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Exploring the Different Types of Eye Examinations

Exploring the Different Types of Eye Examinations

All of us have gone through eye examinations several times in our lives and we know the drill. For most of us, what we are more familiar with, is an eye specialist having us make out letters and numbers projected on a wall. This is known as the visual acuity test and it determines your visual clarity and sharpness. From your answers, your eye specialist in Singapore will compare the vision level of each eye with a standard 20/20 range. With a general idea on how well you can see from a distance or close-up, further eye tests may be recommended. 

There are many types of eye examinations that encompass other aspects of your vision including peripheral vision and depth perception. Let us explore the different types of eye examinations eye clinics in Singapore offer and their purposes.

Retinoscopy – Refractive Test

Retinoscopy is a technique used to determine the refractive error of the eye and whether glasses are necessary. During the test, the retinoscope, a handheld instrument, projects a light beam into the eye. As the eye specialist moves the light horizontally and vertically across the eye, movement of the reflected light from the back of the eye can be observed. This reflection is known as the red reflex. Consequently, a phoropter, a device with lenses and dials is used. Through this, lenses are introduced before the eyes and your eye specialist will continue changing the lens power until a refractive error is indicated. Ultimately, retinoscopy provides insight on whether you might be near-sighted, farsighted or have astigmatism.

Peripheral Visual Field Test

This test assesses peripheral vision. Peripheral vision refers to our ability to see things outside our direct line of vision without having to turn our heads. Peripheral visual field tests come in many forms. One of them is the automated perimetry test. This test requires you to look into a machine and focus on a spot in the centre. Small, dim lights will begin to appear at random and every time you notice this light, you press push a button. Lights that you have missed are tracked by the machine. 

Another peripheral visual field test is the confrontation visual field exam. This is easy and quick to perform. During this test, your eye specialist will cover one of your eyes and get you to look at an object directly in front of you. They may then hold up a few fingers and move their hand out of your peripheral vision, asking you how many are up while you are still looking straight ahead. 

Such tests enable your eye specialist to identify peripheral vision gaps and better measure your visual field.

Keratometry Test

The cornea is an important part of the eye and its shape influences how your eye perceives and reflects light. A condition known as astigmatism, which causes blurred vision, results when the corneas are steep or elongated. Keratometry tests help to detect astigmatism. During a keratometry test your eye specialist will use a machine, aligning it with your eye. This machine then indicates measurements related to your cornea shape. Alternatively, photographic tests that record images to create a detailed shape map of your cornea may be leveraged upon. Through this, the thickness of your cornea can also be measured and early signs of keratoconus may be detected.

Our eyes are intricate and complex. One general eye test alone is not comprehensive enough to provide the insights we need to fully understand our eye condition. Therefore, different eye examinations that detect specific potential underlying diseases are required. It is highly recommended to have your vision checked once every one to two years. From there, your eye specialist may recommend further eye tests and appointments if necessary. 

Nova Eye Centre is an eye clinic in Singapore with a range of eye care solutions and services. Book an appointment and get your eyes checked with us today!   

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