough, you can stop eye conditions. Many eye diseases, such as macular degeneration or cataracts, don’t have symptoms. Early detection is extremely important to prevent serious damage.

At Performance Eyecare, we test for glaucoma without the dreaded air puff. Your eye doctor instills an eye drop and determines your eye pressure while looking with the microscope. There is no pain and this method is much more accurate than blowing air into your eye.

What You Need To Know About Colored Contacts

Colored Contacts are all the rage these days, giving people the option to change the look of their eyes in an instant. Even if you don’t need contacts to correct your vision, you can purchase them for cosmetic reasons, just like you can purchase glasses with non-prescription lenses. There are 3 types of colored contact lenses that can change your eye color and look.

Enhancement contacts change light-colored eyes into different shades of blues, greens and grays. Each will look different depending on your original eye color, as the two blend together uniquely. These contacts do not change eye colors that are originally darker.

Opaque contact lenses are very popular because they totally change the color of your eyes whether you have light or dark eyes. They can give you a dramatic new look.

Special effects lenses are used to add flair and reality to Halloween costumes and for stage performances, such as to look more like a vampire or zombie and the like. They can create a special effect or simply be a bold fashion statement. Some companies are making new types of lenses called circle lenses that widen the look of the iris by adding a black circle around the outside of the lens. This is especially popular in Korea.

What You Need to Know About Colored Contacts

Unfortunately, there are companies selling contacts that are non-prescription and are not approved by the FDA. This is against the law and very dangerous to the health of your eyes. If you are considering purchasing colored contacts it is very important to have a vision exam with a certified optometrist to make sure the prescription is correct, as well as to obtain the proper fit. Our eyes are all unique and even if you have 20/20 vision, you will need to be professionally fitted for contacts.

Purchasing contacts without a prescription can lead to problems such as infections, a scratched cornea, pink eye, decreased vision, and blindness. This can be due to the wrong prescription, poor fit, poor care of the lenses, and improperly made lenses. According to FDA optometrist Bernard P. Lepri, O.D., M.S., M.Ed., “Bacterial infections can be extremely rapid, result in corneal ulcers, and cause blindness–sometimes within as little as 24 hours if not diagnosed and treated promptly.”

There are colored contacts to fit most eyes including those with vision correction. We specialize in fitting even the most difficult to fit contact lens wearer. Contact us today to find out more about the vision exams and colored contacts we offer.

Performance Eyecare carries contacts for ‘hard-to-fit’ eyes

eye doctor in Swansea IL & St. Louis

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for contact lenses. If you have one or more of the following conditions, contact lens wear may be more difficult:

  • astigmatism
  • dry eyes
  • presbyopia
  • giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC)
  • keratoconus
  • post-refractive surgery (such as LASIK)

But “difficult” doesn’t mean impossible. Often, people with these conditions can wear contacts quite successfully. Let’s take a closer look at each situation – and possible contact lens solutions.

Contact lenses for astigmatism

Astigmatism is a very common condition where the curvature of the front of the eye isn’t round, but is instead shaped more like a football or an egg. This means one curve is steeper or flatter than the curve 90 degrees away. Astigmatism won’t keep you from wearing contact lenses – it just means you need a different kind of lens.

Lenses specially designed to correct astigmatism are called “toric” lenses. Most toric lenses are soft lenses. Toric soft lenses have different corrective powers in different lens meridians, and design elements to keep the lens from rotating on the eye (so the varying corrective powers are aligned properly in front of the different meridians of the cornea).

In some cases, toric soft lenses may rotate too much on the eye, causing blur. If this happens, different brands that have different anti-rotation designs can be tried. If soft lens rotation continues to be a problem, gas permeable (GP) lenses (with or without a toric design) can also correct astigmatism.

Dry eyes can make contact lens wear difficult and cause a number of symptoms, including:

  • a gritty, dry feeling
  • feeling as if something is in your eye
  • a burning sensation
  • eye redness (especially later in the day)
  • blurred vision

If you have dry eyes, the first step is to treat the condition. This can be done a number of ways, including artificial tears, medicated eye drops, nutritional supplements, and a doctor-performed procedure called punctal occlusion to close ducts in your eyelids that drain tears away from your eyes.

