What to Expect at an Eye Exam

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Has it been awhile since your last eye exam? Maybe you’ve never been at all. You know you’re supposed to get your eyes checked every year, but sometimes the unfamiliar is intimidating. You keep putting it off until you learn that your eyes can reveal a lot about your overall health, and you’ve run out of excuses not to go.

So you finally decide to make an appointment, but cue the pre-exam stream of unanswered questions. How do I prepare? What happens during the exam? What if I do need some sort of vision correction, what then? When you visit a VSP® Vision Care network provider, you’ll receive a WellVision Exam and receive the best care possible. Here’s what else you can expect during your visit, and a few tips along the way.

Make an appointment:

  • Find a doctor. Search for a VSP doctor near you by visiting vsp.com. You can search by location, hours, eyewear brands offered, and more. If you don’t already have vision insurance, visit VSPDirect.com to find out how our individual vision insurance plans can save you money.

Before your exam:

  • View your benefit. If you haven’t already, create an account on vsp.com. Once you’ve logged in, you can view your plan coverage and eligible benefits.
  • Consider finding a ride. At your appointment, your VSP doctor may dilate your eyes. This could make your vision blurry and your eyes sensitive to light, which may make driving challenging.
  • Browse featured frames. By choosing a featured frame brand, you’ll save more money thanks to a higher frame allowance. Luckily, VSP has a wide selection of frames to fit every style and budget. Make the decision-making process easier by browsing ahead of time. Explore the latest trends at the VSP online eyewear retailer, Eyeconic™.

During your exam:

  • Complete medical forms. With a clear vision of your overall health and medical history, your doctor can properly evaluate your risk for vision problems, eye diseases and other medical conditions.
  • Look at an eye chart. After providing your health history, you’ll be asked to look at a Snellen Chart. It’s a chart with rows of letters in different sizes that tests how well you can see from far away. The smaller the letters are that you can read, the better your distance vision is.
  • Let the light shine in. Your VSP doctor will shine a little light into each of your eyes to check your vision and estimate your prescription. After that, your VSP doctor will test out a few different lenses to see which helps you see the most clearly.
  • Take eye teaming test. To test how well your eyes work together, you’ll be asked to cover one eye and look at an object across the room. Your VSP doctor will watch how far your uncovered eye moves to see the object.
  • The puff test. Next, your VSP doctor will measure the fluid pressure inside your eyes. You’ll get a little puff of air in each eye, and your VSP doctor may shine a little blue light in your eyes in order to test for glaucoma.
  • Eye dilation. To get a better glance inside your eyes, your VSP doctor may use dilating liquid drops that will enlarge your pupils. This will help the VSP doctor detect signs of eye and health conditions. These drops may make your vision blurry and your eyes sensitive to light for several hours.
  • Slit lamp. Lastly, your VSP doctor will use a slit lamp or biomicroscope to get a magnified view of the front and inside of your eyes. This will help detect signs of other eye conditions, like cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.

After your exam:

  • Select your frames or contact lenses. Once your exam is over, you’ll be able to pick your frames or contact lenses. The office staff will help you figure out what lenses and lens enhancements are right for you.
  • Place your order. After you pick out your frames or lenses, your VSP doctor will place an order with the prescription you need.
  • Start seeing clearly. Once your VSP doctor receives your order, you’ll have a chance for a proper fitting at the doctor’s office before strutting out the door with a whole new view.

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