Eye specialists, also known as optometrists, check your eyes using a number of tests and treatments. These tests range from basic to advanced, such as having you read an eye chart or using a high-powered lens to examine the small features inside your eyes. A thorough eye exam might last an hour or more, depending on the doctor and the quantity and intricacy of tests necessary to completely evaluate your vision and eye health. If you don’t know what to expect for your next appointment, here are some eye and vision exams you could encounter during a full eye checkup.

Visual Acuity Test

Visual acuity tests, which assess the clarity of your vision, are among the first tests conducted in a full eye checkup. Typically, during this kind of test, a projected eye chart is used to assess your distant visual acuity and a tiny, hand-held acuity chart is used to measure your close vision.

Cover Test

The cover test is the easiest and most popular approach for your eye doctor to assess how your eyes operate together. During a cover test, your eye doctor will ask you to focus on one particular item across the room, then alternately cover each of your eyes as you gaze at the target. After that, the test is repeated with you staring at a nearby item. During these tests, your eye doctor will determine whether the uncovered eye needs to move in order to pick up the fixation target, which might suggest strabismus or another condition that causes eye strain or amblyopia (“lazy eye”).

Eye Movement Test

Eye movement tests, also known as ocular motility tests, are used to measure how well your eyes can track a moving object and move between and properly focus on two distinct objects. Smooth eye pursuits are more commonly tested. Your eye doctor will have you hold your head motionless and use just your eyes to track the gradual movement of a hand-held light or other object. If your eye doctor wants to evaluate your fast eye movements, he or she may have you shift your eyes back and forth between two targets that are some distance apart. Eye movement issues can cause eye strain and impair reading ability, sports vision, and other abilities.

Depth Perception Test

Stereopsis is the word used to describe eye teaming, which allows for proper depth perception and enjoyment of things’ three-dimensionality. In one frequent depth perception or stereopsis test, you wear “3D” spectacles and examine a booklet of test patterns. Each design has four little circles, and your objective is to identify which circle in each pattern appears to be closer to you than the other three. If you can properly identify the “closer” circle in each pattern, you most certainly have great eye teaming abilities and should have normal depth perception.


This test may be performed early in the eye exam by your eye doctor to acquire an estimate of your eyeglass prescription. The lighting in the room will be dimmed during retinoscopy, and you will be asked to focus on a large target, which is usually the big “E” on the eye chart. While you gaze at the letter “E,” your eye doctor will beam a light into your eye and rotate lenses in a machine in front of your eyes. This test determines which lens powers will correct your far vision the best. Your doctor can estimate the power of eyeglasses needed to correct your vision based on how light bounces from your eye. This test is especially beneficial for youngsters and individuals who are unable to accurately provide answers to the doctor’s questions.


This is the test used by your eye doctor to establish your precise eyeglass prescription. During a refraction, the doctor places a horopter in front of your eyes and offers you a variety of lens options. He or she will next inquire which of the two lenses in each selection appears clearer. Based on your responses, your eye doctor will proceed to fine-tune the lens strength until a definitive eyeglass prescription is reached. Your level of hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia are determined by your refraction.

Autorefractors and aberrometers

Your eye doctor could also use an autorefractor or aberrometer to calculate your eyeglass prescription immediately. A chin support on both devices keeps your head stable when you stare into the instrument at a pinpoint of light or a detailed image. Like a manual refraction, an autorefractor estimates the optical power necessary to precisely focus light on your retina. Autorefractors are extremely useful for determining an eyeglass prescription for young children and other patients who may have difficulty sitting still, paying close attention, and providing the input required for a correct manual refraction by the eye doctor. According to research, recent autorefractors are quite accurate and time efficient. The autorefraction process takes only a few seconds, and the results significantly shorten the time it takes your eye doctor to complete a manual refraction and calculate your eyeglass prescription. Moreover, an aberrometer uses modern wavefront technology to identify even subtle vision problems depending on how light passes through your eye. Aberrometers are generally utilised in personalised or wavefront LASIK vision correction operations, but many eye physicians are increasingly using this cutting-edge technology into routine eye exams as well.

Slit Lamp Test

A slit lamp is a binocular microscope (or “biomicroscope”) used by your eye doctor to magnify the structures of your eye. It has the appearance of a huge, upright form of a microscope used in a scientific lab. During the slit lamp exam, you will be requested to secure your chin and forehead on the front of the instrument’s supports, and your doctor will examine the structures of the front of your eyes, including your eyelids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, and lens. Your doctor may also use the slit light to examine tissues further back in the eyeball, such as the retina and optic nerve, with use of a hand-held lens. The slit lamp exam can identify a large variety of eye problems and illnesses, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal ulcers, and diabetic retinopathy.

Pupil Reflex Test

The pupil reflex test, often performed during routine eye examinations, involves shining a bright light into the eyes to observe how the pupils react. Optometrists use this test to assess the health of the nerves controlling the pupils’ responses to light. By observing the size, shape, and speed of the pupil’s reaction, optometrists can gain insights into potential eye health issues and neurological conditions. This simple yet crucial test helps optometrists evaluate visual function and overall eye health, making it an essential part of comprehensive eye care.