What Is Done in an Eye Exam?

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During an eye exam, visual acuity is checked, the external features of the eye are examined, muscle balance between the eyes is checked, and the optic nerve is examined through the use of a slit lamp. Find out how the ocular muscles, the lens, the cornea and the iris are all checked during an eye exam with information from an ophthalmologist in this free video on eye care and vision problems.

Part of the Video Series: Eye Care & Vision Problems
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Video Transcript

My name's Doctor Alan Watson. I'm an ophthalmologist in St. Joseph, Missouri and we're here today to talk about eye problems. There's different parts to the eye exam. The vital sign of the eye, of course, is the vision. So, the vision is checked through a scale of aquity which gives you an idea how the patient sees at twenty feet and that's usually done through a reflector eye system within your office. The near vision is checked, the external features of the eye, the eyelids, how the lid works across the surface of the eye. The position of the eyelid. The position of the eyes themselves are checked. The muscle balance alignment between the two eyes. How the extra ocular muscles move the eyes through the different fields of gaze are checked because there are different disorders that can cause problem with how you move your eyes, such as a stroke or there's congenital problems where the muscles aren't properly innervated and that can cause a problem moving the eye from side to side or up and down. Then the eye itself is checked through a biomicroscope called a slit lamp and that puts a slit of light against the eye in a tangential manner and the microscope, the biomicroscope is used by the ophthalmologist to actually look at the different features of the inside of the eye such as the lens, the cornea, the iris, the colored part of the eye. And then the back of the eye is checked by providing a condensing lens, such as a 78 diopter or a ruby lens is used in front of the slit lamp to give a very magnified view of the back of the eye, such as the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the only nerve in the human body that can be inspected. That nerve head, as it's called, can be inspected to see how healthy the nerve tissue is. The blood vessels in the front of the eye and the retina can be inspected. This has been Doctor Alan Watson, Ophthalmologist or St. Joseph, Missouri discussing different eye problems and the treatment of different eye problems with you.

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