An optometrist is a doctor for the eye who has earned a degree in Doctor of Optometry. These professionals correct the refractive errors through the prescription of contact lenses and eyeglasses and examine the eyes for both health and other vision problems.
And similarly to other doctors who use stethoscopes and x-rays, optometrists do also relay on some tools that might seem intimidating for a regular individual; in fact, this is one of the reasons why patients avoid or delay their checkups. However, these pieces of equipment are painless, extremely accurate, and efficient in making a diagnose for the health status of the eyes. In light of this, below are some of the most common tools seen inside an optometrist’s clinic.
Tonometer is one of the oldest devices used by optometrists. This is used to measure the fluid’s pressure inside the person’s eyeball by gently touching the cornea; of course, numbing drops are required to be instilled in the eyes before proceeding the check-up. Today, some doctors use an air-puff tonometer which, unlike the traditional method, blows the air onto the eyes.
This device is greatly used for people who suffer or at risk of having glaucoma. This disorder occurs when the pressure of the eye increases beyond a point creating permanent damage on the optic nerve.
One of the basic tools used, phoropter is also considered as an online optometrists tool because, right now, online versions of it are available on the web. This is used to determine the numbers of the patient’s eyeglasses and measure its refractive error. To use this device, the patient is primarily instructed to sit, at a certain distance, in front of a chart. Then the patient will be trying different lenses to determine which allows him or her to see better.
Unlike other devices, the results in the phoropter are subjective and the final prescription depends on the patient who has undergone the test.
An ophthalmoscope is used to examine the interiors of the eyes. This consists of a light source and has built-in lenses and mirrors that effectively examine the retina. The test proceeds when the eyes of the patient are dilated by an eye drops to have a proper and clearer view of the interior. The ophthalmoscope will then be used to identify and see any indicators for possible eye disease.
Also considered as an online optometrists tool, the Snellen chart can now be used and seen online; however, it is still recommended that people should visit an optometrist for proper diagnosis. Traditionally, this is a digital or physical chart that is placed 20 feet away from the patient. Unlike the other mentioned tools, this has a design where the alphabets are in a random arrangement and they decrease in size for every level. At a time, the patient will cover his or her eye while reading the letters on the other. The diagnosis will be based on the smallest letter the patient could read and the lenses applied by the optometrist in the metallic eyeglass frame.