General Ophthalmology Eye Care – Types of Special Eye Tests & Exams

The quality of the vision can easily get worse due to the factor of aging and eye disease. A regular comprehensive eye exam is the best way to detect any eye disorder that, if not detected and diagnosed at an early stage, can lead to vision problems and even permanent vision loss. The ophthalmologists and optometrists provide complete general ophthalmology eye care which involves diagnosing and treating various eye diseases or problems and they also perform comprehensive eye exam to detect the disease at an early stage. There are different types of special tests and exams that are performed during a comprehensive eye exam to evaluate the vision and health of the eyes.

Here’s a brief guide to various types of eye tests and exams that the eye doctor performs during a comprehensive eye exam:

Visual Acuity Tests:

Visual acuity tests are performed at the beginning of comprehensive eye exam and they are used to measure the sharpness and overall quality of the vision. The eye chart contains a series of lines having random alphabetical letters that decrease in size from top to bottom of the chart. Visual acuity tests are used to measure far distance vision by projecting the chart at some distance. This test is also used to measure near vision with the help of a small, hand-held chart. The eye chart is easy and a quick way to detect any refractive error.

Eye Movement & Visual Field Test (peripheral vision tests):        

During a comprehensive eye exam, eye movement and peripheral vision (side vision) are also tested and measured. This is done by using an object having a small light is moved through the field of vision of the patient. If the results of initial peripheral vision test are ambiguous then this may be an indication of some problems and so the ophthalmologist uses a chart consisting concentric circles to better identify the blind spots in edges of your side vision. This test lets the ophthalmologist know if other serious conditions of eye or brain are resulting in peripheral vision loss.         

Color Blindness Tests:

Color blindness test is a screening test which is often performed at the beginning of a comprehensive eye exam to check the color vision. Different patterns of multicolored dots are arranged in such pattern that forms specific letters or numbers and is used to measure the color vision. Color blindness is caused by the yellowing of cornea due to aging but the most common cause is a family history and color vision deficiencies present at birth. Young people should get color blindness tests before obtaining a driver permit because a common disability among color blind persons is that they are unable to correctly understand traffic light signals.      


Tonometry is the test that is used to measure the pressure inside the eye, called as intraocular pressure (IOL). This test is used to diagnose Glaucoma, an eye disease in which the optic nerve (located at the back of the eye) damages due to increased intraocular pressure. The pressure builds up because the fluid doesn’t drain out from the eye properly.

The pressure is recorded by measuring the resistance of the cornea to the pressure. Eyes are numbed by using numbing eye drops. There are various methods to perform tonometry and these include:

Applanation tonometry: In this method, a small probe is used to gently flatten the part of the cornea for measuring eye pressure along with a slit-lamp which is a type of microscope having attached light and is used to have a magnified view of anterior eye structures such as the cornea, lens, and iris.

Electronic indentation tonometry: During this method, the ophthalmologist places a rounded tip of tool that looks like a pen, directly on the cornea. The eye pressure reading shows on the small computer panel.

Non-contact tonometry (pneumotonometry): In this method, an instrument called tonometer is used which directs a tiny puff of air at the eye to temporary flatten the cornea. If corner doesn’t respond to air puff then it is an indication of high eye pressure.

Corneal Topography:

It is a computerized test that maps the curve of the cornea. This test is used to detect problems with the cornea such as scarring, swelling or conditions like Astigmatism (an eye defect having imperfection in the curvature of the cornea). This test is recommended more often before having surgery, a corneal transplant or contact lens fitting.

Fluorescein Angiogram:

This test helps the eye doctor to know how well blood moves in the retina. It helps in diagnosing other eye diseases such as Diabetic Retinopathy, Macular Degeneration, and Retinal Detachment. During the test, the eye doctor injects a dye, called as fluorescein in the vein of the arm. This dye travels quickly to the blood vessels inside the eye. Then the ophthalmologist uses a camera that is already filtered to highlight the dye. While it travels through the blood vessels at the back of the eye, the ophthalmologist takes pictures of dye. The test helps the ophthalmologist to detect swelling, circulation problems, leaking or abnormal blood vessels.

Dilated Pupillary Exam:

During this test, the ophthalmologist uses special eye drops that dilate the pupil of the eye. It helps to detect the problems of retina or signs of any eye disease.


This test involves the sound waves that make a picture of the inside of the eye. Ultrasound helps the doctor to detect and treat cataracts, tumors or bleeding inside the eye. The test may also perform before Cataract Surgery.

Retinal Tomography:

It is a computerized test that maps the surface of the retina. The patient may need to get this test if he/she has a serious condition of the retina such as Age-Related Macular Degeneration or Retinal Detachment.

For more information about types of eye exams, consult ophthalmologist at Menger Eye Centers in NYC:

The board-certified ophthalmologists and optometrists at Menger Eye Centers are highly recommended specialists to provide the best general ophthalmology eye surgery and care to patients living in Glendale, NYC. The eye doctors use advanced and state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to provide the best diagnostic procedures that help to detect the eye disease at an early stage where it can be treated with a proper treatment plan.        

Recommended Posts