Once the dry eye condition is treated and symptoms are reduced or eliminated, contact lenses can be tried. Certain soft contact lens materials work better than others for dry eyes. Also, GP lenses are sometimes better than soft lenses if there’s a concern about dry eyes since these lenses don’t dry out the way soft lenses can.

Replacing your contacts more frequently and reducing your wearing time each day (or removing them for specific tasks, such as computer work) can also reduce dry eye symptoms when wearing contacts.

Contact lenses for giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC)

Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC) is an inflammatory reaction on the inner surface of the eyelids. One cause of GPC is protein deposits on soft contact lenses. (These deposits are from components of your tear film that stick to your lenses and become chemically altered.)

Usually, changing to a one-day disposable soft lens will solve this problem, since you just throw these lenses away at the end of the day before protein deposits can accumulate on them. Gas permeable lenses are also often a good solution, as protein deposits don’t adhere as easily to GP lenses, and lens deposits on GP lenses are more easily removed with daily cleaning.

In some cases of GPC, a medicated eye drop may be required to reduce the inflammation before you can resume wearing contact lenses.

Contact lenses for presbyopia

Presbyopia is the normal loss of focusing ability up close when you reach your 40s.

Today, there are many designs of bifocal and multifocal contact lenses to correct presbyopia. Another option for presbyopia is monovision. This is wearing a contact lens in one eye for distance vision and a lens in the other eye that has a modified power for near vision.

During your contact lens fitting we can help you decide whether bifocal/multifocal contact lenses or monovision is best for you.

Contact lenses for keratoconus

Keratoconus is a relatively uncommon eye condition where the cornea becomes thinner and bulges forward. The term “keratoconus” comes from the Greek terms for cornea (“kerato”) and cone-shaped (“conus”). The exact cause of keratoconus remains unknown, but it appears that oxidative damage from free radicals plays a role.

Gas permeable contact lenses are the treatment option of choice for mild and moderate keratoconus. Because they are rigid, GP lenses can help contain the shape of the cornea to prevent further bulging of the cornea. They also can correct vision problems caused by keratoconus that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or soft contacts.

In some cases, a soft contact lens is worn under the GP lens for greater comfort. This technique is called “piggybacking.” Another option for some patients is a hybrid contact lens that has a GP center, surrounded by a soft “skirt”.Contact lenses after corrective eye surgery

More than one million Americans each year have LASIK surgery to correct their eyesight. Sometimes, vision problems remain after surgery that can’t be corrected with eyeglasses or a second surgical procedure. In these cases, gas permeable contact lenses can often restore visual acuity and eliminate problems like glare and halos at night.

GP lenses are also used to correct vision problems after corneal transplant surgery, including irregular astigmatism that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses.

GP lenses prescribed after LASIK and corneal transplants sometimes have a special design called a “reverse geometry” design to better conform to the altered shape of the cornea. The back surface of these lenses is flatter in the center and steeper in the periphery. (This is the opposite of a normal GP lens design, which is steeper in the center and flattens in the periphery.)

Problem-solving contact lens fittings cost more

Fitting contact lenses to correct or treat any of the above conditions will generally take much more time than a regular contact lens fitting. These “hard-to-fit” cases usually require a series of office visits and multiple pairs of trial lenses before the final contact lens prescription can be determined. Also, the lenses required for these conditions are usually more costly than regular soft contact lenses. Therefore, fees for these fittings are higher than fees for regular contact lens fittings. Call our office for details.

Find out if you can wear contact lenses

If you are interested in wearing contact lenses, call our office to schedule a consultation. Even if you’ve been told you’re not a good candidate for contacts because you have one of the above conditions or for some other reason, we may be able to help you wear contact lenses safely and successfully.

Blurred vision at 40

Blurred Vision Eye Care at Performance Eyecare

Are you 40 years old and beginning to experience blurred near vision when reading or working at the computer? You may have developed presbyopia.

Presbyopia is widespread in the United States as the people in the country are growing older than in previous years. The growing number of older citizens generates a huge demand for eyewear, contact lenses and surgery that can help those with presbyopia deal with their failing vision. According to the World Health Organization, more than a billion people in the world were presbyopic as of 2005.

A major sign that someone has developed presbyopia is when they have to hold books, magazines, newspapers, menus and other reading materials at arm’s length in order to focus properly. When they perform near work, they may develop headaches, eye strain or feel fatigued.

