Why is eye testing important?

Routine eye tests are important for people of all ages and levels of physical health.

Eye tests should be an integral part of a person's health maintenance, along with dental checks and medical check-ups. They are especially critical for children, whose visual development is directly related to their academic achievements.

During a comprehensive eye testing appointment, an optometrist or ophthalmologist will check for common eye diseases, assess the normal health and development of both eyes and the visual system in general, and determine whether you need eyeglasses or contact lenses prescriptions, or other visual aids.

Eye testing can also help detect and diagnose other types of diseases, including high blood pressure and diabetes. As a matter of fact, eye doctors are often in a position to notice the signs of these chronic systemic diseases before other health professionals.

Optometrists and ophthalmologists will use a variety of eye tests to examine your eyes.

The most commonly-known test is reading an eye chart to determine visual acuity, however eye care professionals also use more sophisticated tools, such as retinal photography, to look inside your eyes and observe the health of blood vessels and other small structures.

Other eye and vision tests that are used during routine comprehensive eye testing include:

  • Colour blindness test
  • Visual field test
  • Cover testing, to check how well both eyes work together
  • Retinoscopy, to get an approximate idea of your eyeglass prescription
  • Refraction, to measure your exact eyeglass prescription
  • Slit-lamp exam, to examine the general health of your eyes
  • Glaucoma test, to measure the pressure inside your eyes

If you need eyeglasses or contact lenses, your optometrist or ophthalmologist will write you a prescription at the end of the eye test, which an optician will use to deliver the correct type of lenses you need.