4 Reasons You Need Comprehensive Eye Exams

Lady giving girl eye exam.

Comprehensive eye exams are necessary to maintain good vision and healthy eyes. They test a wide range of problems you encounter with your eyesight.

This makes them invaluable to both you and your doctor as a way to stay up to date on your eye care needs. Here are a few of the tests that you may encounter during a comprehensive eye exam!

Eye Chart

Perhaps the most recognizable eye test, the eye chart exam is the test you see in the media most. It’s the one where someone has to read letters off of a poster on the wall.

This post has random letters in varying sizes all over it. Each row of letters gets progressively smaller as you go from top to bottom.

The number of letters in the row actually increases. The term “20/20 vision” comes from this exam.

Each row of letters is designated a number corresponding to the font size of the letters in the row. When you are taking the exam, you sit exactly 20 feet away from the chart.

You then read each row one at a time, until it becomes too difficult. If you can see the row designated as “20” from 20 feet away, then you have normal 20/20 vision.


A stereopsis test measures your depth perception. There are different ways to measure your depth perception.

A common way is to have the patient wear 3D glasses and look at a variety of patterns. These patterns need you to be able to tell what looks “closer” in the image, even if the image is two dimensional.

Eyes that are able to perceive depth should be able to tell what is closer in the picture.


Another famous eye test, this involves a large device put in front of your face to tell what power of lens you need. The doctor will darken the room and instruct you to look through the device.

You will then go through different prescription lens sizes to get an idea on the lens strength you’ll need. The doctor can tell by the way light reflects from your eye.


Glaucoma is a serious vision condition that steals sight with no noticeable symptoms. Vision loss caused by glaucoma is not reversible.

If caught early, progression can be stopped with medication. To detect glaucoma, you need to take a special test.

During a glaucoma test, the doctor will use a device that blows a puff of air into your eyes. While startling, it isn’t painful.

The amount of pressure used in the puff of air will help to determine your interior eye pressure. Most of the time, glaucoma causes your eye pressure to spike.

If you are outside of the normal limits, your doctor may begin prescribing glaucoma eye drops. If eye drops don’t lower your eye drops, there are other medications you can try as well.

There are other tests that you may take during a comprehensive eye exam. Can’t remember when your last eye exam was? Schedule an appointment at New England Vision in Burlington, VT now!

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