"What if I only need a prescription for glasses?"
You will still receive a comprehensive examination as outlined previously, with or without dilation, depending on your preference. The doctor will discuss your daily vision demands in detail, and also your symptoms as they relate to the final prescription. A Snellen chart and phoroptor will then be used to determine the most comfortable and visually pleasing prescription possible. This process is called refraction. The doctor uses a series of trial lenses and bracketting techniques to derive the best corrected visual acuity. If a patient is near sighted, they may require minus lenses. If a patient is far sighted they may require magnification, or plus lenses. The presence of an astigmatism is also tested for. Uncorrected astigmatism may cause blurry vision at night, chronic dull headaches, and visual distortion on a daily basis. During the refraction, the patient's accommodative ability is also assessed. These days with the heavy use of computers, cell phones, and other personal devices it is imperative that one has comfortable vision at near. Sometimes patients have difficulty with prolonged near vision, and in these cases a secondary test will determine if the patient would benefit from a progressive prescription. This is not your Grandmother's "bifocal", but rather a gradual change in power from the top of the lens to the bottom, where more magnification is located at the base of the eyeglass lens to make small print and near devices easier to read.
All options for vision correction will be discussed including your ability to wear contact lenses if desired. If you choose to wear contacts, you will require further evaluation and testing. This is the contact lens fitting and evaluation process which will be discussed separately.