Why Not Start Off The New Year With An Eye Exam?

A woman getting an eye exam

Most people take the new year as an opportunity to start on a fresh note and try to be the best version of themselves. This may involve exercising more or reading more books.

But one of the best ways you can start off in 2021 is by making sure your eyes are in good shape! Eye exams are a vital part of maintaining strong vision.

They are crucial for the early detection of problems that can be fixed before they escalate into more serious ones. Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect at your next eye exam!

Some Things We’ll Look For

Basic Visual Acuity

To get a good first look at your vision, you may receive a visual acuity test.

Depth Perception

Testing for depth perception allows for a deeper understanding of your ability to detect the world around you in three dimensions. This allows you to judge how far how things are from you.


Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve in your eye. Increasing eye pressure damages the optic nerve slowly and almost imperceptibly.

If it’s left untreated, it can cause permanent vision loss.


Cataracts develop on the lens of the eye, blocking out light until you suffer from vision loss. They occur as a natural part of the aging process.

Color Blindness

Some people are not able to distinguish certain ranges of colors. This is caused by a problem in the sensitivity of the cones in the retina. Cones are light-sensitive cells that detect color.

How We’ll Look For Them

Snellen Chart

A good way to get a first look at your eyesight is by having you sit 20 feet away from a poster. You have likely seen this poster before.

The poster has a line of random letters decreasing in size as you go down the rows. Each of these lines has a number associated with its font size.

If you are able to accurately list off the letters on the line at size 20 from 20 feet away, you have what’s known as “20/20 vision”.

Stereopsis Test

One commonly used stereopsis test involves giving you a pair of 3D glasses and a book full of specific patterns. While wearing the glasses, you need to identify which shape looks “closer”.

Patients with normal depth perception should be able to correctly identify most or all the “closer” shapes.


Glaucoma is typically tested for by measuring the pressure inside of the eye. After numbing your eyes, your eye doctor will either press a probe called a tonometer against your eye or use a machine that blows a puff of air into your eye.
The resistance is noted and the pressure inside your eye can be calculated from the results.

Slit Lamp Exam

Cataracts are visible, but they need special equipment to find them when they are still small. During a slit lamp exam, your head will rest on an instrument, steadied by your chin and forehead.

The eye doctor will use a high-intensity light, which is the slit lamp. The slit lamp will illuminate the inside of your eyeball and a low-powered microscope is then used to look around for any irregularities.

Ishihara Color Vision Test

The most common color vision test involves a series of dots, most of which are of similar color. But in the pattern of dots are dots that are of a contrasting color, laid out to look like a number.

If you are able to correctly identify the numbers in all tests, you likely have normal color vision.

Not sure when your last eye exam was? Solve that problem by scheduling an appointment at Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona in Glendale, AZ!

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