Presbyopia is an age-related process, which differs from astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness. Some treatment options include eyeglasses with bifocal or progressive addition lenses. Reading glasses or multifocal contact lenses are also available.

At Performance Eyecare, we create eyeglass lenses in our office with our state-of-the-art edging instruments.

Surgical options to treat presbyopia are also available, although some surgical procedures correct the problem only temporarily for a limited amount of time.

For more information or to test your eyes for presbyopia, schedule an appointment with your local PEC office!

Performance Eyecare conducts stress-free eye exams

Performance EyeCare STL Eye Examination

We understand the word “exam” can add some unnecessary stress to your life, so we wanted to share with you what a routine comprehensive eye exam usually consists of:

As noted by Gary Heiting, OD, and Jennifer Palombi, OD, the following is what makes up a routine eye exam:

Visual Acuity Test

This measures the sharpness of your vision and it’s usually performed with a projected eye chart to measure the distance visual acuity. It also consists of a small, handheld acuity chart to measure your near vision as well.

Color Blindness Test

This test can check your color vision as well as alert your eye doctor to any possible eye health problems that may affect your color vision.

Cover Test

During this test, your eye doctor will have you focus on a small object across the room and will then cover each of your eyes alternately while you stare at the target. The doctor then assesses whether the uncovered eye must move to pick up the fixation target, which could indicate strabismus or a more subtle binocular vision problem that could cause eye strain or amblyopia, known as “lazy eye.”

Retinoscopy

Your eye doctor may perform this test early in the eye exam to obtain an approximation of your eyeglass prescription.

In retinoscopy, the room lights will be dimmed and you will be given a large target (usually the big “E” on the chart) to fixate on. 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.

Refraction

During a refraction, the doctor puts the instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes and shows you a series of lens choices. He or she will then ask you which of the two lenses in each choice looks clearer.

Based on your answers, your eye doctor will continue to fine-tune the lens power until reaching a final eyeglass prescription.

Autorefractors and Aberrometers

An autorefractor, like a manual refraction, determines the lens power required to accurately focus light on your retina. Autorefractors are especially useful in certain cases such as evaluating young children who may not sit still, pay attention or interact with the eye doctor adequately for an accurate manual refraction.

Slit-Lamp Examination

The slit lamp, also called a biomicroscope, allows your eye doctor to get a highly magnified view of the structures of your eye to thoroughly evaluate your eye health and detect any signs of infection or disease.

During this test, your doctor will have you place your chin on the chin rest of the slit lamp and will then shine the lamp’s light at your eye. The doctor looks through a set of oculars (much like a microscope in a science lab) and examines each part of your eye in turn.

He or she will first examine the structures of the front of your eye (lids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, etc.). Then, with the help of a special high-powered lens, your doctor will view the inside of your eye (retina, optic nerve, macula and more).

The Glaucoma Test

A common glaucoma test is the “puff-of-air” test, technically known as non-contact tonometry, or NCT. (This test was immortalized on the hit TV show Friends, when Rachel couldn’t sit still for it.)

For NCT, the test begins with you putting your chin on the machine’s chin rest. While you look at a light inside the machine, the doctor or a trained assistant will puff a small burst of air at your open eye. It is completely painless, and the tonometer does not touch your eye.

At Performance Eyecare, we do not use the air puff. Instead, our doctors instills an eye drop and determines your eye pressure while looking with the microscope. There is no pain and this method is much more accurate than blowing air into your eye.

Pupil Dilation

To obtain a better view of the eye’s internal structures, your eye doctor instills dilating drops to enlarge your pupils. Dilating drops usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to start working. When your pupils are dilated, you will be sensitive to light (because more light is getting into your eye) and you may notice difficulty focusing on objects up close. These effects can last for up to several hours, depending on the strength of the drop used.

Once the drops have taken effect, your eye doctor will use various instruments to look inside your eyes. You should bring sunglasses with you to your eye exam, to minimize glare and light sensitivity on the way home. If you forget to bring sunglasses, the staff usually will give you a disposable pair.

Visual Field Test

In some cases, your eye doctor may want to check for the possible presence of blind spots (scotomas) in your peripheral or “side” vision by performing a visual field test. These types of blind spots can originate from eye diseases such as glaucoma.

Analysis of blind spots also may help identify specific areas of brain damage caused by a stroke or tumor.