It’s common for people to be wary of picking the “wrong” option during their eye exams, especially if you find little difference between the choices of lens one or two.
Eye doctors often have a general idea of your prescription but we use a process called refraction to fine-tune it. Refraction is, in its simplest form, how light bends as it reaches the retina. When that light doesn’t focus precisely is when patients have a need for corrective lenses.
Part of an eye exam typically involves looking through a mechanical mask called a phoropter. We can switch out lenses for patients to look through, which aids in refining a prescription. I coach patients that if they have a favorite lens, it tells me how to adjust, and if they have no preference then that means we’re right at their prescription. Interesting fact: Option one and two are just labels, and have nothing to do with the glasses numbers. We could use Greek letters to label them if we wanted.
For young children or nonverbal patients we can use a technique called retinoscopy to determine the prescription with surprising accuracy. We can determine visual acuity, prescription, eye alignment and health without needing the patient to speak.
Remember that eye exams are recommended starting at 6 months of age. A comprehensive eye exam is significantly more thorough than the screening device at a pediatrician’s office, and should occur even if the pediatrician does not identify a concern.
Brought to you by:
David A. Hackett, OD, FCOVD
3015 W 11th Ave, Eugene
1011 Valley River Way Suite 110, Eugene
(541) 342-2201 or 866-4EYELUV | sterlingvision.com