Goodrich Optical

Eye Examination

Why it’s done

An eye exam helps detect eye problems at their earliest stage — when they’re most treatable.

What you can expect

A comprehensive eye health evaluation at Goodrich Optical starts when you make the appointment. Whether you call or use our online scheduling app, once your appointment is set, you will receive a text or email from us that will confirm the date and time of your appointment. The email will also include a link to access our online medical health questionnaire, which must be completed before your appointment.

At Goodrich Optical, it is our goal to provide the highest quality eye health and vision treatment. We use a wide variety of tests and procedures to examine your eyes. These tests range from simple ones, like having you read an eye chart, to very involved tests, like as using a high-powered lens to see the tiny structures inside your eyes. A comprehensive eye health evaluation can take an hour or more, depending on the number and complexity of tests needed to fully evaluate your vision and the health of your eyes. In some cases, besides the common tests performed, the doctor may recommend other, more specialized tests. Some of these tests may be performed in the doctors office and others are performed by specialists.

One way to combine our need to collect your health information with your desire that it be simple and easy, is our Web Registration.

We now collect your health information ahead of your appointment, over the internet. By doing so, we have made it both easy and convenient for you to provide this information when it is most convenient for you. Be it the middle of the night, after dinner or first thing in the morning while you drink your coffee. By completing this step ahead of time, we are keeping your waiting time to a minimum once you come into our office.

Whether seeing the eye doctor for the first time or the tenth, one of the most important questions you will answer is- “What are we seeing you for today?”

Why is that so important?

The doctor is really saying- “Tell me, in detail, what has been going on with your health in general, and your vision in particular, since I saw you last.” Expect questions about your vision, both past and present. Your answers help the doctor understand your risks for eye disease and vision problems. Be as specific as possible. He wants to know things like- What types (if any) of vision issues you are having? Are your eyes red? Are they dry frequently? Can you see clearly up close? Can you see well to drive at night? Telling the doctor you are just here for your annual exam or, everything is fine, is not very helpful in letting the doctor know where they might need to focus special attention.

You can’t ‘over-share’ when it comes to your answers. Something you consider un-important, could be a tell tale sign the doctor needs, that saves your vision.

A lot goes on in an eye exam and your vision will be tested in a variety of ways. The following are the tests you can expect during an exam.

Several different tests may be performed during a comprehensive eye exam. These tests are designed to check your vision and evaluate the appearance and function of all parts of your eyes.

Eye muscle test

(No posing or flexing required)

These tests evaluate the muscles that control eye movement. The doctor is looking for weakness, poor coordination or abnormal movement. Muscle issues could be as simple as muscle weakness or an issue such as stabismus (i.e., being cross-eyed).

Although it sounds rather technical, muscle testing is actually an essential part of a comprehensive eye exam.

Visual acuity test

This is the part of an eye exam people are most familiar with. You will read an eye chart to determine how well you see at various distances. You cover one eye while the other is being tested. This exam will determine whether you have 20/20 vision or not.


The doctor will begin with a technique called retinoscopy. This procedure measures any refractive error by evaluating the movement of a light reflected by your retina.

The doctor will then fine-tune this assessment by having you look through a phoropter. A device that contains hundreds of different lenses. He or she will then ask you to judge which combination of lenses gives you the sharpest vision.

Assessment of any refractive error found helps the doctor determine the prescription that will give you the sharpest, most comfortable vision. The assessment may also determine that you don’t need corrective lenses.

Retinal Exam

A retinal examination — sometimes called ophthalmoscopy or funduscopy — allows your doctor to evaluate the back of your eye, including the retina, the optic disk and the underlying layer of blood vessels that nourish the retina (choroid). This is important in the detection of certain systemic diseases and diseases that primarily affect the eye. Before the doctor can see these structures, your pupils must be dilated with eyedrops that keep the pupil from getting smaller when your doctor shines light into your eye.

The doctor may use one or more of these techniques to view the back of your eye:

  • Direct exam. Your eye doctor uses an ophthalmoscope to shine a beam of light through your pupil to see the back of the eye. Sometimes eyedrops aren’t necessary to dilate your eyes before this exam.
  • Indirect exam. During this exam, you typically lie back in the chair. The doctor examines the inside of the eye with the aid of a special lens and a bright light mounted on his forehead. This exam lets your doctor see the retina and other structures inside your eye in great detail and in three dimensions.


Slit-lamp examination

The slit-lamp is a low-power microscope combined with a high-intensity light source that can be focused into a thin beam. The doctor uses this device to examine the eyelids, lashes, cornea, iris, lens and fluid chamber between your cornea and iris.

The doctor may use a dye, most commonly fluorescein (flooh-RES-een), to color the film of tears over your eye. This helps reveal any damaged cells on the front of your eye.

Visual Field Test

Your visual field is how wide of an area your eye can see when you focus on a central point.

A visual field test can determine if you have blind spots (called scotoma’s) in your vision and where they are. A scotoma’s size and shape can show how an eye disease, or a brain disorder is affecting your vision.

The two most common types of visual field tests are:

  • Confrontation exam. Your eye doctor sits directly in front of you and asks you to cover one eye. You look straight ahead and tell the doctor each time you see his or her hand move into view.
  • Automated perimetry. As you look at a screen, lights will blink in various areas. You press a button each time you see a light blink.

Vision screenings vs. eye exams:

Why are eye exams important?

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Not comprehensive eye exams

Vision screenings are not comprehensive eye exams. Screenings usually take only a few minutes and are often performed by volunteers who are not eye care professionals.

Visual acuity test

In many cases, vision screenings are nothing more than a visual acuity test where you’re asked to identify the smallest letters you can on a vision chart across the room.

Vision screenings

Vision screenings typically are designed to only detect subnormal visual acuity and major vision problems — as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. They generally are ineffective for detecting more subtle vision problems and potentially sight-robbing eye diseases.

People are made aware

People who fail a vision screening (usually because their visual acuity is worse than 20/40) are made aware of this and are encouraged to visit an eye doctor so they can have their vision problem professionally diagnosed and treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery.

Eye exams

Eye exams, on the other hand, are performed by licensed eye doctors (an optometrist or ophthalmologist) and evaluate not only your visual acuity, but also the complete health of your eyes, from front to back — including checking for early signs of serious eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and detached retina.

Health problems

Your eye doctor also can detect early signs of serious health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and risk of stroke, based on the appearance of delicate blood vessels and other structures within the eye.
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Goodrich Optical, 2450 Delhi Commerce Dr. Holt, MI 48842

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