Diagnosis & Tests

Eye Examination

The eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist) will ask questions about:

  • Length and severity of symptoms
  • How lighting effects your vision
  • Past eye problems or surgeries
  • Radiation therapy in the head or neck
  • Medications 

Common Eye Tests

The eye doctor will examine the person’s eye, using several tests. The more common ones include: 

  • Visual acuity test. This uses a standard eye chart with rows of different-sized letters. This will check how well you see at various distances.
  • Slit-lamp exam. This test uses a special microscope with an intense line of light to light up the front parts of your eye. It looks at the cornea, iris, lens, and the spaces in between.
  • Dilated eye exam. In this test, your eye doctor puts drops in your eyes to make the pupils dilate (get larger). They will then look at your retina and optic nerve with the slit-lamp or a special instrument called an ophthalmoscope. Your vision may be blurry for a few hours after the test.
  • Tonometry. In this test, numbing drops are placed in the eye, then the pressure inside the eye is checked.


Last Updated May 2023

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