Here’s What To Expect at Your First Eye Exam

Are you preparing for an upcoming eye exam? If it’s your first appointment ever, you might be a bit nervous and not know what to expect. If that’s the case, here’s what to expect at your first eye exam to help calm your nerves.

Here’s What To Expect at Your First Eye Exam

Know Your Medical History

The first thing to expect when you walk into your optometrist’s office or eye facility is paperwork. It’s not the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s important for the rest of your exam. Make sure you (or your family member, if you have a guardian there with you) know your medical history and have your insurance information prepared in advance. This will make the paperwork process faster and easier on your and the office’s end.

Vision Tests

The visual acuity test is one of the most common eye tests. You may have already seen the tools involved on TV or in commercials. Your eye doctor will have you look at a chart with lined letters ranging from small to large. These charts are known as the Snellen or Sloan eye charts. Once you read it normally, the optometrist will have you look at the same letters through different lenses, occasionally covering one of your eyes to test your vision in each. These lenses are what the doctor will compare with prescription lenses to determine how strong your prescription will be if you need one.


Tonometry is a test that the eye doctor will conduct to record your eye’s pressure (also known as “intraocular pressure”). There are several different types of tonometry tests, including applanation tonometry, non-contact tonometry, and more. During applanation tonometry, the doctor will observe the pressure of your cornea using a small rod to touch the surface of your eye. In non-contact tonometry, a small puff of air is used instead of the rod tool. Don’t worry because neither hurt, and both are quick and simple tests.

Hopefully, this walkthrough of what to expect at your first eye exam helps ease any nerves you might have going into the appointment. Regular eye appointments help ensure proper eye health and get you the right eyewear to help you see clearly when you need it.

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