It's important to go for a regular eye sight test. But how do optometrists conduct eye testing? They may use one of these 5 different tools.

5 Tools That Optometrists Use for an Eye Sight Test

65% of adults have less than 20/20 vision. Some begin their struggles with eyesight in childhood, and many never gain back a perfect vision (even with glasses or contacts).

However, getting regular eye exams can help to slow down these changes and improve vision before it’s too late.

An eyesight test can involve several different tools to judge your eyesight and any eye-related health issues. Read on to learn about five common tools you’ll likely find at your eye doctor’s office.


1. Snellen Chart

When you imagine a basic eyesight test, you may picture a chart with letters printed in different sizes. This chart is called a Snellen Chart.

Doctors still use these simple charts to judge eyesight, especially nearsightedness. However, most won’t rely on this chart alone. Expect to see this chart, along with several other tests and types of equipment.

2. Phoropter

A phoropter is another common tool that optometrists use. This instrument is a part of nearly all eye sight tests.

A phoropter allows your eye doctor to switch out different lenses with a variety of curves and shapes right in front of your eyes, testing to see which are clear to your eyes. It’s almost like trying on different glasses, rapidly changing the lenses on each side until you find a good match.

3. Retinal Camera

Retinal cameras don’t necessarily check your eyesight, but they’re still a vital part of general eye testing. A retinal camera takes a picture of your eye, capturing eye issues and disease.

These cameras can detect signs of diabetes, hypertension, and other health conditions.

4. Autorefractor

Compared to letter charts and phoropters, the autorefractor is a relatively high-tech way to check your vision.

This machine works by measuring your eye refraction (the way the eye bends light) and determining the correct prescription needed to correct it. Though it may sound complicated, it’s not; all you have to do is focus on an image on the machine’s screen as it measures your eyes.

5. Anomaloscope

An important part of your vision is how your eyes perceive color. While glasses and contacts can correct blurriness, they can’t fix colorblindness.

Tools like the anomaloscope test for colorblindness, especially in children.

If you think you may be colorblind, your doctor will instruct you to look through this tool and watch different colored lights. You must say if you think the colors are the same color or different. This will show if you can see all colors accurately or if you’re unable to sense some shades.

Tools to Try During Your Eye Sight Test

An eyesight test is a great way to check for vision problems, as well as other conditions related to your eyes. Ask your eye doctor which tests they recommend and look out for the tools discussed here.

To learn more about other health and wellness topics, check out our latest health blog posts!

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