Types of Tests Included in an Eye Exam for Eyeglass Prescription

an eye examYour eyes play an important role in your overall health. Routine visits to an ophthalmologist or optometrist should, therefore, become a part of your healthcare routine. Comprehensive eye exams aim to evaluate your eye health and detect problems early.

A popular eye clinic in Maple Grove, MN notes that a comprehensive eye exam is essential to get a correct eyeglass prescription. The number of tests depends on your eye problem and the clinic’s setup. Here are some of the common tests your optometrist might require to get your prescription glasses right:


This test is used to estimate the lens power needed to correct your distance vision. During retinoscopy, lights are dimmed, and you will be asked to focus on a target. As you look at the target, the doctor shines a light at your eyes and flips lenses on a machine. The doctor will estimate your eyeglass prescription based on the way your eyes reflect light.

Refraction Test

This test determines your final eyeglass prescription. The doctor uses a phoropter with a series of lens options. You will then select which lens looks clearest to you. This type of lens will be used to make your eyeglasses. Refraction determines your degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia, and astigmatism.


An autorefractor determines the lens power you need to focus light accurately on the retina, just like a manual refractor. They are primarily used for young kids and patients who cannot keep still or provide accurate feedback. The test takes a few minutes and is accurate at determining your eyeglass prescription.

If you opt for contact lenses, you will need a contact lens exam. The exam is typically done in a subsequent office visit, as the tests for eyeglass prescriptions dilate your pupils and might lead to incorrect contact lenses. It is cost and time-efficient to get your contact lenses and eyeglasses from the same practitioner to avoid duplication of tests.