Ophthalmic technicians and assistants work closely with our eye doctors gathering important information for the eye exam. Our staff is JCAHPO certified, and technical staff has monthly training meetings and required hours of continuing education to keep up their skills.
Amy, a certified ophthalmic assistant, has some tips to share from the tech perspective on your experience with Relf EyeCare.
Here at Relf we know every patient deserves the best care possible! We work hard to provide quality care while valuing our patient’s time. For both new and established patients, here are some things we, the techs and assistants, would like you to know!
Expect to spend at least one hour in the clinic during a complete exam. This allows time for a preliminary work up with a technician, 20 minutes for dilation, and a thorough examination with your eye care provider.
Pupil dilation is a necessary part of a comprehensive eye exam. Doctors utilize this to examine the inside of the eye and verify glasses prescriptions in children. These drops primarily affect your near vision. This means after pupil dilation it will be tough to read or do near work for several hours. Another side effect of dilation is light sensitivity. The pupil cannot constrict normally when exposed to a light source, this will last 4-6 hours as well. All eyes are different, and some patients are affected more than others by pupil dilation. Most are able to drive after eyes have been dilated well with sunglasses after the exam, but some patients feel more comfortable having a driver. Remember to bring sunglasses even on a cloudy day; sunlight and artificial lights can be quite dazzling. If you forget them, we have some very fashionable disposable sunglasses for you!
It is normal to be nervous about pressure checks. Pressure checks help eye care professionals detect Glaucoma, a painless disease of the eye that can lead to blindness. They use an instrument called a “tonometer” or an “iCare” to gage the hardness of the eye, thus giving an indication of the eye pressure. It does not hurt!
Comprehensive eye exams also include refractions. Refraction is the process where a technician or a doctor will determine a patient’s appropriate glasses prescription. There are no wrong answers during refractions. The eye care provider will sometimes show patients choices rather quickly; this is to help gage the patients’ first impression of possible lens choices and decide what appears to be the best one.
Lastly, before heading out the door for your exam please remember to bring your list of medications and the most recent or favorite pair of glasses! If you are diabetic knowing your last A1C is helpful information.
We hope every patient has a good experience during his or her eye exam. Never be afraid to ask questions.