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Eye Check-Up - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

Last Updated: Sep 30, 2019

What is an eye checkup?

Eye check-up is an evaluation of the vision of your eyes and it is checked that you have any eye-related disease or not. There are a variety of instruments used by the eye specialist through which the eyes are checked. Every test determines a different aspect of your eyes and vision thus telling the actual problem. With the help of an eye test, the problem of eyes is checked as earliest as possible and can help you get the best treatment.

A proper eye check-up is also necessary to rule out the possibility of any underlying diseases that are in the pre-development stage. People who already have an eye prescription should especially have routine tests for diseases such as refractive error or glaucoma done during their annual check-ups as they are more prone to miss early symptoms.

Diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy tend to be asymptomatic in their early stages and need to be tested for in order to detect them in time. These tests can often be incorporated into your routine check-up or just require an extra five minutes at the testing machine designed for that purpose.

What is the eye check-up procedure?

These are the procedures involved in eye procedures:

  • Eye muscles test:

    In this test the muscles of the eyes are checked which controls the movement of the eyes. Eye movement is watched by the doctor as the eyes follow the different objects such as a pen or beam of light. During this test, poor coordination, poor control or weakness of the muscles is also considered.

  • Visual acuity test:

    In this test your vision is checked that how clearly you can see. During the test, the doctor tells you to read letters on the wall which are printed or written on the screen in different sizes. Each eye is tested separately.

  • Color vision testing:

    If you have poor color vision it is not realized before the test. If a person is suffering from color vision problem then he or she may have a problem in identifying colors. In this test, the doctor will show you multi-colored coloured patterns or dots and you will be told to pick letters of numbers from it and if you are able to do that you are not color blind.

  • Slit-lamp examination:

    In this test doctor uses a slit lamp that is a microscope which is used to magnify and illuminate the front part of your eyes and an intense line of light is passed. Eyelashes, cornea, fluid chamber between the cornea and iris, eyelids, are tested with the help of this device.

  • Retinal examination:

    The back of your eye, including the retina, underlying blood vessels, optic disk are examined by the doctor. Before testing all these things the doctor dilates your eye which makes it easy for the doctor to check your eyes properly. This is also called ophthalmoscopy or funduscopy.

  • Screening for glaucoma:

    This is a test done by the doctor to check if you have glaucoma or not, which is a disease through which the optic nerve of the eyes is damaged. This is also called tonometry and the amount of fluid present in the eyes is checked through it.

How is the treatment done?

A routine eye check-up usually starts with you submitting your most recent prescription for the Ophthalmologist to check. If you do not have a prescription, your test starts off right away with eye drops being administered in order to dilate your pupils. After waiting an hour for the medication to take effect, machine testing can begin.

You are asked to place your chin in the machine where one of your eyes is looking into a picture of a landscape that comes into focus. This is done with each eye and only takes a few seconds. The second part of machine testing involves placing your chin in a similar machine, where you may or may not feel a small puff of air in each eye. These tests are non-invasive, do not involve any pain or discomfort and are over in a matter of seconds. If you opt to get tested for any specific eye disease, it might involve another couple minutes at a specific machine.

Once the machine testing has been completed, you will be asked to sit in front of a screen and asked to read an eye chart, through each eye separately with a number of different lenses. The information collected will be used to determine your prescription or whether or not you require a prescription.

Finally, an ophthalmologist will examine your eyes with a flashlight. This might involve slight discomfort due to the bright light but will not be painful at all. At this phase, the ophthalmologist will examine the blood vessels in your eyes, look into how your pupils dilate and how your eyes focus in order to determine if you are at risk for any ocular diseases and prescribe further tests if you are.

Where to get an eye checkup?

You can get an eye check-up by going to an ophthalmologist of your area.

When to have your eye check-up?

A person must get his/her eyes tested every two years whether he has been recommended or not recommended by the optometrist. An adult must get the eye test every two years whereas children must get eye tested in every one year.

How long does an eye test take?

Eye examination takes about 20-30 minutes in which the eye examiner will or the optometrist asks questions about the eyes and your general health. But at times the time depends upon the severity of the patient because some people who are of older age may also suffer from diabetes, glaucoma, or any other ailment which might take longer time.

Are there any side effects?

There are no side-effects to a routine check-up. However, the eye-drops administered to dilate your pupils might not wear off for a few hours, so you might have a hazy vision for the rest of the day.

How long does it take for dilated eyes to return to normal?

Getting eyes dilated before the eye test is one of the most important steps for the eye test and once the dilating drops are put into the eyes by the doctor it takes about 20-20 mins for pupils to get wider or dilate. It takes 4-6 hours for most people to return to the normal state.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Due to the eyedrops administered prior to the test, you might have a hazy vision for the rest of the day and hence, not be able to drive yourself home. Depending on how hazy your vision is, you might also need someone to accompany you home even if you are walking or taking public transport. If you are given a prescription for spectacles, you also need to order eyeglasses or contact lenses according to it, as soon as possible.


How long does it take to recover?

There is no recovery period for any routine test during an eye-check up. It takes a few hours for your vision to clear up after the pupil dilating medication has been administered during your test. You should be able to see clearly and get back to your daily routine 3 – 5 hours after the test.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Depending on the kind of tests done during an eye check-up, it can cost you anything between Rs.100 – Rs. 3000. The most basic test for determining your prescription usually costs about Rs. 100 and is also offered for free by many eye hospitals, government facilities, and spectacles stores.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Eye check-ups usually involve tests for eye prescriptions and ocular diseases. It should be repeated periodically based on your ophthalmologist’s suggestion.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There is no alternative to a routine eye test, however, you can decide which additional tests you want to opt for.


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Written ByDr. Anurag Agarwal MS - Ophthalmology,MBBSOphthalmology
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