What Happens During An Eye Exam

At Pearle Vision, care is at the heart of everything we do. Our eye doctors understand each patient has a different story, which is why they take the time to learn about you to better cater to your eye care needs. Before coming in, here are answers to a few commonly asked questions:

How Long Does an Eye Exam Take?

Eye exams typically last around 30-45 minutes. However, it’s important to note that time will vary depending on the types of tests needed. For example, if you’re interested in contact lenses your eye doctor will need to conduct a contact lens fitting to ensure you get the correct prescription for your eyes.

What Types of Eye Exams Are Offered?

Each patient's unique symptoms, along with our professional judgment, will determine what tests you receive during your visit. A comprehensive adult eye and vision examination may include a number of tests. The most common tests are listed here:

Patient Receiving Rx:

Visual Acuity

  • Used to determine the smallest letters you can read on the Snellen chart.


  • Measures the curvature of the cornea to determine any possible signs of astigmatism.

Cover test

  • Examines eye movement and perception to determine whether one eye is working harder than the other

Ocular movement testing

  • Measures eye movement in response to images, light, and other triggers.


  • Measures a person's prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Additional Tests Offered During an Eye Exam

Color blindness

  • Screening and quantitative tests to diagnose any color vision deficiency


  • Measures a person's prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses

Glaucoma testing

  • Regular check-ups are encouraged to pick up on early signs of potential vision loss.

Cornea Measurements

  • The curvature of the front of the eye will be measured to inform the proper curve and size of the contact lens.

Pupil Measurements

  • The size of the pupil is measured to help inform the appropriate size of the contact lenses.

Tear Film Evaluation

  • A tear film evaluation test may be provided to ensure that the eyes are not too dry for contact lenses. This may be done by inserting a small strip of paper under the lower eyelid, or using fluorescein dye to the eye.

Evaluation of the eyes surface and fit

  • A slit lamp will be used to provide the optometrist a highly magnified view of the cornea and other tissues to ensure that contact lens wear hasn't effected the health of your eyes .

How Often Should You Get an Eye Exam?

The American Optometry Association recommends an annual eye exam to help identify any changes in your vision early on and ensure your eyes are in good health. Yearly exams can help detect any health problems with your eyes before symptoms become severe. If you experience any sudden changes in your vision such as dark areas around your field of vision, pain, or vision loss, see an eye doctor immediately. These symptoms can be an indicator of other underlying health issues and should be checked immediately, which is one the reasons why eye exams are important.

What Information Do I Need To Provide for an Eye Exam?

Be prepared to answer questions relating to any eye health problems you have experienced, past and present. These can include:

  • When your eye or vision symptoms began
  • Any work-related or environmental conditions that may be affecting your vision.
  • Any previous eye or health conditions you and your family members have experienced.
  • History of health and eye issues in family

What Should I Bring To My Eye Exam Appointment?

  • Health insurance cards and information – bringing your healthcare information will expedite the process and make filling paperwork out easier.
  • A list of medications you’re currently taking. It's important that your eye doctor knows what medications you’re on, even the ones that may not seem relevant to your eyesight.
  • Your current eyewear and prescription – this includes the glasses that you use daily, reading glasses, and sunglasses.
  • It's important that your optometrist knows what medications you are on, even the ones that may not seem relevant to your eyesight.
  • General understanding of your family's eye history.

Payment Options

Ensuring that your eyes receive the genuine quality of care they deserve is our ultimate priority, which is why at Pearle Vision, we work to make the payment process as stress free as possible. We work with all major health and benefits plans, including EyeMed, VSP, and UnitedHealthcare. You can also use your Flexible Spending Account for your eye exam. For more information on the insurance accepted at your neighbourhood Pearle Vision, please review our insurance policy page or contact your neighbourhood Pearle Vision EyeCare Centre.

Where To Get an Eye Exam

If you’re due for an eye exam or need to update a prescription, arrange an appointment today.

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