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Home » What's New » Retino-what? What Happens During your Eye Exam

Retino-what? What Happens During your Eye Exam

There are various assessments that you have seen during an eye exam and questioned how they work. Having beams of light shined into your eyes may be an example. This is one way eye doctors test the refractive error of your eye, and it's called retinoscopy. By examining the reflection of light off your retina, your eye care professional can determine if you are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism. This is how they can also get a pretty good reading on the prescription required to correct your vision.

The main thing your doctor is checking for during this exam is how accurately your eyes can focus. When we use the retinoscope to shine light into your eye, a reddish light reflects off your retina, through your pupil. This is called the red reflex. We use the light to measure your focal length, or in layman's terms, it will determine the angle of refraction of light off your retina. And this is what tells us how well your eye is able to focus. And if we see that you aren't focusing properly, that's where the lenses come in. We hold a few prescription lenses in front of your eye to see which one will correct the refractive error. The lens power that works is the prescription you will need to rectify your impairment with glasses or contact lenses.

The retinoscopy exam is conducted in a dark room. You will usually be instructed to look at something behind the doctor. The exam doesn't include charts to be read, which means that a retinoscopy exam is also a really good way to accurately determine the prescriptions of those who may struggle with speech, like young children and the elderly.

Dear Patients,

Dr. Lewis Eye Care has made the difficult choice to temporarily close due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic based on the recommendation of the CDC. We cannot perform eye exams while maintaining social distancing, so continuing to see patients at this time could contribute to the spread of the virus.

Our initial plan had been to reopen Monday April 6th. However, as we get closer to that date it is becoming apparent that we may have to be closed for a longer, indefinite period of time.

If you are having an urgent eye health issue, there are some clinics in our area that are seeing patients for emergencies during shorter business hours. You should call ahead to those offices before going to their clinic, as their availability might change day by day. Those clinics could include Vancouver Eye Care at 360-823-2020, Peace Health Medical Group Eye Care at 360-514-7210, and Vancouver Clinic in Salmon Creek at 360-882-2778.

If you need a glasses or contact lens prescription emailed to you from our office, click on the Contact Form link, type in your name, email, and what you are requesting, and we will email you the information you need as soon as we can.

Thank you for your understanding, and please stay healthy during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Dr. Scott Lewis, OD