The diagnosis of eye problems is largely dependent on the symptoms of the underlying problem. This article provides some information on the same that might prove beneficial.
The purpose of diagnosing an eye problem is to confirm the underlying problem. A preliminary diagnosis is mainly done on the basis of appearance of the eye and other related physical symptoms. Various tests are required to confirm the results of the preliminary diagnosis. The treatment can be initiated only when its cause is diagnosed.
Refraction is the test to diagnose focusing errors. Vision impairments such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia, etc. can be diagnosed using this test. This test mainly determines the clarity of vision at 20 feet. For instance, a person with a vision 20/200 sees an object at 20 feet as clear as a person with a perfect vision of 20/20, sees at 200 feet. Snellen chart is a major tool used to determine the visual acuity of a person. This chart consists of illuminated rows of letters, arranged in a peculiar order. The chart needs to be read from a standard distance to confirm the type of focusing error. Automated refraction is done with a machine, which measures the response of an eye when a beam of light enters the eye.
Visual Field Testing
Visual field testing involves finding out the scope of vision of the person, including the peripheral vision. Visual scope of each eye is determined separately in this test. This testing may often be a part of routine eye testing. However, sometimes visual testing has to be done in detail, if a person experiences a peculiar vision field problem. For instance, if a person keeps on bumping on objects that are on one side, then this testing may be required to confirm the cause. Further, this can be done manually as well as using devices such as Amsler grid or Goldmann perimeter.
Ophthalmoscope is a hand-held device which resembles a small flashlight with magnifying lenses. A beam of light is shone directly in the eye of the person, so that the ophthalmologist can study the various components such as cornea, lens, vitreous humor, retina, optic nerve, and the retinal veins and arteries. Often eye drops are used to dilate the pupils, so as to get a better view of the eye. A person may experience a few side effects of the eye drops such as blurring of vision and increased sensitivity to light, for a few hours. Furthermore, ophthalmoscopy is often a part of routine physical examination.
This test is performed to examine the functionality of photoreceptors, which are the light sensing cells in the eye. A recording electrode which is in the form of a contact lens is placed on the dilated cornea. The other electrode is located somewhere on the face, preferably cheeks. The room is darkened and the flashes of light are frequently shone in the eye. The response of eye, in terms of electrical activity is recorded by the electrodes. This method is most effective in the diagnosis of diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa.
Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging
These tests provide the detailed computerized images of the internal structure of the eye. They are effective in locating any foreign objects in the eye. They are also useful for studying the bony structures around the eye.
An accurate diagnosis is important for an effective treatment. Often, these problems are not of serious consequence, but it is always wiser to get yourself routinely examined, in order to detect and correct such problems on time and also to rule out the possibility of further complications.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.