How does an ophthalmologist diagnose an eye problem?

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The eye examination consists of multiple parts, many of which are quantifiable. When vision is tested, it is useful for documenting eye health status and any changes. Vision is usually tested,one eye at a time, for distance and for near. Often it is done without glasses (prescription) and then repeated with glasses. If a patient doesn't have glasses or has reduced vision, a pin?hole device can be used as an estimate of the best potential visual acuity. The next step in an eye exam is utilizing lenses in order to establish best?corrected visual acuity. For instance, you cannot really decide how bad a cataract is without knowing the individual best correction.
The external eye exam consists of the evaluating pupil reactions, eye muscle movements, lids, and color of the iris. The next part of the exam employs a microscopic instrument called slit lamp. By varying the size beam and the magnification, the eye doctor can stereoscopically view the insides of the eye and diagnose almost all ocular conditions. This is why individuals need to see an ophthalmologist or optometrist in order to diagnose any serious eye problem. The intraocular pressure is measured at this time; this is an important test as part of the evaluation of glaucoma. Primary care doctors and emergency room physicians are usually able to recognize and treat pink eye and other common eye conditions but are unable to get a good look inside the eye without more testing.
Usually the final part of the eye exam is an evaluation of the retina with either a hand held or head mounted light and lenses. Many systemic conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, which can affect the eye can be identified through a slit lamp and retina exam. There are other tests that are useful to measure and manage eye disease such as the following: visual fields,color vision, prism measurements of eye deviations, tear tests for dry eyes, and checker board grids for macular degeneration.